About Thrive Montgomery 2050

A Unique Opportunity to Shape Your Future.

What is Thrive Montgomery 2050?

Thrive Montgomery 2050 is the update to Montgomery County’s General Plan, its long-range policy framework for guiding future land use and growth for the next 30 years. Thrive Montgomery 2050 will help guide future land use planning; countywide policies and future initiatives affecting community quality of life; the provision of infrastructure and community amenities; and private development. Montgomery County’s vibrant parks, quality schools, desirable urban, suburban and rural communities and the Agricultural Reserve were shaped by planners and community members decades ago through the 1964 General Plan. 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 the future. Thrive Montgomery 2050 is 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.

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.

Last Updated: July 10, 2020