Minneapolis Sustainability

350 S. 5th Street, Room 315M
Minneapolis, MN 55415
sustainability@minneapolismn.gov

Green Zones 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.

Read the Minneapolis Green Zones Workgroup Final Report for a summary of the work completed by the Green Zones Workgroup, as well as the efforts of many community leaders, environmental advocates and City staff that led to the final, amended resolution.

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 North Side and a South Side 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 North Side Green Zone. The final resolution and related documents are available on the Green Zones file webpage.

South Side Green Zone Task Force

**Now taking applications, through July 26, 2017**

The City of Minneapolis South Side Green Zones Task Force was created by the City Council Resolution Designating Green Zones on April 28, 2017. The Task Force will develop an action-oriented Work Plan specific to the South Side Green Zone, which includes the greater Phillips community and Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. The Work Plan should identify actions that promote health and economic well-being using environmentally-beneficial strategies.

To apply now, see the Task Force Recruitment 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.

Contact Information

For questions or more information, contact Kelly Muellman at kelly.muellman@minneapolismn.gov or 612-673-3014.

Last updated Jul 26, 2017

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