Imagine Duluth 2035

Entering into my second term on the City of Duluth – Planning Commission, one of our most important and ambitious efforts, in association with the City Planning Staff, is to attempt to update our Comprehensive Plan document, originally created and adopted in 2006. The current effort to update our City of Duluth Comprehensive Plan is the Imagine Duluth 2035 program. The Imagine Duluth 2035 Plan is nearing review and adoption by the City of Duluth City Council on April 23, 2018. The Plan has been approved by the City of Duluth Planning Commission for recommendation of approval by our City Council.

Tim Meyer, AIA – Principal Architect


Imagine Duluth 2035

The City’s current Comprehensive Land Use Plan was an outgrowth of the “2001 and Beyond” planning process, and was adopted in 2006.  City Staff has worked with the Planning Commission and the Administration to begin an update to the plan for a number of reasons, but crucially because Duluth is a markedly different city than it was in 2006 – demographically, economically and culturally.

The social and economic environment that existed when the 2006 plan was adopted has changed. For example, over the last several years Duluth has been recognized nationally for its expanded community assets and investments.  A comprehensive plan is a representation of a community’s vision and goals for the future.  When the community changes, the community’s vision should adapt.  The updated plan will recognize and build upon the successes and momentum of the community that have compounded over the past decade.

A comprehensive plan is also the primary tool a community has to plan for the future; it is a tool that ensures that growth makes the community better, not just bigger.  Land use controls, such as zoning and subdivision regulations, are most supportable and allow the City to provide the highest level development services to the community when made in the context of an up-to-date comprehensive plan.

Major plan elements that are critical for decision-making in a large City were not fully addressed in the 2006 Comprehensive Land Use Plan, including:

  •  Housing (workforce housing, housing options for individuals at all income levels, choices in housing options for all ages)
  •  Transportation/public infrastructure (complete streets, multi-modal systems, phasing of future public infrastructure)
  •  Economic health (workforce development, improving the economic base, promoting redevelopment)
  • Open space (incorporating the park planning that’s been completed over the past decade, working toward a shared vision for tax-forfeit parcels)


These issues will be researched, discussed, and a shared community vision developed through the Comprehensive Planning process.

The comprehensive plan timeline lays out the process that the city and residents will use to develop the plan and a vision for Duluth’s future.

Vision Committee will provide guidance throughout the process.


The Imagine Duluth 2035 update to the City’s Comprehensive Plan is nearing completion. The contents of this plan are the result of many months of dedicated work by the community to confirm priorities for the city. Linked below, you can find draft copies of many (but not all, because they’re not quite complete) of the plan’s elements. Updates will continue to these plan documents through the adoption process, so please check back frequently. All documents included here are in draft format and are dated as of the most recent version.

The Imagine Duluth 2035 document can be viewed here: Imagine Duluth 2035

Attached is this condensed version of the Imagine Duluth 2035 – Policies & Strategies included in the plan: Imagine Duluth Policies and Strategies