8. Creative, cultural, and natural amenities: In 2040, Minneapolis will have the creative, cultural, and natural amenities that make the city a great place to live.

Native Dancers at the Commons

Minneapolis’ creative, cultural and natural amenities shape the city and its economy and attract residents, businesses and visitors. In 2017, Minneapolis had the repeat honor of being recognized as the Nation’s Best Park System by the Trust for Public Land; Minneapolis’ parks encompass the city’s defining lakes and river banks and include features of astonishing beauty, historical significance and ecological wonder, all within a thriving urban setting.

Not only that, but Minneapolis has a national park running right through it – the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, which follows the Mississippi River through the city. Its pinnacle, St. Anthony Falls, the only major waterfall on the Mississippi River, generated the power that created Minneapolis. St. Anthony Falls has been the anchor in the rebirth of Minneapolis’ central riverfront, an area that provides an incredible opportunity to increase access to natural and cultural amenities for Minneapolis residents and expand the city as a regional and national destination.

In addition to its parks and natural attractions, Minneapolis’ creative sector is often cited as an important factor in promoting the city on a global scale. In 2015, creative sector sales contributed $4.5 billion to Minneapolis’ economy – nearly eight times the revenues of Minneapolis’ sports sector. That said, the value of the creative and cultural amenities tied to the creative sector goes far beyond money. It’s much deeper, rooted in individual and group expression and learning, as well as in growing, exploring and forging deeper connections between Minneapolis residents. A 2014 survey conducted through the City’s Creative City Road Map planning process demonstrated that Minneapolis residents and artists think it’s important to offer arts and cultural programs to bridge differences between people and to make tangible the values and identities of local communities. The City will continue to encourage this creative – and natural – vibrancy that makes Minneapolis a welcoming attractive community.

To achieve the goal of creative, cultural, and natural amenities, the City of Minneapolis will steward, support, and strengthen its creative, cultural, and natural amenities. This means strengthening the ecosystem to support the creative sector and reducing disparities among creative sector workers to give people of color and indigenous people opportunities to participate and succeed. It means connecting cultural institutions and creative workers with the resources and dynamic spaces they need to thrive.

Minneapolis will continue to maintain, promote and expand upon the unparalleled beauty and recreational opportunities of the city’s parks and open spaces. The City will strive to fill gaps where residents do not have equal access to parks and open spaces and to connect residents to natural amenities. And the City will work to ensure that improvements to parks and park programs better serve Minneapolis’ changing population.


17 Policies relate to this goal. Click on a policy below to learn more about it.

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