The Manhattan Urban Area Comprehensive Plan and MATS (Manhattan Area Transportation Strategy) was developed in a joint planning initiative by the City of Manhattan along with Riley and Pottawatomie counties over a 15-month period involving an extensive and highly collaborative public process. This involved an update of the 2003 Manhattan Urban Area Comprehensive Plan and extended the planning study from 75 square miles to 93 square miles, to identify new and expanded growth areas in the two counties as well as expanded redevelopment areas within the city. The process also included an update to the 2000 Manhattan Area Transportation Strategy (MATS), which focuses on a broad range of multi-model transportation issues.
The Manhattan Urban Area Planning Board and the Riley County Planning Board adopted the Comprehensive Plan on March 2, 2015, following a joint public hearing. The Pottawatomie County Planning Commission adopted it following a public hearing on March 3, 2015. On March 23, 2015, the Pottawatomie and Riley County Commissions adopted the plan. The Manhattan City Commission approved first reading of the plan on March 24, 2015 and second reading on April 7, 2015 by adoption of Ordinance No. 7131.