The City of Madison has a long tradition of community planning. The Planning Division continues this work by creating and implementing plans that guide private development and public investment and help to inform decisions made by city boards and commissions during the development review and approval process.

It all starts with the Comprehensive Plan. This plan establishes urban development strategies and policies to guide future growth and development in the community. The plan assesses existing conditions and trends, provides recommendations for the use and development of land, the extension and improvement of transportation services and infrastructure, the development of community facilities, the expansion of the City's economic base, the provision of housing, and the protection of natural resources.

Making a MosaicThe Comprehensive Plan is a long-range plan with broad recommendations for future land use and development. To enhance the Comprehensive Plan and provide further guidance to proposed land use changes, the Planning Division creates City-Wide Plans, Neighborhood Plans, Neighborhood Development Plans, Preservation Plans/Historic Districts and Special Area Plans that provide more detailed analysis of special topics or areas. These plans provide more pointed recommendations that result in the partnerships, regulatory tools and investments needed to implement the community's desired vision of sustainable growth. This structure allows the Comprehensive Plan to be a living document with  a degree of flexibility and responsiveness to emerging trends, demographic shifts, disruptive technologies, environmental conditions, new policy initiatives, development opportunities and the like. The land use and design recommendations of these area plans will remain consistent with the Comprehensive plan, but provide more detailed guidance to developers, neighborhoods, City agencies and policy makers.

Last Updated: 02/01/2018