Envisioning Our City's Future

The built environment of Saint Paul requires many hours of planning in order to meet the needs of the many people who live, work and play in the city. What do we mean by built environment? As it turns out, quite a lot. This term includes all human-made buildings, parks, landscapes and transit systems (for example: roads, sidewalks, bike lanes and railroads). How we plan for our built environment not only impacts what kinds of things are and aren't built in the city, it also impacts how we use and conserve natural resources, move through the city, grow our economy, preserve historic assets and create an atmosphere that is safe and fun for everyone.

The work of creating plans for the built environment of all of the city's neighborhoods and public lands happens is a team effort. City planners in the Planning Division of the Department of Planning & Economic Development work on area plans, corridor plans and zoning updates. They also work to comply with the Metropolitan Council's requirement to update the city's Comprehensive Plan every 10 years. Additionally, district councils also update district plans every 10 years, along with creating neighborhood and small area plans. A critical component of envisioning the use of public lands is the master plans for regional parks and trails prepared by the Design and Construction Division at the Department of Parks & Recreation. These master plans are based on the Metropolitan Council's 2040 Regional Parks Policy Plan. Collectively, these plans serve as a vision for the city's built environment.

From there, the work of designing the built environment is picked up by public agencies and private developers. Several city departments are involved in designing various aspects of the built environment. These include the:

  • Department of Parks & Recreation
  • Department of Public Works
  • Saint Paul Public Libraries
  • Saint Paul Police Department
  • Saint Paul Fire Department

Additionally, separate government jurisdictions--such as the Saint Paul Public Schools, Ramsey County, the Metropolitan Council and the State of Minnesota--plan a number of other important projects inside city limits.

There are multiple ways to get involved in the planning and design of Saint Paul's built environment. First, check out Open Saint Paul to see what conversations are happening between residents and city government online. Also, consider engaging with your local district council. You can also petition the city directly on issues that you care about by contacting the appropriate department. Below is a list of ongoing planning and design projects. Department staff will be able to provide you with information on the scope of these projects and the schedule for public input opportunities.

Ongoing Projects

Planning & Economic Development

2040 Comprehensive Planning

Transportation Planning/Studies

Selby-Western Parking Study
Reimagine the Railway: Studying New Uses for the Ford Spur
River Balcony

Zoning Studies/Amendments

Snelling Avenue South Zoning Study
Ward 3 Residential Standards Zoning Study

Major Redevelopment Sites

Ford Site Redevelopment
Snelling-Midway Redevelopment

Parks & Recreation

Bruce Vento Pedestrian & Bike Bridge
Cherokee Regional Park Play Area Project
Dickerman Park
Great River Passage
Highland Park Community Center Play Area
Indian Mounds Regional Park Splash Pad
Jimmy Lee Play Area
Parque Castillo
Pedro Park
Phalen Regional Park Traffic Study
Robert Piram Regional Trail
Scheffer Recreation Center
Victoria Park

Public Works

Summit Bridge

Citywide Planning Projects

Climate Action Plan

Ramsey County

Regional Railroad Authority

Gateway/Gold Line
Red Rock Corridor
Riverview Corridor
Rush Line Corridor

Transportation Division

Dale Street Bridge at I-94
Rice Street Transportation Safety Study

State of Minnesota

Department of Transportation

High Bridge