Minneapolis is reimagining the civic commons to address long-standing and persistent racial inequities. Minneapolis’ historic and celebrated Grand Rounds – the system of trails and parkways that connects the Mississippi River to neighborhoods – was never extended into North Minneapolis, a historic African American community. The efforts in Minneapolis will focus on deepening North Minneapolis residents’ relationship to the river, using community-centered processes and strategies to build prosperity for all.
Minneapolis is reimagining the civic commons to address long-standing and persistent racial inequities and disparities present in the city’s park system and the public realm. The project focuses on the historic Grand Rounds – the system of trails and parkways that connects lakes, creeks and the Mississippi River to neighborhoods. The city never extended the Grand Rounds into North Minneapolis, a historic African American community. Heavy industry and unwanted land use also affect North Minneapolis residents’ quality of life, subjecting residents to pollution, adverse health impacts and environmental inequity.
The efforts in Minneapolis will focus on reconnecting the residents of North Minneapolis to the river physically, culturally and economically. The equitable development of new trails, parks, public spaces and greater river access will provide North Minneapolis with assets and access it has never had. New park developments along the river are part of a broad vision referred to as RiverFirst that includes Great Northern Greenway Overlook and River Link, Halls Island, Graco Park, the future riverfront park at Upper Harbor Terminal and interconnecting trails.
This vision will evolve with the community at the center, ensuring processes and strategies that create positive social, cultural and economic impacts. By focusing on building prosperity for all, the project will be a catalyst for reversing long-standing racial and economic disparities in North Minneapolis.