HEARTLAND 2050 REGIONAL VISION
The Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area is projected to grow to 1.5 million inhabitants by the middle of the 21st century - nearly double today's population. Such figures raise a host of questions: Where will these new residents live and work? How will they get about the region? How will we maintain and enhance our area's high quality of life? Resolve persistent disparities in the community?
These questions challenge our region to think strategically and be proactive in setting the stage for our common future. Fortunately, we have some considerable resources to do this. MAPA was recently awarded $2,045,000 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to undertake a 40-year regional vision titled "Heartland 2050" in concert with local stakeholders. MAPA is working to build out a broad consortium, drawing from the eight counties of the Omaha-Council Bluffs Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), that will lead the development of the regional vision. The project will unfold over three years, with extensive and intensive public engagement guiding the process.
Heartland 2050 will employ a systematic approach to analyzing the performance of the region's key physical infrastructure - transportation, housing, utilities - and patterns of land use, and will evaluate on how the operation of these systems impact economic and workforce development, socioeconomic equity, fiscal health, and the natural environment. Scenario planning will provide a ready means of visualizing performance and trade-offs, and in aiding decisions. The vision will culminate in a preferred set of principles to guide physical growth as well as action plans for specific sectors.
It is important to note that Heartland 2050 will not pre-empt or usurp local land use power, or commit jurisdictions to courses of action of which they want no part. Rather, the idea behind Heartland 2050 is to foster a coordinated, collaborative, and strategic approach to managing growth that maximizes public investment and helps our region excel in the 21st century. We have many examples from which to draw inspiration, including Salt Lake City's Envision Utah, Denver's Metro Vision and Mile High Compact, and Kansas City's Creating Sustainable Places and Creating Quality Placesinitiatives.
We will be launching a dedicated Heartland 2050 project website in the coming months, though until then, follow us here.