Elected officials, City staff, and business and institution leaders have been working for months formulating working groups and committees that make up the structure of the massively complex comprehensive plan for 2040. Now it’s time for the community to play their part – and the City is asking for as much public input as possible.
By the year 2040, 25 years from now, the city’s population is expected to grow by more than 1 million people. SA Tomorrow is a city-led effort to accommodate the future influx of these people.
The comprehensive planning process was initiated last year by Mayor Ivy Taylor and is a three-tiered planning effort – a comprehensive plan, a sustainability plan, and a transportation plan – that aims to guide the city toward sustainable growth.
On April 11, the SA Tomorrow team will host a kick-off event of its public input process at the SAISD Alamo Convocation Center and invites community members to enjoy mini workshops, kids’ activities, family entertainment, door prizes, free helmets, and more.
Mayor Taylor said at a press conference on Wednesday that receiving input from San Antonio residents is a crucial aspect of the planning process.
“We will be hearing from you, our neighbors across San Antonio, families, business owners, and commuters who live, work, and play in our city everyday,” she said. “You’re the ones who know what’s working, what’s not, and you’re the only ones who can help us create an effective plan for the next 25 years.”
She gave an overview of the fundamental issues the plan addresses, which include widespread, relatable topics.
“Everyday we are considering, piecemeal, the very issues that need to be addressed more comprehensively,” Mayor Taylor said. “Questions like: Where are my aging parents going to live? How can I enjoy a night out on the town without having to drive, and what kind of community will my children want to live in when they grow up?”
The comprehensive plan will address how the layout of the city will look in 2040; the Multimodal Transportation Plan will analyze transportation methods to best meet community needs; and the Sustainability Plan will manage economic, environmental, and social resources.
Councilmember Ron Nirenberg (D8) said that as a public official, he wants to take an active role in the future growth of the city – which is to plan for the long-term quality of life for everyone.
“By focusing our growth, we can ensure that everyone’s best interests are accounted for,” he said.
SA Tomorrow will set policies to help preserve our resources socially, economically, and environmentally, he said. It will help develop transit quarters that consider both present and future congestion because “It’s a true collaborative effort.”
Assistant Director of Traffic and Transportation Planning Terry Bellamy leads the coordination with the City of San Antonio’s major transportation partners.
He said he is trying to improve transportation in and around San Antonio by accounting for the time it takes to get from one point to another.
“Having that ability to get on one seat, no stop, makes a world of a difference,” he said. “That’s premium transit.”
He said he is also looking beyond transportation inside of San Antonio, and toward transportation between major Texas cities.
“One of the key things that is taking place in this region is the relationship between us and Austin, all the way up to Dallas, and over to Houston,” he said. “I think commuter rail will continue to be discussed and high speed rail we be discussed (at SA Tomorrow meetings).”
Featured/top image: Mayor Ivy Taylor announced the SA Tomorrow kickoff, which will invite community members to become part of the SA Tomorrow initiative. Photo by Joan Vinson.