Envision Minnesota has merged with the Great Plains Institute,
and this website is no longer
being updated.

Please visit the Great Plains Institute website for current information.






Envision Minnesota works at the State Capitol, the Metropolitan Council, and city halls to promote public investments, policies and administrative actions that make our vision a reality. We believe that Minnesota thrives best when our urban, suburban, and rural communities have more housing and transportation choices, protect and enhance our lakes, rivers, and parks, and spend our taxpayer dollars wisely when planning for new projects.

How do we do this? We advocate for transportation investments that fix the roads and bridges we have first before building costly expansion projects. We advocate for state and local policies that protect our shorelines from encroaching lakeshore development. We advocate at the Metropolitan Council for regional planning that meets the growing market demand for walkable communities where shops and schools are close by, and we work with local governments to ensure that communities have a mix of housing choices.

This is about more than funding government programs. It is about an approach to governance that seeks to better target investments to yield multiple benefits. Such an approach would: 

  • Save families money by expanding and creating new choices for how Minnesotans get where they need to be, when they need to be there. In places with few choices, transportation can claim up to one-third of a family's monthly income.
  • Clean up and protect our air and water, and ensure a cleaner energy future for ourselves and future generations. Clean air and water are critical to public health, and continuing Minnesota's proud legacy of parks and open spaces preserves our quality of life.
  • Avoid expensive new infrastructure by targeting scarce public resources to enhance and rehabilitate what is already in place. Municipal service costs typically increase with spread-out development because of new roads and sewers.
  • Produce new housing opportunities demanded by dynamically changing and growing population needs. Coordinating transportation and housing investments not only makes transportation more efficient, but creates opportunities to meet the the shifting housing market of an older and more diverse state.
  • Reduce racial and economic disparities by creating new and broadly shared opportunity with a commitment to fairness and includsion of populations that have too often been left out. The business-led Itasca Group had identified our region's growing racial disparities as a key impediment to Minnesota's economic competitiveness.