Minneapolis releases annual Greenprint report
In time for Earth Day, the sixth annual Greenprint report plays an important part in Minneapolis’ sustainability efforts by tracking the progress and challenges in improving the City's environment, which supports the City's quality of life now and in the future. Minneapolis continues developing new, relevant sustainability indicators, data and policies that are helping systematically make Minneapolis a cleaner, healthier, more efficient city. In a presentation to the Minneapolis City Council Committee on Regulatory, Energy & Environment Monday, April 18, City staff experts highlighted three components of the report: progress in solar energy, solid waste and recycling, and downtown transportation alternatives.
Key results in 2010 include:
- 600 kW of solar photovoltaic capacity added to the roof of the Minneapolis Convention Center – the largest solar electricity array in the Upper Midwest.
- The Nice Ride bike share program – the largest in the country when it launched in June – counting more than 100,000 rides by season's end.
- New codes, programs and policies to improve access to local, healthy food including leasing out five City-owned lots for community gardens and launching Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) at more farmers markets.
- The City of Minneapolis’ Hiawatha Public Works Facility was completed in 2010. This building has received the highest certification awarded by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). The LEED Platinum certification means the building is officially one of the greenest in the nation; only 40 Platinum level buildings in the U.S. are owned by local governments.
Challenges include two combined sewer overflows in 2010 after three years without one. A threat also exists to our urban forest, which helps clean the air, increase property values, give our neighborhoods character and manage stormwater runoff. A tree pest called emerald ash borer – first detected in Minneapolis in 2010 – threatens all of the ash trees in Minneapolis, which make up 20 percent of the total tree canopy.
In 2010, Minneapolis was recognized:
- For water quality innovations
- As the cleanest city in America
- As the sixth best eco-city in the world
- As America’s best bike city
- As seventh least wasteful city in the nation
- Among top 10 green cities
Published Apr. 18, 2011