Green Zones Policy Initiative
Green Zones Background
Low-income communities, Indigenous communities and communities of color in Minneapolis experience unequal health, wealth, employment, and education outcomes, and also are overburdened by environmental conditions such as traffic and stationary pollution sources, brownfield sites, blight and substandard housing.
The idea for developing a Minneapolis Green Zones initiative came from the Minneapolis Climate Action Plan Environmental Justice Working Group. A Green Zone is a place-based policy initiative aimed at improving health and supporting economic development using environmentally conscious efforts in communities that face the cumulative effects of environmental pollution, as well as social, political and economic vulnerability.
Minneapolis Green Zones Workgroup 2016-2017
On February 12, 2016, City Council passed the Green Zones Policy Workgroup Resolution (PDF) establishing a Green Zones Workgroup tasked with developing Green Zone designation criteria based on basic overlays of environmental (land, air and water) as well as race and income data sets, to demonstrate the intensity of the intersection of these factors. The Workgroup also was charged with developing goals and metrics as well as environmentally-conscious strategies for improving health and supporting economic well-being. See the Green Zone Workgroup agendas and meetings page for more information about past meetings.
Minneapolis Establishes Green Zones
On April 17, 2017, the City Council's Health, Environment and Community Engagement Committee received the Green Zones Workgroup's recommendations (PDF) and unanimously passed a Resolution Establishing Green Zones in the City of Minneapolis (PDF). The resolution establishes a Northern and a Southern Green Zone, with initial pilots in both sectors (see the Green Zones map (PDF)).
On April 28, 2017 the resolution was unanimously approved by the full City Council, with an amendment by Council Member Reich. The amendment adds environmental education as a goal for the Green Zone implementation and includes coordination with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board on the RiverFirst initiative in the Northern Green Zone. The final resolution and related documents are available on the Green Zones file webpage.
Green Zones Mapping Tool
To support the Green Zones Workgroup's data-driven decision making, a Minneapolis Population Characteristics and Environmental Indicators Map was created. The tool shows data by Census Tract for each of the eight priority issues selected by the Green Zones Workgroup: 1) equity, 2) displacement, 3) air quality, 4) brownfields and soil contamination, 5) housing, 6) green jobs, 7) food access, and 8) greening. Multiple data sets may be turned on at once to show cumulative burden.
For questions or more information, contact Kelly Muellman at email@example.com or 612-673-3014.
Last updated May 18, 2017