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Yizhen Cai

The Mississippi River, one that fosters various groups across the United States, has not been an accessible resource for people in North Minneapolis. The interstate-94 and the industrial zone construct a social and spatial barrier for people in the Northside neighborhoods to even visit the river, though it is only a 10-minute-walk from the west end of the interstate.
In numerous conversations with local community members, many express the desire to get closer to the water and design the riverfront to benefit the neighborhoods both monetarily and non-monetarily. In addition to river accessibility for activities such as fishing, people emphasize the need to have a fine-dining restaurant, a celebration space, and elders bring up their memories in Riverview Supper Club, a restaurant and a gathering hub by the river, being torn down in the year of 2000.
All dialogues and collaborations with community participants have shaped Northside Riverfront Commons. The project aims to build engagement, the sense of belonging and trust. It includes businesses run by local groups, returning profits to the neighborhoods. It is an experience for all people in the community across different generations. And it is a destination by the river, attracting people from all over the cities.

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