About Thrive Montgomery 2050

A Unique Opportunity to Shape Your Future.

Why do we need to plan for the future?

Montgomery County is a great place to live, work, and play. But it didn’t happen by accident. We planned for that! The great communities, places, and spaces that keep us calling Montgomery County home — like vibrant parks; quality schools; desirable urban, suburban and rural communities; and the Agricultural Reserve — were all shaped by planners and community members decades ago. They had to make big decisions and plan thoughtfully for the future that is now. The kind of forward thinking, imagination and dedication demonstrated in previous decades has allowed our community to thrive today.

For Montgomery County to continue to thrive — and become an even better place and community for all — we must make those big decisions again and take bold steps for our future and that of generations to come. Thrive Montgomery 2050 is the umbrella under which we can plan and move forward together. It will be our shared vision – a guide to help us secure investment, take action and develop policies to preserve what we love while improving what can be better.

It’s time to update our roadmap for the future. In order to face the challenges ahead, we must have goals and ways to reach those goals with the support of the community. That’s what Thrive Montgomery 2050 is all about.

What does it mean to Thrive?

  • Montgomery County offers something for everyone – vibrant communities–cities, suburbs, and countryside–that residents of all types call home, great parks and community facilities, and so much more.
  • We’re ideally located in the mid-Atlantic between Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD…but we’re a destination in our own right.
  • One of the most diverse counties in the nation, Montgomery County is home to over 1 million people and with nearly 600K people working in Montgomery County’s 32,527 businesses. (Source: MCEDC)
  • 80% of our residents rate the county as a great place to live (Source: National Citizen Survey)
  • We enjoy 421 parks and open spaces, top-rated schools and safe communities.

Thrive Montgomery 2050 isn’t about reinvention – it’s about making sure what is great about Montgomery County continues into the future and about creating solutions to improve what needs to work better. .

Thriving is:

  • Keeping what is good about our county and making the changes needed to achieve  economic health, community equity and environmental resilience for the decades to come.
  • Ensuring that future generations enjoy excellent quality of life and have everything they need to be successful, safe and healthy.
  • Proactively managing change. Not reacting to it. Steering future change to achieve our goals.
  • Being able to overcome the unexpected.

Enhancing the lives of residents, workers and business owners so that they can be successful in the future.

What is a general plan?

A General Plan is a policy document that guides, over multiple decades, how a jurisdiction will develop and change over time; maintain its important assets; and respond to future opportunities and challenges. Unlike a sector plan, master plan or functional plan, a General Plan does not provide specific land use guidance to address short-term issues in targeted geographic areas; it does not change zoning; and it addresses multiple topic areas, rather than just one.  A General Plan is a long-term vision with broad policies that will guide future, more detailed land use planning, public investments in infrastructure and communities amenities, and private development.

Thrive Montgomery 2050 will ultimately result in an update to this General Plan, which informs the shape and character of every neighborhood in Montgomery County, the types of community facilities and amenities that serve residents and businesses, and the ways we travel throughout the county. The General Plan guides policy and decisions for the county in the coming decades. It is continually revised with amendments and through local master plans, sector plans and county-wide functional plans.

Thrive Montgomery 2050 is about the policies and ideas needed to carry our community forward to 2050. It’s the long-term vision of where we want to go and it drives every decision we make, including what types of investments the county government makes.

What is the update process?

Thrive Montgomery 2050 aims to identify and examine the changes that are occurring so that we can plan in a way that shapes the future of our county with a shared vision. That vision will guide us to preserve what we love about Montgomery County while fine-tuning what’s needed to ensure that the county thrives over the next 30+ years: a vibrant economy, equity for all residents, and a healthy environment.

The update process starts with you. We’re asking for your help to envision Montgomery County in 2050. To think about what’s going to be different about the world when you’re 30 years older – and when the kids in your life are your age. To question assumptions so that we can address the evolving nature and impacts of technology, societal shifts and lifestyle and demographic changes on employment, retail, transportation, education, housing, health, infrastructure, culture and recreation, social equity and environmental resilience.  

Together as a community, we’ll plan for the future we want by drawing on lessons of the past as well as current experiences and research on trends to propel us forward.

  • To prepare us to seize opportunities and continue to thrive in the face of future challenges, Thrive Montgomery 2050 must reflect the community’s values and priorities and represent a shared vision of the county. From now through October of 2019, together as a community we’ll imagine what life in Montgomery County can and should be like in 2050 and what we need to put in place to allow us to thrive in the decades to come.
  • Then, along with consultation with county officials, trends data, expert analysis and best practices, staff will develop a draft of the Thrive Montgomery 2050 General Plan Update for community review and feedback beginning January 2020 .”
  • Your insight will inform the plan that goes to the Planning Board in October 2020 and eventually to the County Council in spring 2021.

This process will set the county’s future direction. We can’t do it without you.

Let’s plan our future. Together. For an environment where we flourish. An economy where we prosper. An equitable community where everyone achieves.

Last Updated: December 9, 2019