What will Madison look like in 25 years?

“We have to think about what are the big forces that shape our future.” – Steve Steinhoff, Regional Planning Commission

Andrew Kicmol, Editor in Chief

An initiative called The Greater Madison Vision released their Alternative Futures survey on Sept. 12. The survey has possible scenarios of what the Greater Madison Region will look like in the next 25 years. The population of the Greater Madison Region is expected to grow by 150,00 people, almost twice the number of seats in Camp Randall Stadium is the image used describe the population growth.

The importance of the survey is so the people of Madison have a say in what the future of the Greater Madison Region will look like. With a possible 150,000 people added to the area, things like transportation, jobs, housing, and the environment will be pressured to deal with the influx of the population.

Madison will need to figure out how it wants to proceed.  Madison College students specifically will be some of the ones that are most affected by any future decisions made.

“There’s an opportunity for us to influence the policy that is going to shape the region itself … trying to give that vision from the students perspective or the younger generations perspective,” said Steven Ansorge Student Senate President

The survey will consist of different possible futures that you can choose from. Population change, environmental change, technology change, or political and governmental change.

In the survey you rank what is the most important to you and where you would like to see the most amount of money and resources to go to. Then you will be shown what that possible future could look like.

The survey has scenario specific information along with a map of what the growth could look like.  If you are looking at the population change scenario, then there will be information that directly relates to the possible population changes and growth that could occur along with a map of with areas of possible new development.

While the focus is around Madison and Dane county, the Greater Madison Area is made up of the surrounding counties of, Columbia, Dodge, Jefferson, Rock, Green, Iowa and Sauk counties. “A region tied together by geography, economy, transportation, natural resources, and cultural identity,” is what the committee came up with to describe the Greater Madison Area. As Madison grows it will also affect the surrounding counties and how they will grow themselves.

The survey was put together by a 46-member steering committee that ranges from business, education, nonprofit and government. Madison College President Dr. Jack Daniels was one of the members, while Ansorge was a guest to give input on what he would like to see for the future of the greater Madison Area.

“We have to think about what are the big forces that shape our future which ones are most likely to impact us the most and how we can prepare for those and better respond to them,” said Steve Steinhoff, Deputy Director Capital Area Regional Planning Commission. That information has all been put together to create the survey.

Now it’s time for the input of the residents of Madison to see what direction they would like Madison and the surrounding area to head.

“At the end of the day it’s going to be local decision makers whether it’s local government, business leaders, nonprofit leaders who are going to be making decisions about investments where growth should occur where lending should occur where developers should act. Where people want to live” said Steinhoff.

They would like at least 10,000 people to take the survey to get enough feedback so committee can be well informed and work towards the next step in the future of the Greater Madison Area.