THRIVE 2040: What the Twin Cities will look like in 30 years - KMSP-TV

What the Twin Cities will look like in 30 years

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MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

The Metropolitan Council is looking into the future, and what it sees is a Twin Cities region vastly different from what we are today.

Every 10 years the Met Council creates a new master plan for the Twin Cities based upon growth projections. The new 30-year plan, just adopted by the Met Council, offers some eye-popping projections, and some sobering challenges.

THRIVE 2040

The Thrive 2040 planning report reveals a region staged for significant economic growth.

- The population will jump by 824,000 people.

- The region is expected to add 550,000 jobs (an increase of 34 percent).

“We’re a hard working region, we’re blessed with many Fortune 500 companies with headquarters here,” Met Council chairwoman Susan Haigh said. “We’ve rebounded well in this economy, there’s a lot of opportunity for more work, more jobs and a great livable community.”

FUTURE CHALLENGES

But the Thrive 2040 plan also highlights critical challenges:

- A transportation network that is quickly running out of funding.

- Groundwater aquifers that are draining too fast.

- A population mix that is dramatically changing. By 2040, 40-percent of our citizens will be people of color. If the Twin Cities can eliminate racial disparities, the report projects 171,000 more people with a high school diploma and 274,000 fewer people in poverty.

“We have to get these people into the economic mainstream and insure they become contributing citizens and incorporate them into our social networks where opportunity is truly found,” Summit Academy CEO Louis King said.

THE CRITICISM

During the public comment period the city of Greenfield said “the resulting report seems to be a one-size-fits-all solution.”

The city of Bloomington said “Thrive lacks focus,” and added the “serious disconnect between regional transportation needs and available resources is the single largest threat to our region.”

Chairwoman Haigh says the details will follow.

“This plan is really supposed to set the framework and the broad strategies for our region for our growth,” Haigh said. “We then will get very detailed plans in transportation and parks and housing that will set even more clear specific goals.”

In fact, the Met Council is in the process now of writing its transportation policy plan. That sets the specific road and transit agenda for the next 4 years.

They’ll finish that plan in December, which is critical timing to get it in front of the 2015 Legislature.

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