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Minneapolis Riverfront Project Raises Issues of Equity

The Upper Harbor Terminal project is set to transform an area north of downtown, but residents are concerned about the long-term impacts and outcomes.
March 10, 2020, 7am PDT | Camille Fink
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Tony Webster

The Upper Harbor Terminal project in Minneapolis is slated to turn the 48-acre riverfront parcel into a mixed-use housing, commercial, and entertainment area. But as the project moves forward quickly, residents of the area, including a large African-American population, wonder if they are being left out of the planning process.

"For many north-siders, who for decades have heard economic promises made and broken, the question now is: Will this time be different? Can something be built that centers current residents culturally and creates wealth for them?" writes Kenzie O’Keefe.

Local activists say Upper Harbor Terminal is an opportunity to institute an inclusive process with more equitable outcomes that will prevent gentrification and displacement.

"In recent months, the idea of creating a community development corporation has surfaced. Led and run by north siders, it could have the technical capacity to own land and enter in community benefits agreements with the developers," notes O’Keefe.

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Published on Wednesday, February 19, 2020 in Minnesota Public Radio
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