City Council approves boundaries for seven new Cultural Districts

In August the City Council approved an ordinance establishing seven new Cultural Districts in Minneapolis – a designation designed to accelerate economic development and affordable housing strategies in some of the city’s most vibrant and culturally diverse areas.

The ordinance establishes Cultural Districts along West Broadway and Lowry Avenues North, 38th Street South, Cedar Avenue South, Central Avenue, East Lake Street, Franklin Avenue East.

As outlined in Minneapolis 2040, the City’s Comprehensive Plan, the goal of Cultural Districts is to advance racial equity, prevent displacement, preserve cultural identity and fuel economic growth in areas with a rich sense of cultural and/or linguistic identity rooted in communities significantly populated by people of color, indigenous people and/or immigrants (POCCII).

The ordinance allows the City to prioritize these areas in the establishment of tools and the deployment of resources to equitably advance cultural and linguistic identity, commercial vitality, stable housing and infrastructure within the Cultural Districts.

City staff and policy leaders engaged 30 community leaders representing 20 community organizations for two years on the formation of the Cultural Districts ordinance following direction from the City Council.

The Cultural Districts Work Group will continue to develop the remaining three requirements of the City Council’s Staff Direction for consideration at a later date, including:

• Recommend policies, practices, and budget resources to implement the Cultural Districts Comprehensive Plan policy;

• Ensure that Cultural Districts are supported by the City’s approved Comprehensive Plan, subsequent small area plans, land use, built form, and zoning policies; and

• In collaboration with the Communications Department and other key partners, develop a recommended framework for a narrative, branding, and promotion strategy to increase the visibility and viability of Cultural Districts.