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POLICY 76

New Parks: Build new parks in underserved areas in order to ensure that all Minneapolis residents live within a ten-minute walk of a park.

Gold Medal Park
The Commons

Parks are a key factor in a city’s measure of quality of life. They provide undeniable benefits to surrounding communities such as free recreation, enjoyment of nature, and social gathering. Neighborhood parks were a key component of the design of Minneapolis’ award-winning park system in the early 20th century. The visionary park superintendent Theodore Wirth promoted plans for a playground within one-quarter mile (5-minute walk) of every child and a recreation center within one-half mile (10-minute walk) of all residents. Currently 97% of Minneapolis residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park, but small pockets of the city still lack easy access to such a critical component of a livable urban life. Some of these gaps are in places where new residential neighborhoods are emerging. As the city grows in population, it will be important to continue evaluating park access and to build new parks in underserved areas.

ACTION STEPS

The City will seek to accomplish the following action steps to build new parks in underserved areas in order to ensure that all Minneapolis residents live within a ten-minute walk of a park.

  1. Identify parts of the city that have long lacked adequate accessibility to parks as well as areas in need of open spaces to support newly-emerging residential neighborhoods.
  2. Where park gaps overlap with City-identified priority areas for coordinated development activities, ensure that implementation planning includes conceptual design and funding strategies for new parks.
  3. Evaluate and revise the park dedication fee ordinance in order to make it more feasible to fund development of new parks in priority areas.
  4. Coordinate with the Park Board on parkland acquisition planning.
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