Planning New 'Cultural Districts' in Minneapolis

Planners are giving shape to one of the potentially controversial aspects of the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan.

1 minute read

September 10, 2019, 12:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Northeast Minneapolis

Sam Wagner / Shutterstock

"Minneapolis City Council members are launching a new effort to help develop the cities’ most diverse neighborhoods grow economically while keeping those areas affordable to current business owners," according to an article by Jessica Lee.

To achieve those lofty goals, the city wants to launch six new cultural districts. "The city’s department for Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) is currently working on the details of the initiative," explains Lee, after the initiative was approved in concept as part of the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan.

"In theory, the plan for the cultural districts is straightforward," writes Lee. "The city wants to spend money to make streets cleaner, buildings look newer and help local entrepreneurs thrive in areas of Minneapolis where the majority of residents are people of color and where there’s a high concentration of low-income households."

The idea is the subject of skepticism in some neighborhoods around the city, where investments signify rising costs and displacement. Lee devotes feature-length attention to detail to the story, telling the specific stories of numerous neighborhoods and development projects, while also citing numerous authoritative sources.

Even though planners are already ironing out the details of the initiative, money for spending on related projects is already in Mayor Jacob Frey's budget for 2020.

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