Healthy and Equitable Communities

Advancing equity and contributing to livability and sustainability

The regional transportation system advances equity and contributes to communities’ livability and sustainability while protecting natural, cultural, and developed environments.

Transportation Policy Plan

Healthy and equitable communities strategies in depth

The region’s long-range transportation plan, the Transportation Policy Plan, lays out six broad aims and a framework for how to achieve them. Healthy and equitable communities and the five other values are detailed in Chapter 2: Transportation Policy Plan Strategies (PDF).


  1. Reduce transportation-related air emissions.
  2. Reduce impacts of transportation construction, operations, and use on the natural, cultural, and developed environments.
  3. Increase the availability and attractiveness of transit, bicycling, and walking to encourage healthy communities using active transportation options.
  4. Provide a transportation system that promotes community cohesion and connectivity for people of all ages and abilities, particularly for historically under-represented populations.

Strategies summarized

  • The plan works toward state and regional goals for greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions by factoring these considerations into the Metropolitan Council’s operations and investment priorities. The plan also starts a dialogue on how all the region’s partners, including local governments, can contribute to these efforts.
  • The plan supports a transportation system that considers the needs of all potential users while promoting the environmental and health benefits of transportation options like carpooling, transit, bicycling, and walking.
  • Investments in the transportation system will protect and enhance the natural, cultural, and developed environments, and will be identified through effective engagement with affected communities.
  • A special emphasis is placed on avoiding, minimizing, and easing impacts of the current and future transportation system on people and the environment, especially disproportionately harmful outcomes for people of color and American Indians, or people who have low incomes.

Health is defined in many ways, including the physical well-being of people, the quality of the environment, or the social capital of an entire community. The air we breathe; the water we drink and play in; the weather we experience; the neighborhood we live in; and the roads, bridges, and buildings in our built environment are all vital to a healthy environment. To achieve that environment, the region must carefully consider and mitigate transportation impacts.

Two people walking on a bridge.

Measuring performance

Performance measures used to measure the transportation-related elements of state of the environment include:

  • Miles traveled via biking and walking
  • Vehicle-miles traveled per person
  • Air emissions from on-road vehicles