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Analyzing the Effectiveness of the Alternative Urban Areawide Review (AUAR) as an Environmental Review and Planning Tool.

Minnesota’s Alternative Urban Areawide Review (AUAR) is a unique and innovative environmental review tool that provides responsible governmental units (RGU) the opportunity to conduct a comprehensive analysis of potential environmental impacts associated with future development. The AUAR allows for the identification of mitigation requirements for a range of possible development scenarios, and facilitates ecosystem-based environmental planning and regional approaches to addressing development impacts and environmental mitigation. Thus, the AUAR represents not only a useful method for environmental review, but also an effective planning tool. Given the increasing use of the AUAR tool, and growing concerns among state agencies and other organizations that the AUAR is being misapplied and inadequately utilized, an analysis of the tool seems warranted. Carissa Schively (Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs) will analyze the effectiveness of the AUAR as an environmental review tool, assessing the appropriateness of its application and the quality of environmental analysis and mitigation that it produces. Using four to six recent AUAR processes as case studies, Schively will collect data through interviews with AUAR participants, analysis of AUAR documents, and reviews of documentation related to development and policy changes in AUAR areas. The research will inform policy makers about the value of AUAR as an environmental review and planning tool, will provide guidance to relevant agencies as they undertake or participate in AUAR processes, and may point to recommendations for AUAR policy changes.

Project Award Date: 
2005-06-30
Reports and related files
Sponsoring CURA Program: 
CURA Contact: 
Edward Goetz Director, CURA (612) 624-8737