How We Will Grow

How many people will live in San Diego County in 2050? What will this population look like?  Will there be enough jobs and housing to support it? Where should new housing and employment areas be built? The answers to these questions set the stage for the preparation of San Diego Forward: The 2021 Regional Plan.  

For decades, our picture of the future has been one of growing residential communities surrounding the city center. Since the turn of the century, that vision has changed. In 2004, our local governments, working as regional partners through SANDAG, set a new course for our future with the Regional Comprehensive Plan – calling for more focused communities centers where people could live, work, and play. The new picture of the future called for connecting those neighborhood centers with real transportation choices, giving people the option to walk, bike, or take transit in addition to driving a car.

Since then, the County of San Diego and many of the region’s 18 cities have rewritten their long-range plans to match that new course, changing their vision of the future.

Every four years, SANDAG studies those long range plans and many other factors to compile a Regional Growth Forecast, which projects population, housing, and job growth decades into the future. Looking out to 2050, the most recent Regional Growth Forecast serves as the foundation for San Diego Forward.

The Regional Growth Forecast tells us more than just how many people our region will need to support – it tells us about those people, and how their needs and desires may change over time. 

The latest forecast reflects a changing growth pattern. Rather than growing “out” as we have in the past, more compact communities are envisioned, to provide housing, jobs, and services closer to one another, and give residents more choices about where to live and how to get around. At the same time, the forecast anticipates an increase in land preserved as open space.

San Diego Forward: The 2021 Regional Plan guides us toward more sustainable growth and plans a transportation system with real choice that are woven into our communities.

Regional Growth Forecast Website