In partnership with 1000 Friends of Minnesota, Transit for Livable Communities and allies have developed a new initiative, aimed not at simply reshaping our transportation system, but at reshaping how we think about all the land we use—and all the ways we use it. The initiative, called Building Sensible Communities, will result in, among many other benefits, a greater number of real transportation choices for everyone.  

The  Building Sensible Communities plan addresses the threat to Minnesota’s quality of life from a lack of convenient transportation choices and spread out development patterns that force Minnesotans to drive much more today than they would like. Unless Minnesotans have more opportunities to live closer to their destinations, the need to drive will continue to increase along with personal costs, congestion, and pollution. The Building Sensible Communities initiative provides a solution, presented in “cost-effective and realistic steps that we can take now”:

  • Create incentives for metro and greater Minnesota communities to implement land use planning practices that would achieve global warming reduction goals identified by Governor Pawlenty and the legislature’s MN Climate Change Advisory Group.
  • Ensure the Metropolitan Council includes Minnesota’s adopted global warming pollution reduction targets in its comprehensive planning process.
  • Require MnDOT to plan for a multi-modal transportation system that can reduce overall driving, by increasing transit, bike, and pedestrian trips.

The foreseen benefits are numerous and diverse, including more choices for where to live and how to get around, lowered costs—especially around transportation and utilities—for families and governments, better stewardship of our land—both urban and rural—and a reduction in greenhouse gas pollution.

This initiative was developed by 1000 Friends of Minnesota, Transit for Livable Communities, Alliance for Metropolitan Stability, Fresh Energy, and Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy.

You can see the Building Sensible Communities document here. (PDF 1.2KB)