Two Roads Diverge: Analyzing Growth Scenarios for the Twin Cities Region

The Center for Energy and Environment (CEE), Minnesotans for An Energy-Efficient Economy (ME3) and 1000 Friends of Minnesota collaborated on the Two Roads Diverge: Analyzing Growth Scenarios for the Twin Cities Region study. The study was funded by the Future Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources. The framework of the study uses a Sprawling Scenario and Smart Growth Scenario to describe options for the region’s growth from 1995 to 2020. The goal of this study is to apply the scenarios to address the following issues:

  • How should the region accommodate inevitable growth?
  • Can the region grow and retain its unique character at the same time?
  • What are the costs and benefits to the region of sprawling and smart growth?

The Sprawling and Smart Growth Scenarios were used to (1) analyze growth impacts inside the seven-county metropolitan area and (2) analyze growth impacts in the six outlying counties by using St. Michael, Minnesota as a case study. CEE was responsible for developing the scenarios, GIS mapping, estimating infrastructure, transportation, and social impacts, and writing the final report. ME3 was responsible for project management and estimating environmental impacts. 1000 Friends of Minnesota was responsible for holding focus groups and public forums to discuss the study’s findings and for conducting a public survey about land use and transportation issues.

Throughout this document we have placed relevant findings from a random telephone survey of 1,000 residents from within the 13-county study area. The survey was conducted between December 1998 and January 1999 on behalf of 1000 Friends of Minnesota by the professional polling firm, Decision Resources, Ltd. Results are considered accurate to within +/- 3.2 percentage points. 

Full Report (PDF)
Two Roads Diverge: Analyzing Growth Scenarios for the Twin Cities Region