Where did Twin Cities sprawl go?


Don't panic.

There's still plenty to go around.

However, some fun new numbers from Metropolitan Council research manager Libby Starling show the rate appears to be slowing.

"The most recent land-use data, interpreted from aerial photography conducted in spring 2010, show the region added 23,000 developed acres from 2005 to 2010, which compares in geographic size to the City of Plymouth."

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Having more fun with numbers, Starling points to this:

"This is an average rate of 4,500 acres per year, compared to an average rate of 7,500 acres per year during the first half of the decade, 2000-2005. During the 1990s, the region added developed land at an average rate of 9,200 acres per year."

So, we're still sprawled out but probably the recession and slower population growth have slowed the rate.

And finally, a bit of fuel for your next happy hour or dinner party conversation:

"The seven-county geographic area is 1.9 million acres--1.78 million acres of land and 125,000 acres of open water. Thirty percent of the geographic area, or 575,000 acres, is developed as of 2010 (including residential, commercial, industrial and major highways). Twenty-two percent of the region, 411,000 acres, is devoted to residential development. Just over one million acres are agricultural and undeveloped land."

Didn't I say these numbers are fun?