Imagining a resilient future for the metro region

Date: Thursday, November 30, 2023

Three people use craft materials to show a neighborhood layout at a table during a community meeting.The Metropolitan Council is listening to people from across the metro region as we collectively envision the future we want in 2050. For the last couple of years, we’ve engaged with government, nonprofit, and private sector partners, as well as youth, new Minnesotans, advocates, people from communities that have historically been excluded from public policy discussions, and people who use our services.

To date we’ve heard from more than 1,000 people. These voices are helping to shape Imagine 2050, our next regional development guide. This long-range plan for the seven-county metro area includes a vision and shared regional goals, and sets the policy foundation for land use, housing, and the transportation, water resources, and regional parks systems in the region. It will shape how this region grows in the next 30 years.

“We are aiming to further integrate our policies in a way that recognizes how people live their lives, for example, the direct connection between housing and transportation, between land use and water quality,” said Lisa Barajas, director of the Met Council’s Community Development division. “We are engaging people to build the future together.”

Equity, healthy communities are among our regional goals

Young people converse with each other at a community meeting.So far, Met Council members have endorsed the regional core values — equity, leadership, accountability, and stewardship—that undergird the plan, as well as five regional goals:

  • Our region is equitable and inclusive
  • Our communities are healthy and safe
  • Our region is dynamic and resilient
  • We lead on addressing climate change
  • We protect and restore natural systems

In the next few months, Met Council members expect to endorse a regional vision for 2050.

Concurrent with the development of the values, goals, and vision, the Met Council is also working on developing draft objectives for land use, housing, and the regional transportation, water resources, and parks systems. For example, policy and planning staff in Environmental Services conducted research on several key water issues to ensure that 2050 policies are responsive to current and future challenges. Throughout their work, staff have had robust engagement with local governments and other water professionals to discuss the issues and create draft water resources policies.

A variety of activities and further engagement will continue as the Met Council develops objectives, strategies, actions, and draft policies for the development guide. For example:

  • New topic-based focus groups for local governments
  • Further consultation with topic-based technical advisory groups
  • New research findings on water values, transportation needs, history and culture in parks, and developers’ perspectives on housing issues
  • Engagement around the forthcoming local population forecasts
  • Public arts activities to help creatively imagine 2050

State law requires the Met Council to create a new regional development guide for the seven-county metro area every 10 years, following the decennial census. Imagine 2050 will be adopted by early 2025.

Imagine 2050

Posted In: Planning

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