Creating a safe, healthy and environmentally friendly city is a top priority for the City of Minneapolis. In 2003, the Minneapolis City Council and Mayor R.T. Rybak launched the City’s Sustainability Initiative, integrating these priorities into City decision making. At the heart of this commitment are 24 sustainability indicators, providing a blueprint upon which we build a more sustainable city.
Minneapolis GreenPrint: This document takes stock of 2006 work on the City’s 10 environmental indicators (see below) and gives an account of where we are compared to our goals in reducing our impact on the environment. The 10 indicators fall in the following three categories:
Energy and Emissions
Urban Design and Mobility Clean Water
Renewable Energy: In the face of global warming and harmful levels of pollution created by our current energy consumption, it is critical to increase our use of renewable energy – solar, wind, biomass and hydropower. Minneapolis is increasing renewable energy use for buildings and vehicles.
Global Warming: The science is clear – global warming is real, we are responsible, and it is a threat to our society. The City is taking steps to reduce emissions that contribute to global warming.
Air Quality: Air quality in Minneapolis is among the best of major metropolitan areas in the United States. Still, the area has air quality issues that contribute to health problems. The City is working to improve local air quality.
Bicycle Lanes: In spite of our winters, Minneapolis boasts 10,000 cyclists and has one of the highest numbers of bicycle parking spaces of any city in the United States. The City is expanding its network of bike lanes and trails.
Downtown Transportation Alternatives: The City plays an important role in increasing transportation affordability, convenience and alternatives.
Tree Canopy: Our urban forest cleans the air, shelters wildlife, catches water runoff, cools our home and makes our city more beautiful. Minneapolis is committed to enhancing our urban forest.
Airport Noise: Minneapolis recognizes the important role the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport plays in our region’s economy. However, Minneapolis is keenly aware that noise and air pollution affect the quality of life for nearby residents and continues to work to reduce these.
Combined Sewer Overflow: Removing connections that allow stormwater into the sanitary sewer system have resulted in dramatic reduction in the amount of overflow of raw sewage into the Mississippi River during heavy rainfall events.
Permeable Surfaces: Taking a lesson from nature, Minneapolis is working to manage rainwater where it falls. By increasing permeable surfaces, the City reduces the rate and amount of water running off, thus improving the water quality, reducing erosion and increasing groundwater tables.
Water Quality: Minneapolis is known for its beautiful recreational waters. Keeping our lakes, streams and rivers clean is critical to a healthy urban environment and safe recreation. Minneapolis is working to protect and improve water quality.
Minneapolis GreenPrint (PDF) The entire document – 14 pages
Last updated Apr. 5, 2012