ULI Minnesota News

National report finds MSP region could be growing in better, smarter ways

New report ranks major metropolitan areas based on their development, and examines how sprawl relates to prosperity, health and quality of life.


Zachary Zweifler, mnarise@gmail.com, 612-594-1824 (Minnesota)

Craig Chester, cchester@smartgrowthamerica.org, 202-215-8858 (National)
Washington, DC/Saint Paul, MN—People in compact, connected regions are healthier, have lower household costs, have greater economic mobility and more transportation choices—and the Minneapolis-Saint Paul region could be doing more to support those goals according to a new report out today from Smart Growth America.
Measuring Sprawl 2014 examines development in 221 major metropolitan areas in the United States, and evaluates each region’s development on a national index. With a score of 87, the greater Minneapolis-Saint Paul region ranks near the bottom of the list at number 147 out of 221. With a score of 103, the Duluth region ranks above MSP at number 112 out of 221. With a score of 121, the Fargo, ND-MN region ranks near the top of the list at 25 out of 221.
“All across the Twin Cities there are opportunities to create accessible and thriving communities,” said Lynn Hinkle, Co-Founder of ARISE. “That is why it is important for us to develop sites like Ford in St. Paul, to provide family sustaining jobs and a productive economic base that also supports the health of our community, to increase livability and accessibility in the metro area and beyond.”
The new report also examines how sprawl relates to several quality of life factors. The researchers found that individuals in more compact, connected metro areas have greater economic mobility; spend less on the combined expenses of housing and transportation; have more transportation options; and lead longer, healthier, safer lives
“Smart growth strategies are about making life better for everyone in a community,” said Geoff Anderson, President and CEO of Smart Growth America. “If policymakers are looking for ways to lower costs for their constituents, improve public health and support their broader economy, they need to be thinking about how to improve their development.”

Find more information about the report at: http://arisemn.org/sprawl-report
See the full rankings and download the report at http://arisemn.org/resources/sprawl-report.
ARISE (the Alliance to Re-Industrialize for a Sustainable Economy) is a coalition of community groups, technical experts, and issue advocates seeking to create community-focused mixed-use redevelopments that strengthen the economy, communities, and natural resource base of the region, ultimately ensuring livability and accessibility to a broad demographic and future generations. For additional information visit http://arisemn.org/
Smart Growth America is the only national organization dedicated to researching, advocating for and leading coalitions to bring better development to more communities nationwide. From providing more sidewalks to ensuring more homes are built near public transportation or that productive farms remain a part of our communities, smart growth helps make sure people across the nation can live in great neighborhoods. For additional information visit www.smartgrowthamerica.org.

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