Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of City and Regional Planning


City and Regional Planning


Mike Boswell


Development over the past sixty years has created patterned growth and expansion outward from city centers, separating residences from commercial areas and employment centers. This separation of land uses has increased automobile dependency, which increases vehicle miles traveled and associated greenhouse gas emissions. California Senate Bill 375 mandates the development and implementation of a “Sustainable Communities Strategy” in order to plan regional land use and transportation in a coordinated fashion. In coordination with this effort, the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments (AMBAG) is developing the Regional Implementation Plan for Smart Growth Development Strategies, which entails the identification of smart growth strategies that offer the greatest potential to reduce vehicle miles traveled and meet the 5% greenhouse gas emissions reduction target for the Monterey Bay Area.

The major goal of this project was to assist AMBAG in determining the political feasibility of smart growth development strategies and identifying the most feasible strategies for the region. Political feasibility was determined by two factors: 1) support from the public/stakeholders, 2) “low-hanging fruit” potential, and one technical criterion: the potential to reduce vehicle miles traveled and the associated greenhouse gas emissions. The Regional Advisory Committee provided ten months of knowledge and expertise on stakeholder opinions v about strategies, barriers, circumstances for gaining stakeholder support, and resources for implementation. Additionally, survey results from planning directors the “low-hanging fruit” strategies. The quantified VMT/GHG reduction potential of smart growth strategies was another evaluation criteria and was used to inventory quantified reduction measures and their ranges of potential.

The analysis identified seventeen strategies that met a set of thresholds for political feasibility. Based on these results, it is recommended that AMBAG consider these strategies in the development of their plan, by addressing the barriers to implementation, the conditions or circumstances for overcoming those barriers and gaining support from stakeholders, and developing the resources to assist jurisdictions with implementation.

Appendix A_RAC_InformationPacket.pdf (2182 kB)
Appendix A: Regional Advisory Committee Information Packet