Comprehensive Planning

The City is embarking on a comprehensive citywide planning process to work with the community to create a shared vision for the future of Cambridge. This effort, Envision Cambridge, will build upon past and ongoing planning work and will result in actionable recommendations toward a more livable, sustainable, and equitable Cambridge. It will include a broad range of topics such as housing, transportation, economic opportunity, urban form, and climate change and the environment.

Click here to find out more about Envision Cambridge.

Current Comprehensive Plan

The city's current comprehensive plan is composed of a set of documents: the Zoning Map and the Zoning Ordinance, the City’s growth policy document, Toward A Sustainable Future, and the major area-wide planning studies that are currently applicable across the city.

These documents, taken together, reflect the evolution of the city over the last three centuries, and provide a planning framework into which new projects must be inserted with care and with attention to many trade-offs. The regulatory underpinning for the plan is the Zoning Ordinance and its map which together define land use constraints and limits on the physical aspects of new development. Zoning in Cambridge has always been a dynamic tool, with many refinements being made year after year, as needs and development opportunities change.

Click here to learn more about the recent history of comprehensive planning in the city.