The Minneapolis Parks Foundation and our community partners have joined four other cities in the first expansion of Reimagining the Civic Commons, a national effort to prioritize public space as essential infrastructure for equitable and resilient communities. Our focus will begin with reimagining the Upper Mississippi Riverfront as a physical, economic, and cultural asset for North Minneapolis.
Reimagining Parks in North Minneapolis
Minneapolis is reimagining the Upper Mississippi Riverfront to address long-standing and persistent racial inequities and disparities present in our city park system and the public realm, a condition made even more evident since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. By focusing on building prosperity for all, parks and related civic assets can be a catalyst for reversing long-standing racial and economic disparities in North Minneapolis.
Our work on RiverFirst – with its signature projects at the heart of Upper Riverfront revitalization – becomes the starting point for a more deliberate process that seeks to build trust across differences, create value and economic opportunity for the community, and increase access to nature.
These projects may initially be focused on the river, but the social, cultural, and economic impacts must transcend those boundaries and reach deep into Northside neighborhoods. Community-centered processes and strategies – developed through our work in Reimagining the Civic Commons – will help ensure the emerging vision is equitable and shaped with input from the communities most impacted.
About Reimagining the Civic Commons
A national initiative to advance ambitious social, economic, and environmental goals through public spaces, Reimagining the Civic Commons was founded in 2016 with five demonstration cities: Akron, Chicago, Detroit, Memphis and Philadelphia. The data-driven approach of Reimagining the Civic Commons offers a new method for determining the multifaceted value of reinvesting in civic assets, including parks, libraries, and museums. In addition to Minneapolis, Lexington, Macon, Miami, and San Jose joined in the 2020 expansion.
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