New Comprehensive Plan

The City and County are beginning the process of developing a new Comprehensive Plan to replace the one from 2005. The Plan will guide development in Durham and accommodate future growth with a focus on infrastructure and service delivery planning, implementation steps and costs, and equity and access. The Plan will set a cohesive vision for the community with a plan to provide the necessary infrastructure to support new development.

Engage with the New Comprehensive Plan

The Comprehensive Plan is Durham's statement of how we want to grow and develop. The plan guides where and how private development should occur. It guides how the City and County should provide public facilities and services to support future growth. The plan is long range in scope, focusing on the ultimate needs of the community rather than the pressing concerns of today.

Engage Durham


Comprehensive plans are intended to guide growth and development in an organized, efficient, and sustainable manner. To do so, they look to the future to anticipate trends and issues that could impact how growth and development occur. While many core goals in a comprehensive plan remain unchanged over time - livable neighborhoods, access to jobs, clean and healthy environments - the context changes.

To explore these trends at a national level, in 2013 the Planning Department commissioned a report prepared by masters students enrolled in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Their report and presentation, entitled Forecasting Land Use Issues and Trends strives to provide an overview of several areas that have potential to shift land use policy in the future:

  • Communication Technology
  • Demographics
  • Energy
  • Transportation

This report represents a starting point for discussions about how well-equipped Durham is to benefit from, not merely manage, these emerging trends.

Comprehensive PLAN ELEMENTS

Elements are chapters of the Comprehensive Plan, each containing goals, objectives, and policies for specific plan topics.

  1. Future Land Use Map (PDF) 
  2. Development Tiers (PDF)Remove this file
  3. 1. Introduction and Administration
  4. 2. Land Use
  5. 3. Housing
  6. 4. Community Character
  7. 5. Historic Preservation
  8. 6. Economic Development
  9. 7. Conservation and Environment
  10. 8. Transportation
  11. 9. Water and Wastewater
  12. 10. Parks and Recreation
  13. 11. Schools
  14. 12. Public Safety
  15. 13. Solid Waste
  16. 14. Libraries
  17. 15. Capital Improvements
  18. 16. Intergovernmental Coordination
  19. 17. Appendix A: Existing Conditions (PDF)
  20. 18. Appendix B: Glossary and Acronyms (PDF)
  21. 19. Appendix C: Subsidized Housing Location Policy (PDF)
  22. Credits (PDF)