Environmental Justice and Green Zones: Establish environmental justice frameworks for policy, resources and regulation.
Low-income residents, Indigenous people and residents of color in Minneapolis are disproportionately impacted by the cumulative effects of traffic, stationary sources of air pollution, brownfield sites, blight, substandard housing, lack of access to jobs, and the adverse effects of climate change. The City of Minneapolis defines environmental justice as the right to a clean, safe, and healthy quality of life for people of all races, incomes, and cultures. Environmental justice emphasizes accountability, democratic practices, remedying the historical impact of environmental racism, just and equitable treatment, and self-determination.
The City strives to achieve environmental justice for its residents through the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people, regardless of race, culture, immigration status, income, and educational level in the development, adoption, implementation, and enforcement of protective environmental laws, regulations, and policies. Fair treatment means no group of people should bear a disproportionate share of the negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, governmental, and commercial operations or the execution of federal, state, local, and tribal programs and policies. The concept of fair treatment includes the equitable distribution of environmental resources and burden. Realizing this environmental justice goal requires the City’s intentional action to significantly engage historically disenfranchised communities to protect the health of all Minneapolis residents and guests.
The City will seek to accomplish the following action steps to establish environmental justice frameworks for policy, resources and regulation.
- Align federal, state, county, and park policies and resources to further support the Southside and Northern Green Zones, which are citywide geographic designations based on data on demographics, environmental inequities, institutional racism, and underinvestment.
- Ensure that the people and communities in areas of environmental injustice experience the benefits of local and regional infrastructure investments.
- Advocate for regional investments that further reduce environmental and social inequalities in the Southside and Northern Green Zones.
- Ensure that sustainability investments in the Green Zones are carefully implemented to avoid gentrification and the displacement of small, diverse, and locally owned businesses and low income residents.
- Partner with residents and organizations in environmental injustice areas to determine City investments and regulatory changes.
- Explore opportunities and implement strategies in all City enterprise business lines to address inequities related to environmental injustice.
- Prioritize cleanup of contaminated sites in areas of environmental injustice.
- Create and implement proactive predevelopment brownfield cleanup strategies and tools in areas of environmental injustice.
- Conduct inclusive and accessible environmental justice engagement opportunities in all environmental health-related programs, regulations, and policies.
- Establish educational, technical and/or financial assistance for all environmental health-related programs, regulations and policies with an emphasis on environmental justice areas that have historically experienced underinvestment.