Thrive Montgomery 2050

Thrive 2050 Community Survey

Latest Updates on Thrive Montgomery 2050

On Oct. 25, 2022, the Montgomery County Council voted unanimously on a resolution to approve Thrive Montgomery 2050. For 18 months, Councilmembers have been working with staff and listening to suggestions from residents across Montgomery County to develop a general plan for the County’s future. The Council’s revised version of the Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) Committee Draft of Thrive Montgomery 2050 contains the text and supporting maps for a comprehensive amendment to Montgomery County’s current General Plan (On Wedges and Corridors).

Thrive Montgomery 2050 promotes housing for all residents by supporting a diversity of housing types to meet the unique needs of residents; supports the strengthening of tenant protections to ensure healthy and fair housing; and supports the creation of neighborhood stabilization strategies for communities of color. The plan also highlights the need for strategies and partnerships to address the digital divide and bring network resources to vulnerable communities. Thrive Montgomery 2050 is a foundational document that provides comprehensive information and tools for implementation of the plan’s recommendations.

In the resources section of this website, residents can view both the  Thrive Montgomery 2050 Resolution, which shows Council amendments to the PHED Committee Draft of Thrive Montgomery 2050, and the approved Council Draft of Thrive Montgomery 2050, which is a reader-friendly Council Draft of Thrive Montgomery 2050 based on the posted resolution. The final adopted draft of Thrive Montgomery 2050 will be available at a later date.

The Montgomery County Council is currently reviewing the Thrive Montgomery 2050 Draft Plan. Following the guidance of the Office of Legislative Oversight (OLO), the Council has begun a comprehensive racial equity and social justice review of the Plan. The Council has engaged the support of Nspiregreen and Public Engagement Associates, a team of consultants who bring extensive planning and public engagement experience, to develop a racial equity and social justice review of the policies and practices recommended in the Plan. The goal of this work is to ensure that historically disadvantaged and vulnerable social groups are accurately and carefully represented in the Plan recommendations.

What is Thrive Montgomery 2050?

Thrive Montgomery 2050 is a framework to guide land use planning for housing, economic development, equity, transportation, environmental sustainability and more for the next three decades in Montgomery County. A comprehensive description of the draft plan is available at the Montgomery Planning Department’s Thrive Montgomery 2050 website.

The broader purpose of Thrive Montgomery 2050 is to guide the development of our communities in the face of change—it will help the County respond to the economic, social and environmental opportunities and challenges that we face today and issues that will emerge over the coming decades.

County Council Review of Thrive Montgomery 2050

On Sept. 8, 2022, the consultants completed the Thrive 2050 Racial Equity and Social Justice Review with Appendices. The Council received a briefing on the public engagement portion of the report at their worksession on Sept. 13.

On Sept. 20, the consultant team will continue its briefing on the report focusing on recommendations and the draft chapter on racial equity and social justice issues.

The Council is expected to review the entire PHED Committee Draft of Thrive 2050, including new chapters on racial equity and social justice, the environment and economic development following the tentative schedule below.

Session Topic for Review Watch the Meeting
Sept. 13 Presentation to the Council on the report Session Video
Sept. 20 Additional time for presentation to the Council on the report Session Video
Sept. 22 Review of Introduction and chapters on Economic Development, Environment, and Racial Equity and Social Justice Session Video
Oct. 4 Morning session: Review of chapters on Compact Communities, Corridor Growth, Design, and Transportation Session Video
  Afternoon session: Review of chapters on Housing, Parks, and Conclusion (including additional sections on implementation) Session Video
Oct. 11 Review of all Council changes to the PHED Committee Draft in order to post the draft resolution Session Video
Oct. 25 Action to adopt resolution indicating all Council changes to the PHED Committee Draft Plan

Next Steps on Thrive 2050

There are seven Council sessions currently scheduled between Sept. 13 and Oct. 18, 2022, during which time Council review and discussion of the Plan is expected to take place. In an election year the Council cannot adopt a master plan nor make any zoning changes after October 31 and a vote to adopt Thrive Montgomery 2050 is expected to occur no later than October 25, 2022.


Presentation to the Council on Sept. 13, 2022
Photo: Consultants from Nspiregreen and Public Engagement Associates provide a briefing to the Council on Sept. 13, 2022.


Thrive 2050 Community Survey

The Thrive 2050 community survey was open for feedback from Jul. 19 to Aug. 19, 2022. Nspiregreen conducted the survey to connect with community leaders, individuals and groups for additional input in the development of the Plan.

The survey results will be used to inform a racial equity and social justice review of Thrive 2050 and the development of a new racial equity and social justice chapter for the plan. Please read the information below for additional details and background on the Plan.

Racial Equity and Social Justice Community Forum

The Thrive 2050 Racial Equity and Social Justice Community Forum was held on Tuesday, Aug. 16 at 6:30 p.m. During the forum, Nspiregreen gathered community input to better understand how past land use policies have impacted vulnerable and historically marginalized communities in Montgomery County to help provide recommendations on how future policies and planning efforts can be more just and equitable.

The purpose of the forum was to provide a clear understanding of how Thrive 2050 will impact Montgomery County communities in the future, address the Plan's racial equity and social justice impact on our communities, provide input for more accessible and affordable housing in the decades to come, hear about how transit can better serve the County, and help identify opportunities for equitable economic growth and prosperity for all Montgomery County residents.

Feedback from this and other engagement activities will help assess the strengths and weaknesses of the current planning process and develop new recommendations on how to improve Thrive 2050, centering on issues of racial equity and social justice to influence future land use, transportation, social and economic decisions.

Recent Activities

The Council’s Planning, Housing, and Economic Development (PHED) Committee completed its review of Thrive Montgomery 2050 on Oct. 25, 2021, incorporating its recommended changes into a PHED Committee Draft Plan. The PHED Committee’s draft is the basis for full Council’s current review and discussion of the Plan.

Before beginning its work, the Council held two listening sessions with close to 150 speakers in Nov. and Dec. of 2021. In addition, the five Regional Service Center Advisory Boards (CABs) hosted discussions about Thrive at their January 2022 meetings.

View the PHED Committee’s Thrive Montgomery 2050 Draft Plan and the staff summary .

In Feb. 2022, the full Council held its first meeting to discuss the draft Plan. The focus of the meeting was on the results of a memorandum from OLO providing a racial equity and social justice review of the Draft Plan. The OLO analysis was completed at the requested of the Council President.

The OLO memorandum recommends a chapter-by-chapter, in-depth review of the policies and practices recommended in the Plan using best practices for developing racially and socially equitable policies, as well as inclusion of a new chapter that describes the historical and current drivers of racial and social inequities in land use, housing and transportation.

In response to the OLO memorandum, the Council approved the hiring of a consultant to solicit input from under-represented communities on the policies and practices recommended in the PHED Committee Draft of Thrive Montgomery 2050. In March 2022, two solicitations were released for consultant assistance following County requirements.

After careful consideration of the responses, Nspiregreen, working with Public Engagement Associates, were selected to lead this effort. At a meeting held on June 21, 2022, the team from Nspiregreen provided a briefing to the Council and responded to questions. A recording of the briefing is available on the Council’s YouTube channel.

Learn More

Regional Service Center Citizen Advisory Boards Discussion

To get additional, diverse input on the Thrive Montgomery 2050 Plan, the Council requested that the County’s five Citizen Advisory Boards (CABs) host their members and communities for a discussion of the Plan. These meetings were held during the month of January 2022.

For more information on meeting specifics, please see the Regional Service Center websites and their corresponding meeting dates that includes discussion on the Plan:

Community listening sessions 

The Montgomery County Council held two community listening sessions to hear from residents about Thrive Montgomery 2050. The first was held on Nov. 30, 2021. The recording may be viewed on YouTube and Facebook.

The Council also held another community listening session on Dec. 14 to accommodate the sizable number of residents who pre-registered to testify. The recording can be viewed on  Youtube and  Facebook

The Council encouraged both those who had not heard of the plan before and those who had been following the plan closely to attend.

Community listening sessions are an opportunity for the Council to hear directly from residents. These two listening sessions focused on receiving feedback on the overarching goals of Thrive Montgomery 2050 and recent updates made by the Council’s PHED Committee.

Each session for Thrive 2050 was conducted in the format of a two-hour hearing held on Zoom with room for 60 speakers. Each speaker was provided with up to two minutes to speak. 

Prior to the session, we asked speakers to consider the following topics: 

  • What types of housing would you like to see developed in your community or neighborhood over the next 20-30 years?  
  • What types of improvements in the transit, bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure would you like to see in the next 20-30 years? 
  • What kinds of improvements would you like to see in the County to ensure protection of the environment and greater access to open space and parks? 
  • If the Council adopts this Plan, how do you believe it will impact your life in the County over the next 20-30 years? 
  • How do you feel the plan does or does not address the issues that you feel are important to you or your community? 

Where can I learn more?

The Council’s PHED Committee held a series of meetings to review each chapter of the Planning Board’s Thrive Montgomery 2050 Draft Plan. The staff reports, video recordings and topics of discussion for each meeting can be found below: