Comprehensive Planning

Current Comprehensive Plan

The City embarked 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, built upon past and ongoing planning work, and its result is a set of actionable recommendations to lead toward a more livable, sustainable, and equitable Cambridge. It includes evaluation and recommendations on a broad range of topics areas, which include Housing, Mobility, Economic Development, Community Wellbeing, Urban Form, and Climate & Environment.

Click here to find out more about Envision Cambridge.

Past Comprehensive Plan

The city's past comprehensive plan was 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 across the city.

These documents, taken together, reflected the evolution of the city over the last three centuries, and provided a planning framework into which new projects were inserted with care and with attention to many trade-offs.

The regulatory underpinning for planning 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.