Council investments and services support regional prosperity
Prosperity is one of five outcomes embedded in the Thrive MSP 2040 regional vision. It’s a simple word that can have different meanings for different people. A new road to move products to market, affordable housing that allows a low-income family to make ends meet, the ability to get to a new job clear across town.
Most of the time building prosperity is connected directly to economic development: the new company locating its headquarters in your city or a new software company hiring workers. But that isn’t the work we do at the Metropolitan Council.
At the Council we don’t do economic development, but we do the work that makes economic development possible.
Our Environmental Services department is one of the absolute best in the nation. With a near perfect operating and compliance record this department keeps the waters of our region clean, so our citizens stay healthy and enjoy a good quality of life. And they provide this service at some of the lowest wastewater treatment rates in the nation, 40% lower than similar-sized systems. That low cost helps attract and retain business and builds prosperity for the region.
By building an efficient, 21st century transit system, we are supporting a region to thrive economically and grow even more. The Green Line alone has spurred over $3 billion in development to date. Our transit investments are supported by the work that our Community Development division is doing with the Livable Communities program, where our targeted investments help leverage billions in private and public sector investment.
You can’t have prosperity if people do not have an affordable place to live. The work we are doing to help communities plan for affordable housing projects and then assist with Livable Communities Act funding is having a dramatic impact on the region.
Finally, you can’t attract world-class talent, or retain it in our region if there is not a good quality of life. Our regional park system is one of the absolute gems of the seven-county metro area. With over 340 miles of trails, 54,000 acres people can experience our state’s natural beauty. It seems fitting that part of our region’s wealth can be found in a park on a beautiful Minnesota day.
By Adam Duininck