Region: Planning the Future of the Twin Cities

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The Twin Cities region contains 11 counties, 300 cities and townships, and 1,700 unique combinations of tax rates and public services. Historically, this fragmentation has made it extremely difficult to address the social, economic, and environmental problems that affect all parts of the region, yet the Minneapolis and St. Paul area has generally been held in high esteem as a model of regional cooperation. How do policy planners make it work-and is it working well enough?

In Region Myron Orfield and Thomas Luce examine both the successes and shortcomings of the Twin Cities Metropolitan Council's regional planning and policy. Detailing the rapid demographic, commuting, and land use changes that are currently at work in the region, Orfield and Luce identify the new challenges faced by the cities and the suburbs and their overlooked interdependence. They thoroughly investigate the economic and political trends impacting Twin Cities residents' quality of life-sprawl, population growth, economic and racial injustice, a lack of affordable housing, traffic congestion-and in particular how education demographic trends are solidifying segregation. Extensive maps, graphs, and charts accompany the authors' argument for careful, coordinated regional development in the Twin Cities and explanations about how such an approach should be a model for other regions around the United States.

Confronting unsettling-sometimes shocking-realities of life in the Twin Cities, Orfield and Luce highlight the urgent need to create thriving integrated neighborhoods and job growth throughout the region, as well as the near impossibility of desegregating our neighborhoods and schools. Throughout this detailed and deeply researched work, they analyze the wide impact of planning failures and the promise of successful growth, and ultimately put forth trenchant policy recommendations for a better future-one where we live up to our social, environmental, and political ideals.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816665563
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2010
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 987,023
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Myron Orfield is executive director of the Institute on Race and Poverty and associate professor of law at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of Metropolitics and American Metropolitics.

Thomas Luce is director of research at the Institute on Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota.

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Table of Contents

Introduction, Myron Orfield, Thomas F. Luce Jr.
1. Local Governance, Finance and Growth Trends, Myron Orfield, Thomas F. Luce Jr., and Eric Myott
2. Governing the Twin Cities, Myron Orfield, Nick Wallace, Eric Myott, and Geneva Finn
3. Neighborhood and School Segregation in the Twin Cities Region, Myron Orfield, Baris Gumus-Dawes, Thomas F. Luce Jr., and Geneva Finn
4. Transportation and Employment: Access to Growing Job Centers, Thomas F. Luce Jr., Myron Orfield, Eric Myott and Jill Mazullo
5. The Environment and Growth, Thomas F. Luce Jr. and Sharon Pfeifer
6. Overview of Policy Recommendations, Myron Orfield and Thomas F. Luce Jr.
7. The Politics of Regional Policy, Myron Orfield, Thomas F. Luce Jr., Geneva Finn, Baris Gumus-Dawes
Appendix A: Neighborhood and School Typology
Appendix B: Supplemental Data for Neighborhoods and Schools in the Twin Cities, Portland, and the 25 Largest Metropolitan Areas

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