Living Well sustainability report outlines Minneapolis’ successes and challenges
The Living Well report, the City of Minneapolis’ 2010 sustainability progress report, was presented to the City Council’s Public Safety and Health Committee on June 9. The report outlines steps Minneapolis is taking to make it a more vital, livable city and also shows a number of challenges it faces in becoming more sustainable. Among the findings are statistics that indicate asthma hospitalizations are down in Minneapolis – especially among children under 5, miles of bikeways are up, and Minneapolis is three sites away from its 2014 goal on cleaning up polluted land so that it can be redeveloped.
In its fifth year of publishing the Living Well report, the City of Minneapolis continues upgrading its business practices in ways that will systematically improve the City's ecological, economic and social systems. New indicators added this year will start tracking progress on community engagement, arts and the economy, and employment and poverty.
Minneapolis successes tracked in the report include:
- Meeting the teen pregnancy target
- Inspecting all the homes of children with lead poisoning for the first time in Minneapolis history, and a decrease in the number of kids found to have lead poisoning
- Meeting the target for no combined sewer overflows for the third year in a row
- Expanding a pilot residential organics composting program to a second neighborhood
- Engaging more than 100 residents in the Homegrown Minneapolis initiative, focused on expanding efforts to grow, sell, distribute and consume more fresh, sustainably produced and locally grown foods
- Completing the downtown Marquette and Second avenues transit project providing side-by-side bus-only lanes for less idling of buses in downtown, decreased stormwater runoff, more efficient lighting and new trees
Despite these advances, the city also continues to face a number of challenges that will require more efforts to resolve. Only half the resident population is at a healthy weight, the number of families and individuals in shelters is increasing, and 10 percent of employed residents live in poverty. This report allows Minneapolis leaders to track what is working and what isn’t, in order to redirect resources to where they are needed most.
Living Well is the City's fifth annual report taking stock of its work on sustainability indicators, which measure our progress on measures ranging from air quality and solar power, to healthy infants and jobs. The report tracks targets, trends and recent activities related to the indicators, which allows Minneapolis to measure its progress and match actions with goals.
Minneapolis continues to receive recognition for its sustainability work. Minneapolis was recently ranked the sixth most eco-city in the world, best bicycling city in the U.S., one of the top U.S. time-saving cities (reflecting our livability), the seventh least wasteful city in the U.S., in the top five in a national well-being survey, and one of 10 greenest cities in the nation.
Published Jun. 10, 2010