NRP in Action

The Basics
Phase II
Policy Board
Work With Us
Contact Us

NRP Primer

The Minneapolis Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) makes the city's residential areas better places to live, work, learn and play. NRP is an investment program based on truly empowering residents by bringing them into the priority-setting process of the city. It is based on the belief that the empowerment of residents and the mobilization of untapped resources, energy and creativity can make our collective desire for a better future a reality.

NRP funds helped turn this formerly boarded-up,
vacant building into the Homewood Studios art gallery.

Neighborhood based priority setting, planning, and implementation are NRP's core. Residents and other neighborhood stakeholders create Neighborhood Action Plans (NAPs) that describe the neighborhood they want in the future and the goals, objectives and specific strategies that will help accomplish their vision. NRP completes the empowerment process by providing funding to each neighborhood to help implement their approved NAP.

Neighborhoods implement their NRP plans by working with government and others. Through NRP, residents have learned to work with City, County, Parks, Library and School staff, and to use these experts' knowledge and resources to help improve their neighborhood. Developing new partnerships and renewing old ones helps produce creative solutions. The partnerships created are as varied as the people and interests involved in neighborhoods.

All 84 Minneapolis neighborhoods are involved in NRP. Thousands of Minneapolis residents have used the NRP planning process to identify and help meet their neighborhood's housing, safety, economic development, recreation, health, social service, environment and transportation needs.

They build a foundation for their future by organizing residents, gathering information, prioritizing needs, brainstorming solutions and implementing the NAP they develop. From increasing the amount of affordable housing to improving the environment, building community centers to creating new jobs and providing services to seniors, Minneapolis residents are the creators and catalysts of change - change aimed at reestablishing a sense of common purpose in their community.

By the end of 2005, NRP had committed $280 million to improving neighborhoods and implementing Neighborhood Action Plans. Under the statute committing resources to NRP, the State of Minnesota required that 52.5% of all invested revenues be used for housing and housing related programs, projects, services and activities.

During its first 15 years, NRP and the neighborhoods:
  • Invested more than $130 million in improving existing and developing new housing
  • Invested more than $10 million in improvements to seven major commercial corridors
  • Invested almost $20 million in improving parks, more than $6 million in improving schools and almost $1 million in improving libraries
  • Approved 597 public safety strategies that allocated more than $10 million to increased police services and innovative public safety strategies that ranged from bike and beat patrols to neighborhood organized walking groups
  • Provided more than $1.5 million to support alternative transportation approaches and improvements for pedestrians, bicyclists and mass transit
  • Planted thousands of trees, shrubs and plants to improve the urban environment and increase green space
  • Conducted projects to stabilize lake shores and helped finance improved pedestrian and bicycle paths in parks
  • Promoted art in public places throughout the city
  • Conducted neighborhood cleanups
  • Planted and maintained community gardens
  • Promoted energy conservation and recycling
  • Helped improve water quality in Minneapolis lakes and streams
  • Built playgrounds, tot lots and trails
  • Funded programs for youth, seniors, and new Americans
  • Funded Community health clinics, immunizations, disease screenings and parenting classes
  • Financed building improvements for small businesses
  • Conducted thousands of community gatherings and events

The Policy Board established four primary goals for NRP when it was established in 1990:
    Build neighborhood capacity.
    When people organize, collect and analyze information, and become more knowledgeable about their community, they can be significant contributors to the revitalization of their neighborhood. A diverse group of residents working together can generate creative approaches to change, mobilize new assets and generate positive results.

    Redesign public services.
    The people who live and work in a neighborhood are excellent judges of their neighborhood's priorities, opportunities and needs. The NRP provides a safe forum for all neighborhood voices to be heard. It also creates a potentially beneficial opportunity for public officials and government staff to interact with the people for whom they are working. This can lead to the reexamination of budget priorities and new methods of delivering public services.

    Increase inter-governmental and intra-governmental collaboration.
    Five governments have jurisdiction over major aspects of the lives of Minneapolis residents: the Mayor and Minneapolis City Council; Hennepin County; the Minneapolis School Board; the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board; and the Minneapolis Library Board. New efforts to communicate and coordinate services within and between these five government jurisdictions could provide residents with more benefit for each public dollar spent by these governments.

    Create a sense of community.
    Neighborhood revitalization ultimately depends on a sense of neighborhood identity and a commitment by residents to make their neighborhood a better place to live, work, learn and play. The NRP gives neighborhood residents a framework for, and reasons to, come together to create that commitment.

The NRP uses a six-step process to help residents define what they want for their neighborhood, prepare their Neighborhood Action Plan and begin successful implementation. Residents, with support and assistance from NRP staff:
    1. Develop a Participation Agreement.
    The neighborhood organization prepares a Participation Agreement that spells out how they will:
    1- select a neighborhood NRP steering committee to coordinate the plan development process,
    2- get a broad cross section of people and interests involved,
    3- gather background information for the planning effort,
    4- define neighborhood issues and opportunities, and
    5- structure meetings and events to develop their plan.

    2. Build a diverse citizen participation effort and gather and analyze information.
    Issues, needs and opportunities are identified through outreach to individuals and neighborhood groups. Outreach activities include meetings, surveys, events, focus groups and other efforts managed by the neighborhood's NRP steering committee.

    3. Draft a plan.
    Using information gathered through its outreach efforts, the neighborhood NRP steering committee identifies the top issues, needs and opportunities. A draft plan with a vision statement, broad goals and clearly defined objectives is prepared. Assistance from government staff, nonprofit organizations and the private sector helps the steering committee draft the strategies (including time lines, costs and responsibilities) required for successful plan implementation.

    4. Review and approve the plan at the neighborhood level.
    The NRP steering committee presents the draft plan to neighborhood residents and other stakeholders for their review, comment and approval. Neighborhood approval is the final step in the drafting of the NAP.

    5. Submit the plan to the government jurisdictions for review, approval and funding.
    The plan goes to the NRP's staff and Policy Board and the five participating jurisdictions for review and comment. This review confirms which organizations will be involved in implementation and manage the needed performance contracts. Revisions, if any appear to be warranted, are suggested to the neighborhood. The neighborhood provides a final plan for presentation to the Policy Board for approval. The Policy Board and the Minneapolis City Council approve the NAP and the Council appropriates the allocation previously set aside by the Policy Board for the neighborhood and implementation of its approved NAP.

    6. Implement the plan.
    The neighborhood organization staff and resident volunteers help carry out, monitor and revise the plan as it is implemented. Implementation occurs by working with government staff, nonprofit organizations and the private sector.

Maria's Cafe, owned by Maria Elena Hoyos
(left), is located in the Ancient Traders Market,
which used NRP funds for renovation.



Site Map

© 2001-2008 Minneapolis NRP - All Rights Reserved