History of the Neighborhood Revitalization Program

Overview of the founding of the Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP).
In 1987, with signs of neighborhood decline in Minneapolis becoming increasingly apparent, the Mayor and City Council created a Task Force that reported in May 1988 that physical revitalization of Minneapolis neighborhoods was badly needed and would cost over $3 billion. The Task Force urged the City to initiate a citywide planning effort with guidance from neighborhood residents.

In May 1989 an Implementation Committee proposed a revitalization program that would "protect" fundamentally sound neighborhoods, "revitalize" those showing signs of decline and "redirect" those with extensive problems. Later that year, a Technical Advisory Committee of key local government staff endorsed a process that encouraged the jurisdictions serving Minneapolis to work together to use existing resources to support addressing neighborhood priorities.

Neighborhood based priority setting, planning, and implementation are NRP's core. Residents and other neighborhood stakeholders create Neighborhood Action Plans (NAPs) that describe the neighborhood they want in the future and the goals, objectives and specific strategies that will help accomplish their vision. NRP completes the empowerment process by providing funding to each neighborhood to help implement their approved NAP.

Neighborhoods implement their NRP plans by working with City, County, Parks, and School staff, and to use these experts' knowledge and resources to help improve their neighborhood. Developing new partnerships and renewing old ones helps produce creative solutions. The partnerships created are as varied as the people and interests involved in neighborhoods.

All 84 Minneapolis neighborhoods have been involved in NRP. Thousands of Minneapolis residents have used the NRP planning process to identify and help meet their neighborhood's housing, safety, economic development, recreation, health, social service, environment and transportation needs.

They build a foundation for their future by organizing residents, gathering information, prioritizing needs, brainstorming solutions and implementing the NAP they develop. From increasing the amount of affordable housing to improving the environment, building community centers to creating new jobs and providing services to seniors, Minneapolis residents are the creators and catalysts of change - change aimed at reestablishing a sense of common purpose in their community.

1991 - 2011

By the end of 2011, NRP had committed $290 million to improving neighborhoods and implementing Neighborhood Action Plans. Under the statute committing resources to NRP, the State of Minnesota required that 52.5% of all invested revenues be used for housing and housing related programs, projects, services and activities.

During its first 20 years, NRP and the neighborhoods:

  • Invested more than $158 million in improving existing and developing new housing
  • Invested more than $10 million in improvements to seven major commercial corridors
  • Invested more than $20 million in improving parks, more than $6 million in improving schools and nearly $1 million in improving libraries
  • Approved 597 public safety strategies that allocated more than $10 million to increased police services and innovative public safety strategies that ranged from bike and beat patrols to neighborhood organized walking groups
  • Provided more than $1.5 million to support alternative transportation approaches and improvements for pedestrians, bicyclists and mass transit
  • Planted thousands of trees, shrubs and plants to improve the urban environment and increase green space
  • Conducted projects to stabilize lake shores and helped finance improved pedestrian and bicycle paths in parks
  • Promoted art in public places throughout the city
  • Conducted neighborhood cleanups
  • Planted and maintained community gardens
  • Promoted energy conservation and recycling
  • Helped improve water quality in Minneapolis lakes and streams
  • Built playgrounds, tot lots and trails
  • Funded programs for youth, seniors, and new Americans
  • Funded community health clinics, immunizations, disease screenings and parenting classes
  • Financed building improvements for small businesses
  • Conducted thousands of community gatherings and events

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