The City of Minneapolis web site used to contain the following web page and the attached document, but for some reason, this public information has been removed from the City’s web site. As a public service, it is cached here.
Thanks to a grant from the McKnight Foundation, the City of Minneapolis is embarking upon an exciting process to explore if and how Minneapolis as a community can enhance its organizational capacity to continue riverfront revitalization.
Through the partnership efforts of the City of Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and numerous public and private entities, great strides have been taken in bringing the riverfront to life, particularly in the Minneapolis Riverfront District near downtown. Additional opportunities and challenges remain ahead, and now is an opportune time to investigate if there are ways to revise or add to our existing organizational structure so that future riverfront revitalization can be completed more quickly and/or with even better results.
The City has hired the consulting firm of Bacon & Associates to lead a two-phase process. The team of Carolyn Bacon and Cathy Tilsen will be working throughout the process with a small group representing public agency staff and community interests.
Phase I of the process will include four tasks that are expected to extend into early 2006. Task 1 will include research to summarize what entities and organizations currently are involved, what their roles are, what riverfront plans and goals are being pursued and what organizational models are being used in other communities. Tasks 2 and 3 will seek input through interviews and workshops as to the strengths and weaknesses of the existing organizational structure and will explore options for improvement. (Options might include a new organization, having an existing organization take on one or more new roles and/or finding ways for the existing organizations to better coordinate their activities.) Task 4 will bring whatever proposal(s) result from the earlier phases out to the community for broader feedback. Assuming that Phase 1 results in an organizational proposal that has broad support, Phase 2 will move forward in 2006 with implementation of that proposal.
Stakeholders whose input will be sought during this process include the many governmental bodies involved with riverfront activities, existing and potential funders, non-profit organizations, neighborhood organizations, residents, businesses and developers.
* Study updates and reports
* The consultant
* List of staff/community “core group” members
* Riverfront goals Minneapolis needs the capacity to achieve
Current Status of Activities
Phase 1, Task 1, is complete. A report summarizing the results is now available (see below). Activities to date have included:
* Gathering of input from organizations involved in riverfront revitalization through the completion of questionnaires and interviews of key leaders.
* Research into some organizational models that have been used by other communities
* Compilation of the riverfront revitalization goals that Minneapolis wants the organizational capacity to achieve.
Riverfront Organization Study Task 1 Final Report (PDF)
Task 2 will focus on gathering additional input and is anticipated to continue into early 2006. This input will help prepare for workshops anticipated in Task 3.
“Core group” working with Bacon and Associates:
* Andrew Gillett (Hennepin County)
* Ann Calvert and Carrie Flack (Minneapolis CPED Department, Business Development)
* John Crippen and David Kelliher (Minnesota Historical Society/St. Anthony Falls Heritage Board)
* Rachel Ramadhyani (Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board)
* Barbara Sporlein and Pamela Miner (Minneapolis CPED Department, Planning)
* Chuck Sullivan and Matt Massman (community representatives appointed by Above the Falls Citizens Advisory Committee)
Combined list of overall Minneapolis riverfront revitalization goals
NOTE: These goals generally apply to the entire Minneapolis segment of the Mississippi River. Since the current status of the various reaches of the riverfront vary significantly, the types and levels of actions needed to achieve these goals also will vary. Much of the Lower Gorge has been appropriately developed for decades, so relatively little major revitalization activity is expected there. Significant revitalization has been achieved in the last few decades in the Minneapolis Riverfront District near downtown, although more remains to be completed. The biggest focus of revitalization activity in coming years is expected to be in the Upper River area from Plymouth Avenue to the northern city limits.
GOAL: CONVERT THE RIVERFRONT FROM A PRACTICAL UTILITY TO A PUBLIC AMENITY AND PROVIDE RIVER ACCESS
* The Minneapolis riverfront will be one of the primary “destinations” for residents and visitors in Minneapolis and the region as a whole.
* The majority of both banks of the River will be developed as open space under public stewardship, offering a variety of recreational experiences which are available to all.
* Parkways will link the area to the Minneapolis Grand Rounds park system and generally demarcate the transition between public and private space.
* Trails and pedestrian greenways (running both parallel and perpendicular to the River) will connect the Riverfront to city neighborhoods and to regional trail systems. “Riverway” streets will further connect the riverfront to surrounding neighborhoods.
* In addition to parks, other attractions and activities tied to the area’s natural, historical and cultural significance will be developed.
* Physical amenities and attractions will be complemented by a year-round calendar of special events and activities.
GOAL: PRESERVE AND INTERPRET THE AREA’S HISTORY
* Historic resources (i.e., buildings, structures, archeological sites and landscapes) will be preserved and reused for appropriate new uses. Within historic districts, new construction will be designed to be compatible.
* The history of the River and the interplay between the River and those who settled along its banks will be interpreted for visitors and residents in a many ways.
GOAL: DEVELOP A VITAL MIXED-USE COMMUNITY WITH VIBRANT RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOODS
* Sufficient new housing (with a variety of housing types and prices) will be developed to create a true sense of “neighborhood” in those segments of the Riverfront that will be residential.
* Vacant and underutilized land and buildings will be redeveloped to provide jobs, taxes and housing and to realize the area’s economic development potential.
* Businesses that support the riverfront vision will succeed and grow.
* Development and diverse transportation options will be coordinated to mutual benefit.
GOAL: ENHANCE THE ECOLOGICAL FUNCTION OF THE RIVER
* When possible (and where historically appropriate), riverbanks, bluffs and open space along the river will be restored and/or re-vegetated with native vegetation to improve water quality in the river and to provide natural habitat for birds and wildlife.
* Pollution will be remediated as redevelopment proceeds, with priority to any sites or uses that threaten public health or the River.
* New development and infrastructure will be designed to improve river water quality.
* Residents and businesses will be aware of their important roles as River stewards.
GOAL: REMOVE BARRIERS AND PROVIDE NEEDED INFRASTRUCTURE
* Blighting influences that are barriers to investment, e.g., pollution, will be removed.
* Roads, bridges, utilities and parking facilities will be renovated or installed to provide needed services and access.
* Improvements also will be provided to support and encourage pedestrian, bicycle and transit usage.
GOAL: ESTABLISH AND IMPLEMENT URBAN DESIGN GUIDELINES
* Design guidelines that respect the objectives included in the Critical Area Plan and the MNRRA CMP will guide development.
* Design will take its cue from the historic and natural character in each section of the Riverfront, with higher density and hard urban forms generally nearest downtown and moderate density and more natural forms further from the core. The design will be essentially urban in nature.
* Public art will be woven into the riverfront in a manner consistent with the City’s public arts goals.
* Views to and from the River and riverbanks will be carefully considered.
GOAL: IMPLEMENTATION OF RIVERFRONT REVITALIZATION IS EFFICIENTLY COORDINATED, EFFECTIVELY COMMUNICATED, SUFFICIENTLY FUNDED AND BASED UPON A SHARED VISION
* Effective communication systems and participation processes will be in place to gather input, share information and reach general consensus on shared visions.
* The activities of the various planning, regulatory and implementing entities will be coordinated for maximum effectiveness and to assure that plans and regulatory/implementation tools are aligned.
* A broad spectrum of governmental, corporate, non-profit and individual investors will be engaged in supporting riverfront revitalization efforts.
* Property that is slated for transition will be acquired at a time and in a manner that is as beneficial as possible to both parties. Any transitions that are the inevitable result of land use changes will be managed to be as informed and smooth as possible.
* Communications systems will be in place to promote: a) riverfront development opportunities to the development community, b) riverfront businesses and homes to potential customers and residents, c) riverfront events and attractions to those seeking to enjoy the many aspects of the River, and d) the impact and value of riverfront revitalization to the general public and to policy-makers.
* Minneapolis will be prepared to participate effectively and efficiently in regional riverfront initiatives and activities.
September 15, 2005