Regional Development Framework aims to help infrastructure grow with Dane Co. population

The population of Dane County is expected to grow significantly in the next 30 years.
Published: May. 9, 2022 at 9:50 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The population of Dane County is expected to grow significantly in the next 30 years. The Capital Area Regional Planning Commission has put together a regional development framework to help the infrastructure grow with the population.

Capital Area RPC predicts more than 200,000 more people will live in Dane County by 2050. According to last year’s census, around 563,951 people currently live in Dane County.

The goals of this framework will promote growth that:

  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions and fosters community resilience to climate change
  • Increases access to jobs, housing and services for all people
  • Conserves farmland, water resources, natural areas, and fiscal resources

In order to achieve these goals, the framework outlines six strategies for development, one of which is planning complete neighborhoods.

“By bringing neighborhoods closer together and centers closer together, even when people do have to drive, they’re driving shorter distances. So, by offering these types of transportation choices, they can go to some destinations not driving, others they may drive but they’ll drive fewer distances,” Capitol Area Regional Planning Commission Agency Director Steve Steinhoff said.

The other five strategies are:

  • Focus growth in centers and along corridors
  • Prioritize growth in already developed areas
  • Plan areas for quality business growth
  • Preserve stewardship areas
  • Preserve farming areas

The Regional Development Framework is an advisory guide. It is up to communities, businesses, and individuals to carry out the strategies but also shape them.

The deadline for public comment on the framework is Friday May 13.

You can find the draft here and submit comments via email to or through the comment box at

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