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Monday, July 23, 2018

Our comments on the Minneapolis Draft 2040 Plan

The city of Minneapolis is currently in the middle of its comprehensive planning process, and yesterday closed the comment period on the first draft of its plan, entitled the 2040 Plan.

Those comments are available here.

The Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity submitted a set of comments on this plan. The comments applaud the Minneapolis's stated aim of reversing historical inequality and segregation. They note that, in order to successfully eliminate the legacy of discrimination, and guarantee a prosperous future for all residents, the city must confront a threefold challenge. It must:

  • Improve access to exclusive, prosperous neighborhoods, ensuring that their opportunities are not only available to the white and affluent.
  • Protect diverse neighborhoods, preserving their racial and economic integration and preventing any decline towards poverty and segregation.
  • Revitalize segregated neighborhoods, finding ways to increase neighborhood investment, and eliminating discriminatory policies that continue to concentration of poverty in those areas.

The full comments contain a discussion of several aspects of housing policy. First, they lay out the binding legal fair housing obligations that must govern Minneapolis's policy decisions. Second, they discuss the so-called "fourplex plan," and how it can potentially contribute to greater housing affordability and integration. Third, it criticizes the 2040 Plan for only discussing segregation in terms of racial exclusion and never addressing the problem of racial confinement. Unfortunately, Minneapolis has a long history of using housing policy and other policy mechanisms to concentrate families of color in a limited set of impoverished neighborhoods with little educational or economic opportunity.

The comments also include an appendix with a set of tables demonstrating the unequal distribution of population subgroups and housing types across the city. 



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