Sacramento General Plan Update, Climate Action Plan, and EIR
The Sacramento General Plan, with public review draft released in May 2023, outlines a new path for California’s fastest growing big city – one that is sustainable, equitable, and just. The plan accommodates 70,000 new homes and 80,000 new jobs, in infill, walkable settings linked to light rail transit, with the broader objectives of promoting equity, social justice, and public health. As part of the General Plan effort, Sacramento became the first major California city to commit to eliminating single-family zoning. The plan replaces maximum residential density with minimum density and maximum floor area ratio without any density limits, to foster a greater variety of housing in all neighborhoods. Extensive community engagement has included citywide workshops, outreach to disadvantaged communities, surveys (including a scientific survey on key policy choices), and an Environmental Justice Working Group comprised of local CBOs and other organizations. D&B also updated all community plans, which are now folded into the General Plan, an Age-Friendly Community Action Plan, and a Climate Action and Adaptation Plan.
Environmental Justice Element
Dyett & Bhatia conducted deep exploration of environmental justice topics, developing a “factbook” of baseline conditions and issues in Sacramento for each topic outlined in the Planning for Healthy Communities Act (SB1000). The EJ Element was developed in collaboration with an EJ Working Group comprised of local CBOs and seeks to promote community health, quality of life, and access to opportunity.
Urban Heat Vulnerability Assessment & Planning
D&B partnered with NASA to quantify and map urban heat to support urban planning initiatives in the city. The study assessed urban heat at the neighborhood scale, identified priority areas for cooling interventions, and assessed heat risk using satellite imagery products. The current magnitude of urban heat island and existing hotspots were identified, and future temperatures were modeled to assess future baseline conditions under climate change, particularly areas where high heat exposure and vulnerability overlap. Natural Capital Project’s InVEST Urban Cooling Model was used to outline intervention strategies, with implementation linked to capital improvement programs and zoning.
Climate Action and Adaptation Plan
D&B prepared a Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment, an in-depth report that analyzed broad climatic trends and local climate change impacts, characterized the risks and vulnerabilities that exist in the city, and assessed the city’s existing adaptive capacity. This report layers on more recent data and updated scientific understanding and guidance beyond Cal-Adapt to prioritize the city’s adaptation strategy.