First Report from the Vision California Project Shows Environmental and Economic Benefits from Compact Development

The Vision California project, an effort funded by the California High-Speed Rail Authority in partnership with the California Strategic Growth Council, released its first report entitled “Charting Our Future” on June 23, 2010. The report discusses how changes in land use and infrastructure decisions can result in positive benefits for the State, its economy, and the environment.

The report compares “Business as Usual” and “Growing Smart” future scenarios. The Business as Usual scenario combines the trend in past land use decisions with assumptions about modest improvements in energy and water efficiency. On the other hand, the Growing Smart scenario paints a future of increased urban infill and compact growth. The report concludes that the Growing Smart scenario has a higher positive impact on the environment and our wallets, noting that the Growing Smart future reduces annual household costs for gas, auto maintenance and household utility bills by 45% in 2050.

The Vision California project seeks to explore the role of land use and transportation investments in meeting the environmental, fiscal, and public health challenges facing California over the coming decades. One of the major goals of the project is to clearly link land use and infrastructure priorities to the mandated targets set by AB 32, SB 375, and the California Air Resources Board.

A copy of “Changing Our Future” can be found at: