Transportation and Employment: Access to Growing Job Centers
Like most metropolitan areas, the Twin Cities has seen dramatic decentralization of population and jobs during recent decades. These trends have not been as dramatic in the Twin Cities as in many other metropolitan areas for several reasons. The region is home to one of the strongest regional planning organizations in the country – the Twin Cities Metropolitan Council – and it boasts the country’s only region-wide tax-base sharing program – the Twin Cities Fiscal Disparities Program. As a result, sprawl rates and fiscal inequality are not as great as in many regions. The region’s core cities – Minneapolis and St. Paul – have also fared well economically compared with many other central cities.
Despite these positive features, development in the region has been unbalanced with growth in a few suburban areas outstripping the core and the rest of the suburbs. These places have attracted much of the wealth of the region – much of the high-end housing, transportation funding and many of the new high-paying employers. This trend is similar to other metropolitan areas, such as Atlanta, where job growth is mostly found on one side of the region and concentrations of affordable housing, poverty and racial minorities on the other side.