Planning for 2050

The Metropolitan Council is listening to people from across the metro region as we collectively envision the future we want. Imagine 2050, the next regional development guide, builds on the principle that together we can tackle challenges that individual communities may not be able to take on alone.

As the seven-county metro region’s long-range plan, Imagine 2050 will include a vision and goals, and will set the policy foundation for land use, housing, transportation, water resources, and regional parks. It will also address critical issues that cross policy areas: climate, equity, natural systems, and public health, safety, and well-being. The guide will shape how this region grows in the next 30 years.

group of people
Imagine 2050 will be informed by the values and desired outcomes articulated in the local comprehensive plans of the communities in the region. It will emphasize the importance of partnerships across all sectors to create a prosperous future for our children and grandchildren.

Upcoming Events

Metropolitan Council staff will be facilitating several workshops to gather local perspectives on water resources (wastewater, water supply, surface water) policy that will be part of Imagine 2050, the region’s development guide.
Find more information and event details

Three people use craft materials to show a neighborhood layout at a table during a community meeting.Regional Economic Framework

Imagine 2050 will also address critical issues that cross policy areas, like climate and the regional economy. Visit our current Regional Economic Framework page, to learn more about the topics. Please consider taking our brief survey to let us know which topics interest you and how you might like to be involved.

Working drafts of regional core vision, values, and goals

These working drafts provide a guiding framework for Imagine 2050 and its system and policy guidance. What do you think? Fill out our brief survey.

Imagine 2050 vision statement

The Met Council endorsed the vision statement for Imagine 2050: “A prosperous, equitable, and resilient region with abundant opportunities for all to live, work, play, and thrive." The statement builds off of the regional values and goals set by the Met Council to guide our policy work. 

Regional core values

Values are core beliefs or principles that guide the work of the Met Council, our expectations of partnerships, and our policy and program development. The Met Council has identified a set of core values that we believe are most important to the issues and opportunities that face the region, now and into the future.

We value the people and communities of our region. Our region is economically and culturally vibrant. We also recognize, however, the harm and disparities that injustices, including racism,  have created.

We are dedicated to creating systems, policies, and programs that repair and heal past harm, foster an equitable future, and eliminate disparities. Communities that have been marginalized in the past will be at the center of this work in leadership roles.

Accountability IconWe value those in our region who inspire and motivate others for positive change. Our region is known for its civic engagement. We need broad and inclusive leadership to help confront the significant challenges we face around equity, climate change, safety, and other pressing issues.

To maximize the potential of our region and its communities, we turn to leadership that is diverse, collaborative, culturally competent, and innovative. We encourage this kind of leadership across all sectors including business, government, non-profit, and education.

We value being effective in our work and achieving measurable outcomes. Our region is known for its research, initiatives, and collaborations. We must be open to criticism and clearly understand when we are not achieving results or have harmed communities.

We recognize that we can maximize our effectiveness by being in partnership with others. We will also be transparent and flexible so that we can change course when needed.

We value our region’s resources. Our resources include our natural, economic, and financial resources as well as our infrastructure. We recognize that these resources may be vulnerable over time to changing conditions, including from climate change.

We must design our systems and allocate our resources in ways that can be sustained over time and support the needs of future generations.

Regional goals

The Met Council has endorsed these goals for our region to achieve through our policies, practices, programs, and partnerships.

Our region is equitable and inclusive

Racial inequities and injustices experienced by historically marginalized communities have been eliminated; and all people feel welcome, included, and empowered.

Our communities are healthy and safe

All our region’s residents live healthy and rewarding lives with a sense of dignity and wellbeing.

Our region is dynamic and resilient

Our region meets the opportunities and challenges faced by our communities and economy including issues of choice, access, and affordability.

We lead on addressing climate change

We have mitigated greenhouse gas emissions and have adapted to ensure our communities and systems are resilient to climate impacts.

We protect and restore natural systems

We protect, integrate, and restore natural systems to protect habitat and ensure a high quality of life for the people of our region.

Imagine 2050 Timeline 

Imagine 2050 timeline

4 people at a table writing down their ideas.Community engagement

We focused on innovative public engagement strategies when creating the current guide, Thrive MSP 2040. We’re expanding those efforts as we develop the Imagine 2050 guide, including engaging groups that have often been overlooked in regional planning efforts, such as young people and new immigrant communities.  

What we've heard

After more than 1,000 conversations with residents, local government input, in-depth analysis, and planning document submissions in response to Thrive MSP 2040, we’re hearing clear priorities around these goals that might appear in conflict with one another. We will continue to dig into these deeper issues to ensure that we address these needs across the region. 

  • Bold action on climate, equity, affordability, water sustainability, and natural systems protection contend with local control, capacity, and resources.  
  • Low-density housing and expanded transportation infrastructure demands are often at odds with addressing climate change and delivering walkable communities and multimodal transportation options. 
  • Desires for locations with cultural belonging and community ties do not always align well with locations with high-quality affordable housing. 
  • Safety is complex and requires understanding multiple perspectives. Top priorities among Transportation Policy Plan government stakeholders may differ with concerns from other stakeholders.  
  • Lack of affordable housing for young, older, and diverse family types can compete with goals to maintain historic character or low-density communities.  
  • Preservation of agricultural land and green space impedes some kinds of housing development. 

Learn more

What’s next

Future engagement efforts and initiatives include reviewing engagement data with technical advisory groups, ongoing local government engagement, new study results across many policy areas, population forecasts engagement, additional regional land use policy cohorts, and “Creatively Imagine 2050,” an art in policy planning project.