Anchor institutions — including colleges, universities, nonprofits and health care organizations — join with neighbors to boost inner-city communities.
Jay Walljasper, author of “The Great Neighborhood Book,” is editor of OnTheCommons.org. He writes, speaks, consults and strategizes about enriching urban and community life. Walljasper lives and bikes in the Kingfield neighborhood of Minneapolis.
The dream of an inter-connected world never seemed more possible than when I saw an Augsburg University student play guitar for a roomful of expectant mothers in Nicaragua.
No other big American city matches us on lakes. That’s a big reason Minneapolis’ park system has been ranked America’s best for the past five years by the Trust for Public Land.
A St. Paul summit will strategize ways of making sure the advantages of walking can be shared by all, no matter what their income or where they live.
Willmar, Marshall, Luverne and the Lower Sioux Reservation: Community initiatives, learning centers and investing in relationships help enliven rural areas.
New London, Milan and Albert Lea are examples of communities showing signs of vitality — and unraveling many preconceptions of small-town life.
Even before the first sapling is planted, Augsburg’s campus exceeds the basic arboretum requirement of 25 identified species.
“The whole point of FSI is to transform streets of fear into streets of joy, in ways both large and small, affecting the physical environment and the emotional one,” said Lars Christiansen.
Committed residents pull together to enliven Main Streets, attract businesses and young families, nurture the arts, improve education and instill confidence that their towns will thrive.
Forget “the story of decline that we’ve been told since the 1950s,” says U of M sociologist Ben Winchester.
A growing sense of urgency about inequities in Minnesota was reflected in the 5th annual Placemaking Residency, where “Design for Equity” was the focus at 13 public events.
As more vacationers seek authentic experiences, the region’s distinctive identity flourishes.
Duluth is earning recognition as a lively, livable place with unmatched opportunities for outdoor recreation along with thriving local arts, beer and food. Its neighbor, Proctor, also exudes vitality.
“The secret to success is making places where people want to live,” says Aaron J. Brown, 35, who lives near Grand Rapids. He’s skeptical of “boom chasers, smokestack chasers, these big things that promise to put 100 guys in work clothes.”
“Many of our students were not aware that some of these jobs even existed before coming to camp,” says Tracy Wilson of Saint Paul College.
Southeast Minnesota is quietly becoming a Midwestern New England, with vibrant cultural assets, scenic tourism attractions and a dynamic economy.
Southeast Minnesota’s economy and way of life is driven by agriculture and the local food movement.
Pine Island and Plainview are two nearby towns with different strategies for capitalizing on the DMC initiative.
Small towns need help gaining the confidence to go in a new direction and stand out — that’s what you need to thrive,” says the U of M’s Tom Fisher.
What Albert Lea has accomplished over the past five years offers both lessons and inspiration for smaller towns and cities across the country.