Scott County, with its abundant farmland, will play an important role in meeting future food and energy needs of the Twin Cities. The challenge is that the new 2030 Comprehensive Plan for Scott County was created in 2004 before the energy and food price increases of 2008. County planners were interested in some fresh ideas about the situation.
A graduate regional design studio with Associate Professor Laura Musacchio (Landscape Architecture) and her students provided input about how alternative food and energy landscapes could be strategically integrated into the county. The studio learning experience emphasized how scenario planning can be linked from site design and planning to county-scale planning. The studio instruction method demonstrated how traditional design skills like making models of site designs can be dovetailed into the use of geographic information systems to visualize alternative landscape networks of food and energy.
A panel of experts representing the Scott County Planning Department, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, Renewing the Countryside, and the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs reviewed the students' projects and provided very positive feedback. Musacchio and her students will continue working with the Scott County Planning Department in fall semester 2009.