Building on a rich history of creating and sustaining beautiful and dynamic public spaces, and leveraging the deep social, political, cultural and economic capital in the Twin Cities, Minneapolis and St. Paul (MSP) will use art, design and radical imagination to create a more just Twin Cities. The challenge is not how to create beautiful public spaces but how the people and systems that create public spaces can contribute solutions to counter the ingrained injustices communities face. By strategically leveraging partnerships and civic assets, MSP will dismantle racial and economic injustice through healing connections and systems change.
Minneapolis and St. Paul will focus on corridor development as the connective tissue of its work. Art and the creative process are foundational to creating a more just Twin Cities. The initial focus will be on West Broadway and Lake Street in Minneapolis. The team is still developing its focus in St. Paul.
West Broadway is the major commercial corridor in North Minneapolis. It is the proposed route for a light rail line and connects major public amenities including North Commons Park, the YMCA, Capri Theatre, Juxtaposition Arts and North High School. Supporting the development of the public realm along West Broadway to create a neighborhood commercial and cultural corridor – in place of a four-lane highway that divides the community – is the focus of this work. By working with the neighborhood, Hennepin County, The West Broadway Business Coalition, Metropolitan Council and others, MSP plans to make West Broadway into a place for North Minneapolis residents to connect, shop and participate in community life. This includes the 10,000-plus young people who live within a mile of North Commons park.
On Lake Street a collaborative effort is underway with community members and organizations to develop strategies for the redevelopment of their downtown, which was damaged in the unrest following George Floyd’s murder. A particular focus is the redevelopment of the 3rd Precinct, a national symbol of racial unrest. To develop a solution, the team is asking questions such as, “What should a police precinct be?” and “How can a police station be a part of the community and a civic asset?” The work of Studio Gang Polis Station will provide a foundation for this inquiry and advocacy.