The Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC) is the official metropolitan planning organization (MPO) and regional planning commission (RPC) for the seven county southeastern Wisconsin area. SEWRPC was created in 1960 to provide the basic information and planning services necessary to solve problems which transcend the corporate boundaries and fiscal capabilities of the local units of government comprising the Southeastern Wisconsin Region. For over 50 years SEWRPC has provided such information and planning services needed to solve problems and provide focus and attention on key issues of regional consequence. more
The Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission has created an electronic newsletter to keep you updated on the latest developments at the Commission and significant regional news related to the issues that SEWRPC addresses. We encourage you to sign up for the newsletter here.
Major Work Efforts
The Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for Southeastern Wisconsin is a listing of Federally funded transportation projects proposed for Southeastern Wisconsin 2015-2018. more
Restoration Plan for the Oak Creek Watershed
The Commission staff is preparing a restoration plan for the Oak Creek watershed. This plan will provide a guide for addressing the water quality impairments that have been identified in the watershed and will include specific, targeted recommendations to address a set of focus issues related to conditions in the watershed. more
Pewaukee Lake Watershed Protection Plan
In response to a request from the Pewaukee Lake Sanitary District, SEWRPC is preparing a protection plan for the Pewaukee Lake watershed in Waukesha County. This plan will build from the 2003 Second Edition Lake Management Plan for Pewaukee Lake and will provide specific, targeted recommendations to protect and enhance water quality, recreational use and access, and fish and wildlife habitat conditions within the Lake and its larger watershed. more
Jurisdictional Highway Plans
SEWRPC is currently preparing updates to the county jurisdictional highway system plans. The plans would provide a review and reevaluation, and recommendations as to which level and agency of government—state, county, and local—should have jurisdictional responsibilities for each segment of arterial street and highway in the Region. The new county jurisdictional highway system plans would constitute a refinement and amemdment of the functional improvements—new arterial facilities and widening of existing facilities—recommended in the year 2035 regional transportation plan. More on the jurisdictional highway plans can be found here.
We invite you to participate in planning for the future of our region.
Planning for needs like efficient highways and public transit systems, beneficial parks and open spaces, major land use changes and employment centers, and a quality environment including clean water cannot be done well without working together. These and other needs require a multi-county planning effort and benefit from the participation of many people.
This homepage highlights many of SEWRPC’s efforts and identifies pathways to participation through opportunities like public meetings, public review and comment periods, and planning studies underway. Please take a few moments to navigate the links to particular work efforts and events for a more detailed look at what is happening and how to learn more or comment.
To help guide public participation, SEWRPC has prepared a public participation plan, summary brochure, and companion documents which are available by clicking on the link below. These address the importance of public participation to regional planning, the Commission’s public participation goal, and important steps that are taken for involvement opportunities in all of our efforts.
Please let us hear from you! more
New Milwaukee Location
SEWRPC's Milwaukee office is now located in the Global Water Center at 247 W. Freshwater Way, Milwaukee, WI. Commission staff are available at this location by appointment. An online staff directory may be found at www.sewrpc.org/staff or call (262) 547-6721.
The Global Water Center houses water-based research facilities for universities and existing water-related companies, and also serves as an accelerator space for emerging water technology companies. The Center is also the headquarters for The Water Council a freshwater research, education, and business development organization.
Notices and News
VISION 2050 Final Plan Being Prepared
We are currently reviewing feedback received on the Draft Plan for VISION 2050 (view a booklet summarizing the Draft Plan), as we prepare the Final Recommended Plan, to be completed by mid-2016. The Draft Plan was the focus of the fifth and final round of public workshops held in late April and early May, 2016. Comments were also received via U.S. mail, fax, or email through May 6, 2016, and through an interactive website for the Draft Plan. The interactive website has been made available beyond the comment period to allow you to learn about the Draft Plan.
The Final Plan will recommend a long-range vision for land use and transportation in the seven-county Southeastern Wisconsin Region, following consideration of public comment on the Draft Plan. It will make recommendations to local and State government to shape and guide land use development and transportation improvement, including public transit, arterial streets and highways, and bicycle and pedestrian facilities, to the year 2050.
The Final Plan, like the Draft Plan, will involve a comparison of the estimated costs and reasonably expected revenues for the proposed transportation system. As with the Draft Plan, should the Final Plan identify a funding gap for the public transit element, we will need to identify a Federally recognized “fiscally constrained” version of the Final Plan. For the Draft Plan, this Federally Recognized Transportation Plan (FRTP) included a reduction in transit service in the Region rather than the significant improvement proposed under the Draft Plan. The Final Plan would then identify possible ways to address the transit funding gap.
VISION 2050 is a major planning effort that aims to update, reevaluate, and extend the regional land use and transportation plans to the year 2050. Draft chapters for the plan report documenting VISION 2050 can be accessed here.
SEWRPC Assisting City of Milwaukee with Streetcar System Study
As the City of Milwaukee advances Phase 1 of the Milwaukee Streetcar, the Commission staff will be working with the City to study potential future extensions of the initial streetcar line. Staff will analyze eight different corridors of possible streetcar expansion and identify related coordination with and impacts on other transit services. The study will be overseen by a City-appointed advisory panel. More information on the Milwaukee Streetcar can be accessed here.
SEWRPC Assisting Milwaukee County in Exploring Bus Rapid Transit
Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele announced in June that Milwaukee County would explore the development of bus rapid transit (BRT) in the heavily traveled corridor between downtown Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center in Wauwatosa. The Commission staff is assisting Milwaukee County in this effort, at the request of the Milwaukee County Department of Transportation. The Commission’s regional plan has long recommended pursuing the development of a system of express bus and BRT lines. A newsletter devoted to the BRT topic can be accessed here.
Conference on Passenger-Rail and Freight in Tri-State Region
A half-day conference is being held by the Alliance for Regional Development to examine intercity rail and freight movement in the Tri-State Region (including the Southeast Wisconsin, Northeast Illinois, and Northwest Indiana regions). The Alliance for Regional Development is coalition of business, government, and academia working together to strengthen the economic competitiveness of the Tri-State Region. The conference will be held from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm on Thursday, June 10, 2016, at the Willis Tower, 233 South Wacker Drive, Suite 800 in Chicago, Illinois. More information on the conference, including how to register, can be found at this link.
SEWRPC Assisting in Preparation of Development Plan for Aerotropolis Milwaukee
Aerotropolis Milwaukee is a public-private partnership of business leaders and local representatives from 9 communities within Milwaukee County focused on promoting economic growth around General Mitchell International Airport. The Commission staff is assisting Aerotropolis Milwaukee in preparing a plan that can be used to promote organized economic development that leverages existing assets within the Airport area. The plan will present recommendations for airport-supporting activities and clusters for incorporation into the communities’ comprehensive plans. More information on Aerotropolis Milwaukee is available here.
A Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)
A Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) for the Southeastern Wisconsin Region has been completed and is being distributed to county and local governments in the Region. The CEDS was developed by SEWRPC and the Milwaukee 7 (M7) in collaboration with the Regional Economic Partnership (REP). The REP includes representatives from the county economic development organizations or staffs, City of Milwaukee, M7, We Energies, and SEWRPC.
The CEDS is designed to promote governmental efforts and public-private partnerships to increase jobs and incomes, increase private investment, and encourage innovation in the Region. It provides a forum for identifying and prioritizing investment projects, identifies performance measures to evaluate economic development strategies, and enables eligible counties and communities to apply for grants from the U.S. Department of Commerce - Economic Development Administration (EDA). more
A Comparison of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Area to Its Peers
Commission staff recently prepared a report comparing the Milwaukee metro area to 26 other metro areas—13 from the midwest and 13 from the rest of the nation. The comparison includes nearly 90 measures related to the population, the economy, and the transportation system of the four-county Milwaukee metro area. The findings highlight a number of critical issues facing the Milwaukee area: slower population growth and greater job loss than nearly all other metro areas; strong evidence of disparities between white and minority populations (in regards to education, income, and poverty levels) that are more pronounced than nearly all other metro areas; and a well-performing highway system compared to other metro areas, but a transit system that has experienced more severe declines in ridership and service levels than nearly all other metro areas. These findings are presented in SEWRPC Memorandum Report No. 221 and provide valuable information for developing VISION 2050.