Zelle: Imagine what we can build together for our region in 2050

Date: Friday, March 22, 2024

Today, Metropolitan Council Chair Charlie Zelle encouraged regional leaders to imagine the possibilities for the Twin Cities region in 2050. The Met Council’s State of the Region event served as a kickoff to a broader regional conversation about Imagine 2050, the next regional development guide for the Twin Cities region.

The regional development guide includes planning for the Twin Cities regional parks, transportation, and water systems, as well as guidance for land use and development, housing, and water supply.

Zelle’s speech, and remarks by other regional leaders, including Met Council Vice Chair Reva Chamblis and new Regional Administrator Ryan O’Connor, highlighted the importance of partnership and collaboration to make the region of the future prosperous, equitable, and resilient, with abundant opportunities for all to live, work, and thrive.

“It’s hard work,” Zelle said. “But I know everyone in this room is up for the challenge. We can’t just imagine. We also have to ‘do.’”

Zelle highlighted regional values guiding the plan, including equity, leadership, accountability, and stewardship. Every 10 years the Met Council creates a regional planning guide that sets goals and criteria for how the Twin Cities will add housing, expand and manage transportation, treat wastewater, manage and steward regional parks and natural resources, and ensure clean water for future generations.

For the past year, the Met Council has been working with communities, cities, and counties to gather their input on the policies for the Imagine 2050 plan. The work will continue throughout 2024, including additional community engagement. The plan will be open for public review and comment later this summer.

The State of the Region event took place at the Hopkins Center for the Arts, just a stone’s throw from the METRO Green Line Extension project, a transformational regional investment. In addition to Chamblis, O’Connor, and the other members of the Metropolitan Council, Zelle was joined by Hopkins Mayor Patrick Hanlon and a panel of regional leaders talking about their expectations for 2050: Ramsey County Commissioner Mary Jo McGuire, Woodbury Mayor Anne Burt, and African American Leadership Forum CEO Adair Mosley. The panel was facilitated by Tane Danger, local speaker and emcee.

Read Zelle's full remarks as prepared for delivery

Video clips from the event

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