2040 plan for metro: Big growth, water and travel challenges

Author:
Updated:
Original:

The Metropolitan Council on Wednesday approved a 30-year plan that anticipates a vastly different future for the Twin Cities, with a much larger, more diverse population facing significant transportation and water challenges, among others.

The "Thrive MSP 2040" plan projects a huge population spike – the addition of 824,000 residents, 29 percent growth from 2010.

The plan also forecasts the addition of 550,000 new jobs, a 34 percent increase.

Among the problems that metro-area leaders face: inadequate transportation funding and draining groundwater aquifers, along with an aging wastewater infrastructure.

The transportation plan is ambitious, and at the direction of the federal government, will include policy direction beyond the seven-county (Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Ramsey, Scott and Washington counties) region.

When it comes to water, the 2040 plan notes that "our reliance on groundwater is unsustainable."

The water resources plan calls for more regional partnerships and sustainability planning, given that "increased pumping of groundwater to support development is depleting aquifers, affecting lakes, streams, and wetlands. In some areas, groundwater levels have been dropping a foot a year since the 1970s."

Thrive 2040 also forecasts a dramatically shifting population – by 2040, the metro could be 40 percent people of color. That can be a challenge because, traditionally, minorities have faced racial disparities in education and income.

The 2040 plan also notes that the region is aging: More than one in five residents will be age 65 and older in 2040, compared to one in nine in 2010.

The Metropolitan Council is the seven-county regional policy-making body tasked with long-term planning and anticipating growth – along with the water, housing, and transit challenges associated with it.

The Thrive MSP 2040 plan is designed by the council to be a guide for the panel as it sets policy. The plan "reflects our concerns and aspirations, anticipates future needs in the region, and addresses our responsibility to future generations," the council says.

But Thrive 2040 has also come under fire as cities with competing interests question whether the plan favors other areas.

Suburban area leaders are worried that the plan favors the urban core, while Minneapolis officials are concerned the plan pays too much attention to suburban growth, the Star Tribune reports. Others question whether issues of "racial equity" will play too much of a factor in guiding growth decisions, the newspaper notes.

Minneapolis' population recently hit 400,000 for the first time since the mid-1970s, as the city reverses years of decline.

The city’s population hit a historic high of 521,718 in the 1950 census, but dropped in the following decades as residents settled in the suburbs. The population has rebounded since it bottomed out at about 370,000 in the 1980s.

Next Up

closed sign

What's open and closed in Minnesota on Thanksgiving Day 2020?

Most services will not be running on Thursday and unlike most years, many stores will be closed, too.

PennyMomentos

How a turkey's brush with celebrity in Bloomington came to a tragic end

DNR: if you care about wild animals, stop feeding them

TCF Bank Stadium

Saturday's Gophers/Badgers football game canceled due to COVID-19 issues

The Battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe will not take place for the first time since 1906.

coronavirus, Iowa

MN health officials don't think downside of COVID-19 peak has arrived

We could be in a trough between a series of waves, Jan Malcolm said.

covid-19, coronavirus

Wisconsin reports record 104 deaths from COVID-19 Tuesday

That's roughly 10% of the total in the nation in a 24-hour period.

Drywall

Husband and wife sentenced for fraud scheme through their drywall firm

The Annandale pair bilked an insurance company out of more than $300,000.

ambulance

4 pedestrians suffer life-threatening injuries after being struck by vehicle

Two vehicles crashed into a car that was on the side of the road after striking a deer.

Marcus Carr

Gophers season preview: New lineup, deeper bench, more questions

Mathew Goldstein takes a deep dive into the murky waters of the college hoops season.

20201107_vivir-1151-Edit

Photos: ViV!R, Minneapolis' new Mexican cafe and shop, is now open

The team behind the acclaimed Popol Vuh have opened the cafe in the same space.

MasklessJudgesinWiscoyTownship

At Wiscoy Township's sole precinct, election judges ditched masks

Voter and Wiscoy resident Kaitlyn O'Connor took a photo of the judges after asking them to wear masks, she said

Related