I don’t remember how this ended up in my inbox, but the Great Plains Institute (GPI) recently published an article evaluating how Met Council-area communities are using the comprehensive planning process to address climate-related issues.
As part of the state laws governing land use in the metro area, metro area municipalities are required to create a comprehensive plan, and revise the plan every ten years. Under Minnesota Statutes § 473.858, the Met Council is required to review the comprehensive plans. (The whole chapter contains endless, fun details about our system of regional municipal governance; definitely read the whole thing some day.)
According to GPI, the Met Council itself has noticed “a shift in the planning community as an increasing number of communities have integrated climate and energy into their plans.” And, significantly, GPI found that “many community types are represented from the large, dense urban cities to predominantly rural communities and suburban edge communities.”
I’m not going to re-write the entire article—it’s right here! It includes a really helpful interactive map of metro-area communities that have taken up certain issues in their comprehensive plans.
I was heartened to see this analysis and its results. It seems to reflect a growing recognition that municipal land use planning is inextricably bound to climate. It’s also critical that this recognition is a regional one. As the legislature itself wrote in the statute establishing this system of regional municipal planning, “local governmental units within the metropolitan area are interdependent,” and “there is a need for the adoption of coordinated plans, programs and controls by all local governmental units in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the metropolitan area and to ensure coordinated, orderly, and economic development.” We’re all in this together.