Earlier this week I wrote about California’s new regionalist initiative, Plan Bay Area, as a harbinger of President Obama’s attempt to densify America’s cities and undercut the political and economic independence of the suburbs.
If that was the beginning of Obama’s second-term assault on the suburbs, the next step is about to be taken in Minnesota. Katherine Kersten writes about “Thrive MSP 2040,” a soon-to-be-released plan that may take regionalism to unheard of levels. At a minimum, when it comes to densification, we’re likely to see the thrust of Plan Bay Area replicated in the Twin Cities.
Contemporary regionalism began as a drive to have cities annex suburbs, without consent. Once it became evident that state law would not permit this, regionalists started cooking up ways to annex in practice, if not in law. Something like that seems to be going on here.
The drift of Kersten’s account matches closely with what I noted we were in for in Spreading the Wealth, where I explain the history, philosophy, and technique behind the president’s regionalist policies.