Minneapolis is working on becoming more resilient city, one that is better prepared for potential big shocks and actively working to address stresses that make our community weaker. The City is doing this work as part of a global network of 100 Resilient Cities.
It’s a big definition of resilience, and you could make the case that almost anything could fall under it. As Minneapolis develops its resilience strategy, it is intentionally starting with this big definition and a sense of openness and possibility. In order to be prepared, the city needs to consider a lot of different perspectives, sources of information, narratives, and explanations of what really contributes to our challenges.
The resilience strategy process will focus what is studied as well as potential resilience initiatives. While we have some sense of where this focus is going – an initial agenda-setting workshop highlighted the need to focus on climate change, structural inequality, and national impacts on Minneapolis – the process is still in a very open phase.
While the Resilient Minneapolis process is very open, a commitment to relationships is an essential core of the work. Resilience depends on seeing relationships, between interrelated challenges like the cost of housing and food insecurity. Even more importantly, a resilient city is one with strong relationships – among neighbors, sectors, cultural groups, and more.
One of the ways the Resilient Minneapolis strategy process reflects this commitment to relationships is in the 100 Conversations in 100 Days community engagement. During the hundred days ending on the first day of winter, Chief Resilience Officer (CRO) Kate Knuth will be out in the community connecting with 100 individuals in the community for one-on-one conversations. These conversations will be with all different kinds of folks in Minneapolis, from neighborhood activists to formal leaders of big institutions. She will document these conversations in a formalized data gathering process as well as in weekly web updates.
All of these conversations, and the broader resilience strategy development, will paint a picture of the many relationships that make Minneapolis who it is and strengthen the relationships to grow resilience in Minneapolis.
In the first few days, CRO Kate Knuth heard from Jamez Staples, a green economy for all entrepreneur; Jeff Washburne, Executive Director of the City of Lakes Community Land Trust; Frank Hornstein, State Representative; Steve Cramer, President of the Downtown Council; and Sharon Pierce, President of Minneapolis Community and Technical College.
You can follow Resilient Minneapolis at minneapolismn.gov/resilience and with the Twitter hashtags #ResilientMPLS and #100MplsConvos.