Map Monday: Future Land Use Draft Maps for Minneapolis and Saint Paul

Once every ten years, the Comprehensive Plans reveal themselves like planets aligning, casting inscrutable shadows upon the zoning codes of our cities and towns. Then, in elaborate community rituals, various civic soothsayers and certified planners use these inklings to predict the future. That time is now, as both Minneapolis and Saint Paul (and other cities too!) have released their draft 2040 Comprehensive Plans for public review.

The entire plans are worth paging through, and I encourage anyone interested to do so and please share your thoughts with’s readers!

In the meantime, enjoy these draft maps of future land use in the two largest cities in Minnesota.

First up, Minneapolis:

The categories – e.g. destination mixed use, urban neighborhood – are explained in the comp plan itself, and via the cool website that you can check out. Please do so!

For example, “Neighborhood Mixed Use” is defined thus:

… includes individual commercial uses and small collections of commercial uses, located primarily away from major streets, that should continue to serve their existing commercial function. Commercial zoning is appropriate, while expansion of commercial uses and zoning into surrounding areas is not encouraged. Semi-permanent or temporary commercial retail establishments such as farmer’s markets are also appropriate in this category.


Finally, here is Saint Paul:

As with Minneapolis categories are defined in the plan. Probably most interestingly, the “neighborhood node” category explained thus:

Policy LU-29. Focus growth at Neighborhood Nodes using the following principles: 1. Increase density relative to underlying Future Land Use Map categories. 2. Prioritize pedestrian-friendly urban design and infrastructure that emphasizes pedestrian safety. 3. Cluster neighborhood amenities to create a vibrant critical mass. 4. Improve access to jobs by prioritizing development with high job density

Please send in comments on these plans to the appropriate cities! Also if you have interesting maps from other Minnesota cities’ draft comprehensive plans, please send my way or put a link in the comments below.

Bill Lindeke

About Bill Lindeke

Pronouns: he/him

Bill Lindeke has writing blogging about sidewalks and cities since 2005, ever since he read Jane Jacobs. He is a lecturer in Urban Studies at the University of Minnesota Geography Department, the Cityscape columnist at Minnpost, and has written multiple books on local urban history. He was born in Minneapolis, but has spent most of his time in St Paul. Check out Twitter @BillLindeke or on Facebook.