Residents of San Francisco and Los Angeles like to feel superior to supposedly unsophisticated Sacramento. Yet, Sacramento appears to be ahead of the hip coastal areas when it comes to actually implementing smart growth.
The metropolitan planning organization in Sacramento, like MPOs elsewhere, has adopted a regional growth blueprint. "Such regional visions aren't hard to create, but they're almost impossible to implement," writes Bill Fulton. "That's because the local elected officials have to go back home and actually make decisions to increase densities and move development around in a way that the locals – constituents and developers – might not like."
In Sacramento, however, the association of governments has maintained the pressure on local officials to approve projects consistent with the blueprint. The organization does this in part by endorsing what might be called "infill greenfield" development that is, in the organization's opinion, better than subdivisions on the distant fringe.
Thanks to Paul Shigley