Twin Cities's Parks Adapt for the 21st Century

Susan Klemond looks at what it will take to protect and expand the Twin Cities's tremendous legacy of parks to meet the changing demographics and needs of the area's population.

A century ago, visionary planners and civic leaders in Minneapolis and St. Paul created a system of parks that are still treasured in the Twin Cities. Klemond looks at how Jayne Miller, Minneapolis Park and Recration Board superintendent, and other civic leaders in the area plan to maintain, evolve, and expand the Twin Cities's side-by-side park systems amid changing demographics, park needs, and ecological considerations.

Two major elements of this planning effort are RiverFIRST and the Great River Passage, which envision how to develop parks and natural areas along 25 miles of the Mississippi River corridor in Minneapolis and St. Paul, respectively. "While many cities around the world are now looking at their riverfronts, the combined 25-mile Minneapolis/St. Paul corridor is the longest ever undertaken as a unit, says Bruce Chamberlain, Minneapolis assistant superintendent of planning."

Other efforts are looking at how to adapt park uses to suit the desires of changing demographics, re-envisioning the typical rec center, developing an ecological system plan, and facilitating urban agriculture.  

Full Story: Creating public parks 3.0: new demographics, new needs

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