Realizing the Multiple Dividends of Public Investment

This week, Minneapolis got to be part of a 100 Resilient Cities workshop about realizing the Resilience Dividend. The Resilience Dividend is how investments in resilience pay off in multiple ways, making our communities stronger today and in the face of any shocks we may experience. The workshop brought together Chief Resilience Officers and high-level city budget officials for conversation and work around how resilience supports and is supported by city budget processes so we can be better able to realize the multiple benefits of resilience in our community

In addition to the workshop, I had several conversations for 100 Conversations in 100 Days.

I met Dan Collison, who is lead pastor of a downtown church as well as director of downtown partnerships for the Downtown Council. This combination of leadership in a community of faith as well as in the business community is not a common combination. But listening to Dan’s perspectives on Minneapolis, with a particular focus on Downtown East and Elliott Park, it makes sense. Dan is excited about and deeply connected to this part of our community. With the huge investments in Downtown East (U.S. Bank Stadium the biggest among them), he has been working to make sure the benefits of these investments are widely spread, not just focused among a small group. By working across communities in a particularly geography, he has helped multiply the dividends of downtown development for multiple groups and purposes.

I also heard from Laura Monn Ginsburg, co-founder of the public affairs company Apparatus and resident in Linden Hills. She has a particular expertise in transportation and developed a podcast called Here to There, about commuting in the Twin Cities, now and in the future. The conversations in these podcasts highlight how investments in transportation fit in the broader systems of our community, making getting to work and living life more or less easy. The transportation investments we make collectively with public money result in all kinds of impacts on people’s lives.

These three experiences highlight the need to think about how decisions we make with public money have multiple impacts. Using a resilience lens, that connects across sectors and scales, helps us think through the impacts of public investments.  This resilience thinking can help us make sure our city budget, and the many impacts it has, reflects the values of our community.