The Mankato/North Mankato Area Planning Organization (MAPO) was established in 2012 in response to the 2010 U.S. Census, which designated the Mankato/North Mankato region as an urbanized area (metropolitan statistical area–MSA), requiring the formation of a metropolitan planning agency. Being an MSA is beneficial because it can positively have an impact on quality of life and the economy, including increased funding for transportation and economic development. In addition, an MSA designation can raise awareness of an area, which can bring business to the community.
MAPO meets and maintains a continuing, cooperative and comprehensive metropolitan transportation planning process to provide maximum service to citizens since roads don’t start and stop at jurisdictional lines. In other words, the federal government wished to see federal transportation funds spent in a manner that has a basis in metropolitan region-wide plans developed through intergovernmental collaboration, rational analysis, and consensus-based decision making.
MAPO is represented by the cities of Mankato, North Mankato, Eagle Lake, and Skyline; Blue Earth and Nicollet counties; and the townships of Belgrade, Lime, South Bend, LeRay and Mankato.
MAPO is directed by a six-member policy board and advised by a Technical Advisory Committee. The committee reviews and formulates recommendations to the policy board regarding plans for unified work, long-range transportation, transportation improvement as well as other plans and studies MAPO prepares.