Planning for better connections
Midtown Community Works is collaborating with partners to create more and better connections among the Midtown Greenway, nearby neighborhoods and Lake Street commercial areas, to make accessing and using these places easy, convenient and appealing, supporting the businesses and organizations in the area.
In August 2015, we tested temporary design experiments (PDF) along area streets, the greenway and in other public areas. These “test drive” experiments helped us hear from greenway users and nearby residents about preferred strategies for building connections and reducing barriers to destinations along Lake Street.
In 2016, we published a long-term implementation plan, Making the Connection: Midtown Greenway to Lake Street (PDF), which includes design recommendations, priority locations, cost estimates, potential funding sources, partnership opportunities and maintenance strategies. Participation from all of the Community Works partners—including neighborhood and community
organizations along the Greenway—is essential as we seek to implement the improvements outlined in this plan. Together we will follow up on existing opportunities and identify new ones, build new partnerships, and seek funding from organizations that may support many solutions in the plan.
Activating a neighborhood greenspace
This 1.65 acres greenspace is located between 10th and 11th avenues on the north side of the Midtown Greenway in the Midtown Phillips neighborhood of south Minneapolis. Sometimes called the Cepro site, after the grain elevators that stood there until 2004, the greenspace is just a stone’s throw from the Midtown Global Market and features the only fully American with Disabilities Act-compliant access for bicyclists, pedestrians and wheel chair users to the Midtown Greenway.
The county-owned site was poised to become a community asset beginning in 2005 when the nearby neighborhood led a visioning process that identified conservation, universal design and public art as priorities. Landscaping work and furnishing upgrades followed in 2011, but a planted perennial garden did not take and the space has not attracted the routine use that keeps public spaces vibrant and safe. But if the Cepro greenspace has yet to realize its full potential — even its name is unofficial — it has a solid foundation suitable for an array of activities, uses, and other opportunities.
Midtown Community Works is working with the Midtown Phillips community and other partners on a sustainable future for the greenspace, including a landscape restoration plan. Phase one was implemented in the fall of 2015 with phase two to come in the spring of 2016. The site is also identified as a priority location in the Midtown Connections plan for implementing small scale infrastructure improvements that will support placemaking on the site. If you are interested in the permitting the site for a community event, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.