This chapter summarizes the vision, guiding principles and cross cutting themes that were developed throughout the SA Tomorrow planning process and comprise the Vision Framework of the Comprehensive Plan.


Collectively, the Vision Framework provides the direction for all subsequent chapters and sections of this document. The Plan Framework, the Plan Element goals and policies, as well as the specific implementation strategies are intended to position the City of San Antonio, its partners and the larger community to realize the future envisioned throughout this chapter.

The vision for San Antonio in 2040 is based upon the robust foundation provided by SA2020. The original SA2020 vision originated with a series of public forums conducted throughout 2010 to develop goals for improving San Antonio by the year 2020. Thousands of San Antonians participated in the visioning process, which culminated in a detailed report released in 2011 that outlined a bold vision for San Antonio's future.

The vision articulated in SA2020 has been augmented to reflect the community’s vision that has been extended through 2040 and integrates many of the key themes that emerged throughout the Comprehensive Plan process and the larger SA Tomorrow effort. Key additions include the important components of regional centers and corridors, historic and cultural assets and inclusivity. The following summarizes our community’s vision for San Antonio in 2040.

SA Tomorrow is the story of a great American city.

San Antonio is a dynamic city with neighborhoods that are complete with unique places that define their character and celebrate our history. Our corridors unite our residents and our businesses, using cutting-edge multimodal options that connect our neighborhoods to vibrant regional destinations. Our infrastructure supports a healthy and safe lifestyle while making San Antonio an efficient, resilient city. Our economy is the envy of the country, with a thriving and ever expanding business sector. San Antonio maintains an elite status in the country, supporting the military missions that keep our country safe while supporting the vast number of military personnel that call San Antonio home. We nurture our future, with a thriving natural environment as well as quality education and opportunities for all children…they will inherit a truly great and sustainable city.

San Antonio is a diverse and thriving community, with a local government that’s accountable, innovative and responsive.

This is the story of a great American city…SA Tomorrow.

Guiding Principles

The following principles establish a higher-order decision-making framework to guide the growth and evolution of the City of San Antonio for the next 25 years. The guiding principles were developed throughout the Comprehensive Plan process to support the vision and set clear priorities for plan development. The guiding principles articulate the overarching direction for the plan recommendations while also framing a set of criteria for evaluating unanticipated opportunities and potential deviations from the specific direction set in this document. The nine guiding principles include:


Maintain the character and integrity of existing San Antonio neighborhoods, parks, open space and trails by focusing growth in mixed-use regional centers and along attractive multimodal corridors with high performing transit service.


Ensure that all residents living in existing and new neighborhoods have safe and convenient access to jobs, housing, and a variety of amenities and basic services including great parks, strong schools, convenient shopping and nearby regional centers.


Connect safe and stable mixed-income neighborhoods with a system of walkable and bikeable streets, trails and pathways that celebrate and link natural greenways and drainage ways.


Ensure an inclusive San Antonio by providing affordable housing and transportation choices throughout the city.


Encourage a variety of amenity-rich places throughout the city with a balance of live, work and play opportunities.


Conserve, protect and manage San Antonio’s natural, cultural and historic resources and open space.


Encourage and integrate innovative and sustainable ideas and development.


Provide an ongoing planning framework for more detailed and timely planning and design of regional centers, corridors and neighborhoods with continued opportunities for participation and partnerships, prioritization, and performance measurement.


Provide the residents of San Antonio, including youth, seniors, and disabled populations, with enhanced levels of authentic engagement.

Cross Cutting Themes

In order to ensure that the identified strategies of SA Tomorrow are specific to the needs of San Antonio, five cross cutting themes were identified through the Sustainability Plan process that address high priority issues for the community. The cross cutting themes are important to every aspect of the SA Tomorrow Planning efforts, including each of this Plan’s major components and elements.

These priorities create the lens through which potential recommendations in this document were evaluated to ensure that the themes are considered through prioritization, implementation and future re-evaluation.

Our Cross Cutting Themes for SA Tomorrow are: