Open Space


Open Space & The Quality of Life

The concept of sustainability includes “Improving the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of supporting ecosystems.[1]” As our region grows and urbanizes, we are modifying the natural world and diminishing the availability of resources for future generations. While we continue to improve our quality of life, we must also create a sustainable framework for the future. Conserving open space creates sustainable communities by preserving and increasing ecosystem productivity, improving wildlife habitats, and making greenspace more easily accessible.

SCAG has begun a strategic planning process to determine critical components and implementation steps for open space resources in our region. The program will build on existing work currently being done at the local level and be based on recent, scientific data and methodologies. This work will guide the development of policies and actions for consideration in future plans, such as a recommendation for a regional mitigation policy for the 2016 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP/SCS). With every adoption of the RTP, SCAG is helping to create transportation infrastructure that improves mobility, accessibility, safety and connectivity. At the same time, infrastructure planning must consider and incorporate actions that will protect the environment and make efficient use of our natural resources.

From IUCN, UNEP, WWF (1991): Caring for the Earth. A Strategy for Sustainable Living. Gland, Switzerland.

Green Infrastructure & Its Benefits Banner Image

Green Infrastructure & Its Benefits

Green infrastructure is the interconnected network of open spaces, such as farmland, natural areas, parks, urban forests, and other greenways that provides life-sustaining natural processes and links the urban environment to the natural world.

Two people sitting on a bench

Strategic Planning Process

SCAG is developing a strategy for addressing regional open space conservation. SCAG will engage partner agencies and other stakeholders to determine the critical elements needed for crafting a successful program.



Mitigation strategies can be tailored to meet open space conservation needs and constraints such as advance mitigation planning, habitat banking, transfer of development rights, or easements.



Find maps of open space resources here