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A Collaborative Decision Support Framework to Guide Stakeholder Construction of Land Use Policy in Edge Communities in Carver Co

Rapidly expanding, small communities at the exurban fringe of the Twin Cities metropolitan area often lack the capacity to respond to growth pressures in ways that allow them to simultaneously realize the economic benefits of development, respond to community values, and protect critical natural resources and ecological areas. Universiity faculty in Landscape Architecture and Urban and Regional Planning developed a collaborative land-use planning decision-support system that allowed stakeholders in four Carver County jurisdictions—the City of Waconia, the City of Victoria, the City of Chaska, and Laketown Township—to use green infrastructure systems as a basis for constructing and implementing sustainable land-use policies. The decision-support system integrated interactive strategies for stakeholder engagement, spatial modeling capabilities of GIS technology, and emerging information visualization technologies. Stakeholders constructed and evaluated alternative scenarios of community growth in a process that involved iterative and reflective dialogue about the impacts of development decisions. Project outcomes are expected to influence future land-use discussions and decisions in the Laketown Township area as this area develops. This project also piloted a decision-making process and decision-support system that can be applied to other exurban communities in the metro area and beyond.

Project Research Team: Dr. David Pitt (Department of Landscape Architecture, U of MN), Dr. Carissa Schively Slotterback (Humphrey School of Public Affairs), Julie Quinn (Master of Urban and Regional Planning Program, Humphrey School of Public Affairs), and Greg Schweser (Master of Urban and Regional Planning Program, Humphrey School of Public Affairs).

Project Award Date: 
2008-06-15
Community organization or agency: 
Carver County
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