North Minneapolis faces a number of complex issues that negatively affect housing quality and wellbeing of residents. A history of systemic racism and neglect, absentee landlords, and chronic underinvestment among other things have created serious barriers to homeownership. Additionally, the advent of school choice and fears about crime in the neighborhood often make it difficult for neighbors to get to know each other.
This project uses a set of strategies rather than a design prescription to 1) address the desire many residents have for stronger community, 2) create safe space for youth and neighborly activity, and 3) facilitate wealth building through strategic resource sharing.
The site is a typical residential block. Based on the idea of cohousing and focusing on the alley space behind the houses, the strategy is for residents to build relationships and selectively share space, resources, and skills as they see fit. For example: consolidating tool sheds within the block might eliminate the overall number of tools needed, free up space for other activities, and give everyone access to a greater number of tools.
Building a community of resource-, skill-, and labor-sharing over time can allow residents to take control of their own space and find fulfillment and safety in robust community.