Do local development outcomes follow voluntary regional plans? Evidence from sacramento Region's Blueprint Plan

Dustin Allred, Arnab Chakraborty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Sacramento Area Council of Government's (SACOG) 2004 Blueprint plan was a widely celebrated regional process, to better understand the impact of regional planning on local development patterns. The process produced a set of growth principles meant to shape future growth by guiding local land use decisions and regional investment. The authors examine the relationship between the degree to which a neighborhood meets the priorities of Blueprint growth principles and its pre-and post-plan development activity. Overall, they find that development activity has happened in places that do not meet many of the Blueprint principles. Residential development in the Sacramento region is not occurring in neighborhoods that score highly on the composite indicator. Studies document a variety of place specific factors that shape urban growth in addition to the efforts of local planners. These factors include economic conditions, local demand, and public pressure or NIMBYism. In the Sacramento region, the principles most likely to be reflected in local residential development patterns were transportation choices, housing choice and diversity, and use of existing assets. Neighborhoods that scored highly on these measures did get a greater share of residential development after plan implementation. In the Sacramento region, promoting more compact development might be a political liability in many local jurisdictions, but other smart growth measures might be more broadly supported.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-120
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of the American Planning Association
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • growth management
  • plan evaluation
  • regional planning
  • visioning
  • voluntary governance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Urban Studies


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