RiverFirst Videos

Minneapolis youth re-imagine the Upper Mississippi Riverfront from Minneapolis Parks Foundation on Vimeo.

The Minneapolis Parks Foundation is working with Juxtaposition Arts to bring youth voices and design ideas to the RiverFirst parks planning process. Juxtaposition Arts is a non-profit youth art education program and teen-staffed art and design enterprise and locally-rooted cultural development center. RiverFirst is a generational vision to transform the Mississippi Riverfront in Minneapolis into a culturally- and ecologically vibrant network of parks and trails with deep connections to the surrounding neighborhoods.

RiverFirst is a generational initiative to bring world-class parks and trails to the Mississippi Riverfront in Minneapolis. The first in a series, this film explores the RiverFirst vision and the significance of transforming 11 miles of once-industrial riverfront into dynamic community-based assets for residents and visitors. Through RiverFirst, the community will reshape the Upper Riverfront into a regional economic engine and world-class cultural and recreational destination. The second film will explore current and visionary RiverFirst projects. This film was produced in partnership with the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board with funding from the Minneapolis Parks Foundation.

Special thanks to Adam Goss, Red Mike and Ryan Clark of SOS; Maura Rockcastle, Tom Leader and Erik Prince of TLS; Kate Lamers and Dawn Sommers of the Minneapolis Park Board; Bob Bruininks and Susan Hagstrom; and Sam Ero-Phillips and the Enviro Program students from Juxtaposition Arts.

For more information about RiverFirst, please visit our websites:

Created by the Minneapolis Parks Foundation’s 2015-2016 Research Assistants in Practice, graduate students Christopher Tallman, Han Do, Kelly Watters and Jonathan Fillmore, this video tells the story of how a future public park will capture, cleanse and reuse urban stormwater before it reaches the Mississippi River.

Water Works will demonstrate how public open space can play a substantial role in the stormwater equation in ways that cleanse urban stormwater, reduce non-renewable potable water use, minimize public investment in underground stormwater infrastructure, and normalize district stormwater partnerships.

The Research Assistants in Practice program is made possible through support to the Department of Landscape Architecture, University of Minnesota College of Design. Thank you!

Gia Biagi, Urbanism & Civic Impact | A Next Generation of Parks™ event, October 2017 from Minneapolis Parks Foundation on Vimeo.

As Principal of Urbanism for Studio Gang, Gia Biagi is always thinking about civic architecture. She sees the role of parks designer as that of convener, and a source of empathy in times of change who can “meet the community where they are.” Biagi emphasizes that designers and placemakers should try to remain humble in the effort – always asking themselves “who’s not represented in the room.” She spoke about her work on Polis Station and the Civic Commons. This event also features Minnesota Public Radio’s Stephanie Curtis, and Sam Ero-Phillips, Tatiyana Gross, and Lanijah Warfield-Wright from Juxtaposition Arts.

Maurice Cox, Re-creating Detroit | A Next Generation of Parks™ event, November 2016 from Minneapolis Parks Foundation on Vimeo.

Maurice Cox is a nationally renowned planner and practitioner of democratic design and citizen planning. As Planning Director for the City of Detroit, Cox is leading a dramatic transformation that finds parks and public space at the intersection of design and social justice.

Called the “Champion of the Neighborhoods,” Cox is a convener, who helps community members understand that it’s possible to change the world through design. This evening, Cox will share with us his compelling story of creative community engagement in Detroit and open the door to an inspiring conversation about the future of the Twin Cities and how we shape it together.

This presentation was recorded live on November 4, 2016, and features a post-presentation interview by Minnesota Public Radio’s Brandt Williams. Download transcript.

The 2016-2017 Next Generation of Parks™ Event Series was presented by Minnesota Public Radio and produced in partnership with the Walker Art Center and the University of Minnesota Department of Landscape Architecture. Additional support was provided by the Cynthia Froid Group.