Planning Board Approves Scope of Work for Thrive Montgomery 2050

May 30, 2019

thrive montgomery 2050 animation

Update of 1964 General Plan will focus on economic health, community equity and environmental resilience over the next 30 years

SILVER SPRING, MD –The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), received approval from the Montgomery County Planning Board on Thursday, May 30, 2019 on the scope of work for Thrive Montgomery 2050 to update the county’s General Plan for the future. The General Plan is Montgomery County’s long-range policy framework for guiding land use and growth. Montgomery County’s existing General Plan was last comprehensively updated in the 1960s.

View the Thrive Montgomery 2050 Scope of Work.

The Planning Board’s approval of the scope of work will be followed in June by Thrive Week, the public kickoff of Thrive Montgomery 2050, which will take place between June 26 and 30.

“We’ve been preparing for Thrive Montgomery 2050 for several months and are excited to launch what will be one of our most significant and far-reaching efforts to address the future of Montgomery County,” says Planning Director Gwen Wright. “There have been tremendous changes in the county since the 1960s, and these shifts in demographics, technology, the environment, transportation, housing and more will continue. We need to anticipate these changes and set priorities with the community, so we can create the future we want. Thrive Montgomery 2050 is an important effort that will influence the quality of life in the county for generations to come.”

Learn more about Thrive Montgomery 2050 at

Background on Thrive Montgomery 2050

Montgomery County has grown over the past 50 years from a bedroom community to a major employment center with a diverse population of more than one million people. Technological, social, environmental and economic changes require the county to keep pace with these advancements while setting a course for its future.

Recognizing these changes and more to come, Montgomery Planning has launched Thrive Montgomery 2050. The result will be a living and breathing General Plan, developed with community input, that guides future planning and decision-making, and helps secure resources to ensure that Montgomery County can be a vibrant, welcoming and economically healthy place where all can thrive over the next 30 years.

This effort will be launched through Thrive Week, a series of five community events between June 26 and June 30, each held in a different location within the county. Community members will share their ideas about the future of Montgomery County, and these concepts will be recorded in words and pictures by a graphic artist. Feedback from Thrive Montgomery 2050 community events will help inform the update to the General Plan.

Strategic Framework of Thrive Montgomery 2050

Three themes will serve the organizing framework for updating the General Plan:

Economic health means that Montgomery County has a strong and competitive economy with a variety of businesses and well-paying jobs.

Community equity means the county is a place where all residents have equal access to affordable housing, healthy food options, parks, services, employment, education and transportation.

Environmental resilience means the county is prepared to combat climate change and protect built and natural resources so future generations can enjoy them.

Thrive Montgomery 2050 Plan Development Timeline

Thrive Montgomery 2050 will take place between June 2019 and March 2021 to produce an updated draft General Plan for County Council review and approval. The plan development process will include the following steps:

Visioning (June-October 2019): Project kickoff with Thrive Week and initial community outreach and engagement will take place. Community feedback, through in-person events and online tools, from this phase will be used to develop a 30-year vision for the county as well as inform the development of draft General Plan policies during subsequent phases.

Analysis (June-December 2019): This phase, which will overlap with the Visioning phase, will include in-depth analyses, including special studies, of major issues and trends affecting the county’s future along with an assessment of possible policy options. Community outreach will continue during this phase.

Draft Plan Development (January-September 2020): Findings of trend analyses and studies will be shared with the public along with additional outreach. Montgomery Planning staff will develop draft General Plan policies and produce the Working Draft of Thrive Montgomery 2050 for Planning Board review.

Planning Board Review and Transmittal (October 2020-March 2021): The Working Draft General Plan will presented to the Planning Board for review and approval and available for public comment. The Planning Board will hold a public hearing and work sessions to refine the plan. The approved Planning Board Draft of Thrive Montgomery 2050 will be transmitted to the County Executive and County Council.

Council Review and Approval – April 2021 and beyond: The County Council will hold a public hearing and work sessions to refine the plan. After Council approval, the Thrive Montgomery 2050 plan will be submitted to the Planning Board and Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission for adoption.