Urbanization of Minnesota's Countryside, 2000 - 2025

Thursday, November 10, 2005 - 3:15pm

About the Event

The urbanization of the Minnesota countryside is underway as part of a wider regional transformation. Can economic development and population expansion proceed across many parts of Greater Minnesota without destroying the very features of the countryside that make it so attractive as a place to live, work, and play?

In their current research, John Adams and Barbara VanDrasek assess three trends underway across Greater Minnesota (counties outside the 25-county Minneapolis- St. Paul daily commuting field):

  1. population and housing change
  2. the restructuring of the state's economy
  3. changes in daily travel behavior, specifically the journey to work and other daily and weekly personal travel on the state's highways

Based on this analysis, they speculate about implications of trends for transportation planning at geographical scales ranging from the international, regional and statewide, to sub-regional and local.

In their seminar, the researchers will examine selected features of Greater Minnesota's emerging settlement system and associated transportation demands in the urbanization of the Minnesota countryside. Traditional uses of roads in Greater Minnesota are being augmented by their increasing use as "residential streets" serving dispersed neighborhoods throughout a residential countryside. They will discuss these and other uses, with special attention to trends in daily commuting.


John Adams, Chair, Department of Geography