The effort will be spearheaded by the cabinet-level Strategic Growth Council and the California High Speed Rail Authority.
"The official action is modest, a $2.5 million contract to devise a set of detailed growth scenarios for California, from classic suburban sprawl to compact development focused on older cities. The goal is to produce a single 'preferred scenario' - one that conceivably could be used to prod local governments to accept or reject new construction.
This sort of top-down planning would alter politics in California, where cities and counties for decades have deflected any initiatives that might crimp their autonomy. The difference now: legislative efforts to reduce the state's carbon emission levels, and voter support of a high-speed rail system that could put now-distant portions of the Central Valley within commuting distance of Los Angeles and San Francisco."