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Thrive Montgomery 2050

A vibrant economy, equity for all residents, and a healthy environment through 2050 and beyond 

Thrive Montgomery 2050 guides the future of Montgomery County as we come together to realize an equitable vision that works for all of us. As the long-awaited first comprehensive update to the county’s General Plan in nearly 60 years, Thrive builds on what works in Montgomery County—and reimagines what doesn’t.  

This data-driven and community-informed plan emphasizes critical issues, including racial equity and social justice, diverse pedestrian needs, and climate concerns that weren’t the main considerations of land use planning when the General Plan was adopted in 1964 but are now integral to our community and our priorities.  

Today, this updated plan will help realize lasting positive change for the Montgomery County of today and tomorrow by envisioning a clear path forward to increase accessible housing, improve transit, and strengthen the economy in equitable, sustainable ways. With this framework, we can realize a Montgomery County centered on accessible, mixed-use corridors connecting residents, employees, and visitors to each other and to the region.  

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Key Recommendations

  • Focus on growth in downtowns, activity centers, and along major corridors—with amenities serving existing and new residents while preserving our open spaces. 
  • Prioritize racial equity and social justice– throughout the county and make all areas of the county equally diverse with equal access to affordable housing, economic opportunities, better education, transit, and other public and private amenities.  
  • Increase the County’s economic competitiveness— by providing the kind of infrastructure, services, and amenities that can strengthen our ability to compete effectively in the future.  
  • Emphasize walking, biking, and transit—to reduce car traffic, minimize emissions, and keep everyone safer in their travels. 
  • Embed social connections and public health into our land use planning— to create places that encourage and make it easier for people to meet others and engage in activities. 
  • Enhance public and private spaces alike with arts and culture—because quality of place is integral to quality of life, as well as shared economic health. 
  • Target place-based environmental sustainability and resilience—so growth happens in already-developed areas and the Agricultural Reserve and parkland remain protected for future generations. 
  • Build more housing to better match housing supply with demand— to ensure our residents can be housed in appropriate-for-them homes at reasonable price points.

Thrive Montgomery 2050 Outcomes

Racial equity and social justice

A place where all residents have equal access to affordable housing, healthy foods, employment, education, and more.

Environmental Resilience

A environment that preserves both natural and built resources and uses the best strategies available to fight climate change and mitigate the impacts of development.

Economic competitiveness

A vibrant, strong, and competitive economy that supports large and small businesses and business innovation and that attracts and retains a high-quality, diverse workforce.

Frequently Asked Questions

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The General Plan and Process

Thrive Montgomery 2050 is the long-awaited update to our county’s General Plan—the policy document that envisions what the future of Montgomery County could look like when we come together to realize an equitable vision that works for all of us. This planning process began formally in June 2019. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Montgomery Planning staff persisted in our community engagement, moving presentations, work sessions, and public hearings online and ensuring that the full breadth of Montgomery County’s diverse populations were meaningfully represented in outreach and feedback efforts. 

The resulting plan is a long-range guide for the development of our county. In Maryland, every jurisdiction must legally adopt some form of comprehensive, 30-year plan of this nature to provide broad guidance for land use decisions as we face multiple, unpredictable future opportunities and challenges that influence growth and development, from disruptions like pandemics to innovations such as autonomous vehicles. Going forward, Thrive will be the defining framework through which other plans and development in Montgomery County will arise, and it provides consistent directions for decisions about land use, transportation, and related issues under local government influence. 

Ultimately, Thrive Montgomery 2050 offers a blueprint for new approaches that are needed immediately and will extend over a period of decades. These strategies aim to accommodate growth in ways that make room for new residents and improve the quality of life for the people who already live here. The plan anticipates a county that will become more urban, more diverse, and more interconnected. It guides us to leverage growth and redevelopment to create places that are more economically competitive, foster a stronger sense of trust and inclusiveness among people from different backgrounds, and improve environmental quality and public health in the process. 


Thrive Montgomery 2050 wins a Maryland Department of Planning Sustainable Growth Award for Sustainable Communities

Montgomery Planning receives state recognition for outstanding achievement in advancing the state’s…

Thrive Montgomery 2050 approved by the Montgomery County Council

County’s new General Plan prioritizes racial equity and social justice, economic health,…

Montgomery Planning wins two awards from the American Planning Association National Capital Area Chapter for Thrive Montgomery 2050 equitable engagement efforts and for Planning Director Gwen Wright’s Leadership in Planning

Wheaton, MD – Montgomery Planning, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and…