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During the past two years, the Metropolitan Council has heard common themes from communities and individuals throughout our region. In preparation for releasing a draft of the Thrive MSP 2040 plan in early 2014, the Council has created five key outcomes and three key principles to guide the policy in Thrive MSP 2040.

5 desired outcomes for Thrive MSP 2040 policy priorities: Stewardship, Prosperity, Equity, Livability, Sustainability. Plans, policies, and projects that balance all five of these outcomes tend to create positive change, while efforts that advance only one or two outcomes at the expense of others may cause disappointments over the long term. Focusing on these outcomes allows for flexible implementation, both for the region’s plans and local comprehensive plans, yet prioritizes a shared strategic vision.

3 working principles to advance the desired outcomes: Integration, Collaboration, Accountability.

Do these principles and outcomes reflect what you hope to see in Thrive MSP 2040? What's missing? Many of these elements will play out in the systems/policy plans. What do you expect those to say? Respond to the broad question or respond in each of the topic areas.

Topics

Stewardship advances the Council’s longstanding mission of orderly and economical development, responsibly managing the region’s natural and financial resources and making strategic investments in our region’s future. Policy direction from Thrive MSP 2040:  Prioritize protection of and minimize impacts to natural resources.  Focus on maintaining existing infrastructure – wastewater infrastructure, highways and bridges – rather than expanding to serve new areas.  Strategically invest in new infrastructure capacity that supports land use patterns.  Expand alignment of wastewater, transit and other infrastructure investments with local land use.

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Prosperity results from investments in infrastructure, amenities and quality of life that create regional economic competitiveness, thereby attracting and retaining successful businesses, a talented workforce, and consequently wealth. Policy direction from Thrive MSP 2040:  Foster the conditions for shared economic vitality by balancing major investments across the region.  Deliver cost-effective wastewater treatment and efficient transportation that reduces costs of doing business here.  Provide amenities and great places that attract and retain businesses and workers.  Reduce the cost differential between redevelopment and greenfield development sites.  Inventory industrial land across the region to preserve the best sites for jobs.  Partner to develop a shared economic competitiveness strategy.

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Equity connects all residents to opportunity and creates viable options for people of all races, ethnicities and incomes so that all communities share the opportunities and challenges of growth and change. Policy direction from Thrive MSP 2040:  Invest in the creation and preservation of racially-integrated, mixed-income neighborhoods across the region.  Use transportation investments to improve access to opportunity;  Preserve a mix of housing affordability along the region’s transitways and create new affordable housing close to jobs and education;  Convene leaders to develop shared investment strategies in racially-concentrated areas of poverty.

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Livability focuses on the experience of our people and how places and infrastructure create and enhance the high quality of life that makes our region a great place to live. Policy direction from Thrive MSP 2040:  Provide transportation choices that reduce the financial and time cost of transportation.  Preserve natural resources and support outdoor recreational opportunities through the regional park and trail system.  Communicate the regional bicycle network to promote bicycling for transportation and recreation.  Align resources to support transit-oriented development that creates great places.

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Sustainability protects our regional vitality for generations to come by taking a long-term perspective to preserve our assets, resources, and strengths. Policy direction from Thrive MSP 2040:  Promote the wise use of water through expanding water conservation and reuse, increasing aquifer recharge; and rebalancing surface water and groundwater use.  Continue sustainability practices in the Council’s wastewater and transit operations.  Offer leadership, information and technical assistance to local governments to support climate change mitigation, adaptation and resilience.

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Integration leverages multiple policy tools to address complex regional challenges and opportunities. Policy direction from Thrive MSP 2040:  Align and leverage all of the Council’s divisions, roles and authorities to address regional issues.  Coordinate Council activities with partners and stakeholders across and throughout the region.

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Collaboration recognizes that shared efforts and effective partnerships among local and regional partners move our region forward most effectively toward our shared outcomes. Policy direction for Thrive MSP 2040:  Convene conversations to address key regional issues.  Provide expanded information and technical assistance to support local planning and decision-making.

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Accountability requires a commitment to monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of our policies and a willingness to adjust course as necessary. Policy direction from Thrive MSP 2040: Accountability:  Monitor performance against key regional indicators.  Adjust and revise policies as necessary.

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