A PIVOTAL POINT IN REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT
A major shift is occurring in Southeastern Wisconsin’s development and growth. For the past decades, the Region has been able to grow its labor force from within its existing population base, through women joining the workforce and the significant increase in the size of the labor force provided by the Baby Boom generation. However, as the Baby Boomers exit the workforce, the following generations are each no larger than the Baby Boomers, meaning that there will not be enough residents of working age to fill additional, new jobs. To grow jobs in the future, the Region will need to attract new residents from the rest of the Nation and world for the first time in decades, putting Southeastern Wisconsin in direct competition with other metro areas. If the Region does not compete to attract needed workers, economic growth could be stifled by a lack of labor.
A PLAN TO SUSTAINABLY DEVELOP OUR REGION
This website summarizes VISION 2050, Southeastern Wisconsin’s long-range land use and transportation plan, produced by the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC). VISION 2050 seeks to build on the Region’s existing strengths and improve areas where the Region does not compete well with its peers, in order to increase the quality of life for residents and businesses and attract new growth to the Region.
VISION 2050 RECOMMENDS:
• Encouraging sustainable and cost-effective growth
• Preserving the Region’s most productive farmland and primary environmental corridors, which encompass the best remaining features of the Region’s natural landscape
• Encouraging more compact development, ranging from high-density transit-oriented development to traditional neighborhoods with homes within walking distance of parks, schools, and businesses
• Significantly improving and expanding public transit, including adding rapid transit and commuter rail, and improving and expanding local and express transit services to support compact growth and enhance the attractiveness and accessibility of the Region
• Enhancing the Region’s bicycle and pedestrian network to improve access to activity centers, neighborhoods, and other destinations
• Keeping existing major streets in a state of good repair and efficiently using the capacity of existing streets and highways
• Strategically adding capacity on highly congested roadways, incorporating “complete streets” roadway design concepts to provide safe and convenient travel for all, and addressing key issues related to moving goods into and through the Region
ACCOMPLISHING THE PLAN
These recommendations require more to be spent on the transportation system in the future, particularly on building and operating a competitive and advanced transit system. The transit system included in VISION 2050 would attract new Federal funding to the Region, but would require approximately $160 million each year in additional local or State funding for transit. Until additional public investment is provided, the public transit element of VISION 2050 cannot be built and operated.
Raising additional public funds for transit would place an additional burden on the Region’s residents, but would also provide significant benefits to the Region, including but not limited to:
• Increasing the Region’s competitiveness with other metro areas by providing attractive transit, bicycling, and walking options, addressing traffic congestion, and building walkable communities with easy access to schools, parks, and businesses
• Increasing the ability of residents without cars to access jobs, education, and daily needs
• Reducing low-income individuals’ reliance on social services by providing access to higher-paying jobs
• Reducing residents’ out-of-pocket transportation expenses and local government costs for other infrastructure and other services