Livable city

If the Sacramento Area Council of Governments’ “Blueprint” for Sacramento proves anything, it’s that endless sprawl is not inevitable, that continuous development spreading along our highway corridors can be contained if local governments create incentives that encourage alternative approaches.

The recent release of the Draft Sacramento 2030 General Plan serves as more such proof. The bold new draft builds on the Sustainability Master Plan approved by the city council last December and, of course, lines up with the all-important regional Blueprint. It’s also heartening to see this movement growing beyond our region. Sen. Darrell Steinberg’s recently brokered deal on Senate Bill 375, a statewide anti-sprawl measure, represents the most significant example yet of Sacramento’s leading role in inspiring reform on land-use planning issues.

High fuel prices have helped turn the tide. California’s Transportation Department is offering grants to help other regions create blueprints like the one started here. At the federal level, the Center for Clean Air Policy is lobbying to include Blueprint methods in its national transportation bill.

Though plenty of significant challenges remain, particularly finding funds to reach many of the goals, the movement towards sustainable models now seems irreversible, led in part by policies crafted right here in Sacramento.