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Regional Planning

With a focus on region-wide sustainability, equity, and access to opportunity, Corridors of Opportunity views regional planning and partnerships as critical underpinnings to achieving the goals of the initiative. The Metropolitan Council is leading the Twin Cities area on a region-wide planning process, known as Thrive MSP 2040, with a focus on livability, sustainability and prosperity for all. The Corridors of Opportunity initiative is a partner in this effort, with the Metropolitan Council as a leader in the initiative and the lead agency for the HUD Sustainable Communities grant.

What is Thrive MSP 2040?

The Metropolitan Council is currently underway with its long-range planning process, Thrive MSP 2040. Under state statute, the Council is responsible for developing a 30-year regional plan at least once every decade. Thrive MSP 2040, an update to the existing Regional Development Framework, will provide the high-level policy direction for the Council's systems and policy plans, including the Transportation Policy Plan and the Housing Policy Plan. The Council has structured its development of Thrive MSP 2040 to include repeated opportunities for its partners, stakeholders and the region's residents to engage in the development of Thrive. In addition to other broad, region-wide outreach and engagement efforts, the Metropolitan Council has been working with members of the Corridors of Opportunity Policy Board to discuss policy areas related to the work of the initiative, including regional economic competitiveness, equity, and land use and transit. Read more about the Twin Cities long-range plan, Thrive MSP 2040.

What is the Fair Housing and Equity Assessment?

What is opportunity? Is opportunity having accessible jobs and schools, or clean and safe neighborhoods, or being able to utilize social services, basic necessities and amenities? How are opportunities distributed across the region? Can all residents of the region, especially those who live in racially concentrated areas of poverty (RCAPs), access these opportunities equally regardless of their race and income? How can we structure the region’s current and future public investments to make sure that they can?

These are the key questions that are being asked and explored by the Fair Housing and Equity Assessment (FHEA) through a phased process of data and mapping, deliberation, and decision-making. The issues raised by the FHEA process will be woven throughout the Thrive MSP 2040 deliberation and engagement process – and will ultimately shape the resulting regional plans and policies.

Download the Fair Housing and Equity Assessment Draft Data Analysis Chapter released for review in June 2013.

Read more about the Fair Housing and Equity Assessment on HUD’s Sustainable Housing and Communities website or on the Metropolitan Council’s FHEA page. View the Racially Concentrated Areas of Poverty map and the Opportunity Cluster Map for the Twin Cities region

Sustainability and Equity across the Country

While the Metropolitan Council has been planning for the Twin Cities metro region for the last few decades, the focus on equity and sustainability is connected to a larger national movement. Inspired in part by the Federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities, regions across the country are undertaking region-wide planning and looking at the geography of access and opportunity within their communities. For HUD, these intertwined processes are known as the Regional Plan for Sustainable Development and the Fair Housing and Equity Assessment.

As Sustainable Communities Regional Planning grantees, Corridors of Opportunity will be submitting two key deliverables to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in December 2013:

  • Regional Plan for Sustainable Development (RPSD), which is Thrive MSP 2040
  • Fair Housing and Equity Assessment (FHEA)

What is next?

Both the Thrive MSP 2040 and the FHEA processes have been underway since last summer, 2012, and there is continued outreach and engagement throughout 2013. The Metropolitan Council is currently deliberating on the policy decisions associated with Thrive MSP 2040 -- including how the FHEA equity assessment can and should inform them -- and looking to residents for input. Your thoughts and ideas can be submitted online at or via email at

Read more about the HUD Sustainable Communities grant and Corridors of Opportunity.