path for a sustainable future

Achieving Our Vision

The Sustainable Development Plan is only the beginning. Onondaga County is committed to actions that will contribute to the social, environmental, and economic sustainability of our community.

Planning for a sustainable future requires a clear set of policies and actions to coordinate decisions and outline a path towards implementing the vision of our community. The Character Areas and Action Plan are the result of information gathered throughout this planning effort and are represented by a comprehensive series of recommended policies and practices at multiple geographic and institutional scales. These and many other actions, large and small, are necessary to implement the County’s shared vision.

Character Areas

Character Areas delineate areas of common identity and qualities and provide guidance on issues relevant to each area, such as revitalizing Main Street or protecting farmland. These delineations recognize that each area is inherently different and will thus require its own mix of goals and strategies to preserve and enhance those qualities that make it great. The guidance provided as part of each Character Area is meant to inform readers of emerging concepts for sustainable communities and provide conceptual guidance on how each area can embrace these concepts and plan for a sustainable future.

The Character Areas page provides more information on the ten Character Areas identified in Onondaga County as part of the Sustainable Development Plan.

Action Plan

The Action Plan is the implementation guidance for the Sustainable Development Plan and is derived from the extensive public and stakeholder outreach process, trends and best practices research and the Element Reports. The Action Plan ties together the broad ideas discussed throughout the plan with specific and targeted activities for implementation at multiple geographic and institutional scales. While comprehensive and representing significant first steps towards a sustainable future, the Action Plan by no means exhaustive of the opportunities to improve the County’s quality of life.


The Action Plan policies and practices were grouped into eight Policy Areas. For each Policy Area, a policy statement and theme were developed and a series of projects and practices were identified. The Action Plan page provides more information on the recommended policies and practices developed as part of the Sustainable Development Plan.

Next Steps

The Sustainable Development Plan includes recommended policies and practices designed to assist decision making in Onondaga County over the next several years. Together, the many individual components of the Plan are meant to guide the overall direction of activity, development and investment within the County, while also providing guidance to local municipalities and informing and educating the general public.

The Plan is designed to be a living document and evolving process that will adapt to new knowledge and conditions. The Sustainable Development Plan will continue to be a user-friendly resource for County officials and staff, local communities, citizens and other involved community stakeholders.

To be kept informed on projects and progress, learn about upcoming public meetings, sign up for e-news updates and use the resources from this planning effort, please visit future.ongov.net frequently.

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