Twin Cities metro mistakes

Myron Orfield explains in MinnPost why the Metropolitan Council, a regional planning agency, has struggled to fulfill its mission of guiding "efficient growth" in the Twin Cities area:
The council decided for whatever reason not to consider job clusters when reviewing cities' comprehensive plans. Before, under the older councils, the plans were disapproved if new jobs weren't clustered in areas where jobs already existed. 
But starting in about 1994, they began to see the rules less as regulation than as a kind of public relations. They took regulatory structure and made it just happy talk. They wanted everyone to be happy together. 
The local comprehensive plans had always been negotiated between local governments and the Met Council. But starting in the '90s, they were just rubber-stamped.

Another important thing that happened came in about 2001 when they decided to open up a huge area near the edge for two-acre residential lots. They basically got rid of the MUSA line [the Metropolitan Urban Services Area, a kind of growth boundary] and discontinued the principle that development had to be orderly and contiguous. That was a big mistake.

The council said basically that the remedy for getting too fat is to loosen your belt.