The Bay Area Smart Growth Scorecard is a landmark assessment of the planning policies of all 110 cities and counties of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Although a city's current development is apparent to anyone who visits it, the policies that guide a city's future development are not so obvious. The Smart Growth Scorecard provides the first view into these policies and the first comparison among them.
The Smart Growth Scorecard evaluated 101 cities in seven policy areas:
preventing sprawl; making sure parks are nearby; creating homes people can afford; encouraging a mix of uses; encouraging density in the right places; requiring less land for parking; defining standards for good development. On average, Bay Area cities scored 34% (of a possible 100%), meaning cities are doing only a third of what they could be to achieve smart growth.
The Smart Growth Scorecard evaluated eight counties (San Francisco is treated as a city) in five policy areas:
managing growth; permanently protecting open space; preserving agricultural land; conserving natural resources; and offering transportation choices. On average, Bay Area counties scored 51%.
The scores are low overall. But in every policy area, at least one city or county is doing well, whether it is a city that is encouraging walkable neighborhoods, or a county that is preserving its agricultural land.
The Association of Bay Area Governments estimates that Bay Area will have one million additional residents by 2020; the Smart Growth Scorecard evaluates how well all the region's jurisdictions are planning for that growth, and how they can do better.