Metropolitan Transportation Commission

Plan Bay Area

Demystifying the Planning Process


Plan Bay Area is a roadmap for the nine-county Bay Area focused on housing, the economy, transportation, and the environment. It identifies a path to make the Bay Area more equitable for all residents and more resilient in the face of unexpected challenges. Updated every four years by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), it is part of federal and state planning requirements. 


In 2013 and again in 2018, MTC hired Civic Edge to develop and lead community engagement for Plan Bay Area on a regional scale. Outreach and supporting communications focused on explaining the planning process in a welcoming way, clearly identifying the opportunities for public input, and reaching communities historically marginalized and excluded. Project materials focused on creating a sense of unity across all nine Bay Area counties while honoring the unique characteristics of each one.  

Connecting Throughout the Bay Area

Initiatives included working closely with MTC’s Plan Bay Area team to plan and oversee a regional forum on housing affordability and displacement in February 2016. More than 400 attendees, from elected officials to community advocates came to participate and constructively engage conversation. In 2020, our team led all logistics behind hosting 14 digital and telephone town hall events around the Plan Bay Area 2050 Draft Blueprint. The series was held in four languages over three weeks and collected hundreds of comments from more than 300 participants. 

In addition to our team’s work on Plan Bay Area, Civic Edge has supported MTC in a social media assessment and planning effort and supported updates to its Language Assistance Plan. 

By the Numbers

  • 400+ attendees for a regional housing forum in 2016
  • 300+ participants in over 14 digital town halls during Plan Bay Area 2050
  • 55 workshops held across 9 counties for Plan Bay Area 2050
  • 234,000 public comments received during Horizon and Plan Bay Area 2050
  • 921 people participated in “Build a Better Bay Area” online tool created as part of Plan Bay Area 2040
  • 5 focus groups conducted in May 2017 as part of Plan Bay Area 2040

Project Expertise

  • Equity, community, and stakeholder engagement strategy 
  • Multilingual, culturally competent outreach 
  • Collateral and materials development