Fall 2022 Citizens Planning Academy

Apply now for our interactive, introductory course designed to lay the foundation for Greenville, SC-area residents to become more informed, effective, and influential participants in local land use planning and policy decision-making.

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Managing Rapid Growth

Smarter Land Planning in Spartanburg

Why is local land use planning important?

Spartanburg County is growing, with more than 60,000 new residents projected by 2040. Rapid change is already underway, as are planning processes to better manage anticipated growth. These planning processes are key opportunities to influence what future change will look like. 

Whether you live or work in Spartanburg County or just care deeply about its future, our Land Planning & Policy team will keep you informed and actively engaged in shaping Spartanburg's future growth. Click here to sign up for our Planning & Growth Updates in Spartanburg County email newsletter.


Current initiatives


With equity as a foundational concept, Plan Spartanburg is poised to be the first equity-focused comprehensive plan in America. A comprehensive plan is a policy document that lays out a community's shared vision and goals for the future — and outlines the necessary steps to achieve them. Upstate Forever is monitoring and weighing in with feedback, and encouraging citizens to do so as well, to help shape a draft comp plan that prioritizes timely, actionable steps to achieve a more equitable community. A newly revised draft Plan Spartanburg is anticipated to be released to the public by summer 2022. 

live healthy Spartanburg policy committee 

Upstate Forever is proud to serve as a member of the Policy Committee for Live Healthy Spartanburg, a collaborative aiming to achieve health equity and improve health outcomes for all Spartanburg residents. As is so often the case, smart land policy plays a critical role in supporting or hindering goals around community health, including equitable access to clean drinking water, healthy air, and safe green spaces. 

Spartanburg County AREA PERFORMANCE planning

Spartanburg County Council adopted a new comprehensive plan — "Forward Together: Building a Better Spartanburg County", a new county-wide Subdivision Ordinance, and Area Performance Zoning (APZ) for the southwestern region of the county in 2019. Adoption of these important planning tools represents a step in the right direction toward more proactive planning for future growth across the county. Now it's time to expand Area Performance Planning (APP) county-wide. 


Past projects


Upstate Forever is actively engaged in the United Way of the Piedmont's (UWP) Opportunity Housing Collaborative. Upstate Forever was a lead sponsor for UWP's 2019 Spartanburg Housing Summit that highlighted Missing Middle Housing as one strategy to help address the need for more affordable housing. 


In late 2019, Upstate Forever and partners hosted renowned walkability advocate Jeff Speck in Spartanburg. Speck is a city planner, urban designer, and the author of Walkable City and, most recently, Walkable City Rules. View the presentation on YouTube.


In 2018-2019 Landrum officials pursue policies to align the town's zoning with Envision Landrum, the town's 2017 comprehensive plan update. 


In October of 2018, Upstate Forever completed our two-year grassroots citizen education and community visioning initiative in Boiling Springs, a rapidly developing bedroom community in unincorporated Spartanburg County. The citizen-led community group Heart of Boiling Springs will continue to lead efforts to ensure the initiative's outcomes inform future Area Performance Planning for the Central Region of Spartanburg County.


Photo via Spartanburg Convention and Visitors Bureau

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