Minneapolis 2040: What Is a Comprehensive Plan?
Earlier this year, Minneapolis released a draft of its latest comprehensive plan. Titled “Minneapolis 2040,” the plan covers housing, job access, building design and street usage guidance, for the purpose of creating a unified vision for how the city will grow and change during the next 20+ years.
Nearly all major U.S. cities conduct comprehensive planning exercises as a way to get city and regional stakeholders aligned and connected on issues related to development. Why are comprehensive plans important? Because they serve as roadmaps for the future.
Comprehensive plans are almost always the result of many years of research, public input and strategy development. The Minneapolis 2040 plan draft compiles more than two years of work, which state law mandates every ten years according to requirements from the Metropolitan Council, the city’s regional planning authority.
Community engagement is essential for comprehensive planning success. Resident input is gathered throughout the process. In the past two years, city leaders have connected with dozens of key audiences, including businesses, property owners, public agencies, recent immigrants and the homeless.
City-wide policy priorities and goals for Minneapolis 2040 include a wide range of social, cultural and developmental aspirations. Affordable housing, history and the physical environment are among the many objectives addressed in the draft plan.
Land use topics – including the built environment, heritage preservation, parks and open spaces – also play an important role in guiding comprehensive planning. The Minneapolis 2040 Land Use and Built Form plan describes the distribution of housing, offices and retail – as well as the spaces in-between – in order to achieve the plan goals.
The draft plan is now open for public comment, and there are many ways residents can make their opinions heard. Neighborhood open houses are scheduled throughout May and residents also comment online.
Public comments are open until July 22, when city staff will review and make revisions to the plan according to public input. The city will then present a final draft of the plan to the City Planning Commission and City Council in the fall.