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Map of North Minneapolis area

Project History

The Investing with North Minneapolis project brings together the optimism, expertise, and insight of Northside residents, and the working creativity and skills of youth interns, design students and professionals. Northside organizations and community members collaborate with the U of M school of Architecture to develop urban strategies that incorporate the values of the North Minneapolis community members. These urban strategies take their form through thoughtful architecture and urban design. This project empowers communities to foster a healthy urban environment and create equitable opportunity for long term socioeconomic growth.

The project has evolved over time to further the goal of collaborative community design that responds to the complex history of North Minneapolis. Initiated in 2020, and active during the University of Minnesota fall semester each year, it originally focused on North 26th Avenue with the goal of creating an overall urban plan that 1) addressed the history of extractive and oppressive policies that impact the neighborhood, and 2) connected the neighborhood to the river and Theodore Wirth Park. The original project goals have not changed, but the site and project approach have evolved over time. After the Fall 2021 semester, the project site expanded to incorporate West Broadway and participation expanded to include Northside Safety NET Interns and the public Come and Co-Design events. Meanwhile, the students and interns embraced an updated role as project stewards for community driven designs at a landscape and architectural scale.

For the Fall of 2023, the collaboration includes more than seven community organizations, and the site has expanded to include the Webber-Camden neighborhood. The project continues to include Co-Design public events, and student and intern projects address urban as well as landscape and architectural scales.

The website is a living archive of the work created within the larger Investing with North Minneapolis project since the Fall 2021 semester. It is intended to engage ongoing inquiry and feedback for the project as it continues to evolve through the Fall 2023 semester and beyond. The website archives project exhibitions, community designs as envisioned by the participating students and interns, and research materials for use by community members and students. Events related to the Investing with North Minneapolis project are planned and archived on the website as a record of the work and feedback for the project.

Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities, Northside Minneapolis, and the State of Minnesota are located on traditional, ancestral, sacred, and contemporary lands of the Dakota and Ojibwe people. The name Minnesota translates from the Dakota Mni-sota-makoce or “the land where the waters reflect the sky.” Where we work and live now was ceded to the United States in contested treaties of 1837, 1851, and white euro-american rule was enabled by the resulting genocide and displacement of the native peoples of these lands. We are committed to recognizing the complex history of this land by honoring the truth of violence, displacement, migration, and settlement that bring us together now. We acknowledge the need to end the violence against missing and murdered Indigenous women– a local and national epidemic which can be traced back to the arrival of European colonizers across Turtle Island.

We also acknowledge that the material wealth of our nation and our city was built on extractive practices regarding the Native American people and on the backs of enslaved Black people. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the implementation of industrial practices and development policies disproportionately affected the already oppressed peoples living in North Minneapolis. These policies, including redlining, the clearing of minority business districts, zoning policies allowing industrial land uses nearby to black and brown housing, the location of Interstate 94, and others.

We acknowledge and fight against the legacy of white supremacy and culture of anti-Black racism in our own community, which has led to the murders of Jamar Clark, Philando Castile, George Floyd, Daunte Wright, Winston Smith, and countless other Black Americans across this nation. Black lives matter. We stand with our Hmong, Asian, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander communities against the rise of xenophobic violence since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. We recognize that words are not enough, and we remain committed to the work of eradicating the injustices against all Black, Indigenous, and people of color caused by systemic racism. The recent murder of George Floyd has brought many of these issues into sharp focus. In a period of COVID-19 which has disproportionately affected the BIPOC residents of Minneapolis, including those in the Northside, it has amplified the challenges of community engagement.