Regional policy plans

Thrive MSP 2040 is the long-range plan for the Twin Cities region, updated every 10 years. It sets the policy foundations for the systems and policy plans developed by the Council:
Thrive MSP 2040

The Council’s role

The Council plans and makes strategic, efficient public investments to support our region’s high quality of life and economic competitiveness. We work to maximize opportunities for growth and prosperity, and achieve goals that are too big for one community but possible to accomplish as a region. See how Council investments in transit, parks, communities, clean water and housing benefit communities throughout the region.

Major responsibilities

We plan and operate the innovative, efficient transit and wastewater treatment systems that strengthen the region’s economy. We partner with local communities to coordinate their plans with the regional systems, provide assistance in their planning efforts, and offer grants to support their development initiatives. We also award funds for maintaining and expanding our nationally renowned regional parks system, and provide affordable-housing opportunities.



The Council develops the comprehensive development plan for the metro area — Thrive MSP 2040 — to shape the future growth of the region. The Council also:

  • Develops policy plans for regional systems — transportation, aviation, parks and water resources

  • Coordinates plans for regional systems with local land-use plans

  • Offers communities assistance to implement system plan requirements

To ensure coordination and consistency between local and regional plans, the Council offers guidance and technical assistance to local communities through the Local Planning Handbook and Council Sector Representatives.

People in front of bus

The Council operates Metro Transit, the largest transit system in the state, providing bus, light rail and commuter rail services, as well as Metro Mobility and Transit Link services.

The Council also operates the regional wastewater collection and treatment system that serves more than 100 communities and most of the households in the region.

Apt Building

The Council also plans and acquires land for the region's nationally renowned system of regional parks and trails, coordinates affordable housing opportunities for low-income residents, and supports communities in cleaning up polluted sites for redevelopment, expanding affordable housing, and carrying out their development plans through the Livable Communities program.


Council research staff compile and analyze data about the region's demographics, economy, development trends, and Census information.

The Council’s geographic information system (GIS) staff provide data and staff support for MetroGIS, a regional collaborative of local, regional and state governments that promotes sharing of geographic data.

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