Minneapolis green zones workgroup final report

Impacts on Minneapolis' vulnerable communities.

Executive summary


On April 28, 2017, the Minneapolis City Council unanimously approved a resolution designating two Green Zones in the City of Minneapolis: a Northern Green Zone and a Southside Green Zone. The Minneapolis Green Zones Initiative is a place-based policy initiative to promote health and economic well-being in communities that are overburdened by environmental pollution and face greater social, economic, and political vulnerability. By designating communities as Green Zones, designing strategies in partnership with community residents, and targeting resources in a comprehensive way, the initiative hopes to support transformative, lasting change for two of Minneapolis’ most disenfranchised communities.

From April 2016 through March 2017 a Workgroup of community stakeholders, City staff, and agency partners met monthly to come up with designation criteria, goals, and strategies. A series of focus groups in key communities were held to validate and improve upon the Workgroup’s recommendations. The key priority issues that the Workgroup identified to create economic development using environmentally conscious efforts include:

  • Green jobs
  • Air quality
  • Housing quality and affordability
  • Soil & water contamination clean up and brownfield redevelopment
  • Greening – including vegetation and clean energy
  • Healthy food access

The final, but most significant, of the recommendations is to develop strategies and activities that advance racial equity and prevent displacement and gentrification.

This report summarizes the work completed by the Green Zones Workgroup, as well as the efforts of many community leaders, environmental advocates, and City staff that led to the passage of this resolution.

I. Background
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II. Research: Green zones models and gentrification mitigation
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III. Green zones workgroup and community engagement
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IV. Selection criteria and policy recommendations
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V. Outcome and next steps
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VI. Evaluation
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VII. Acknowledgements
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