Land-use impacts health. Control is local, but no state has a database of local General Plans nor means of comprehensively assessing their contents. This research assembled a database of 461 California city-level General Plans and all 58 county General Plans. Working with California state agencies (the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, Housing and Community Development and Air Resources Board), we have developed a portal (https://critical-data-analysis.org/general-plan-map/) where plans can be queried. This website allows community members, state agencies and planners to rapidly compare across plans, helping to foster transfer of policy and a ‘keeping up with the Jones” attitude in pushing the boundaries of planning.

This landmark state-level database of general plans is the first for California- and nationally. Please reach out if you would like add another state to the database. We are happy to collaborate, and we provide our model in open source code for others that wish to comprehensively assess and compare plan contents using machine learning.

For more, please visit: Hack for California, a community of civically-minded data scientists, social scientists, and researchers at UC Davis exploring how open government data can be both leveraged and critiqued towards understanding issues around social justice and equity in California. While our website is under development, see https://datalab.ucdavis.edu/hack-for-california/ for more information.

Forthcoming publications: We extracted the text of all plans and explored the topical focus of plans using natural language processing techniques.