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Minneapolis Riverfront Organizational Study

Riverfront Revitalization



Summary of Study Activities

Implementation Activities

Core Group


Thanks to a grant from the McKnight Foundation, the City of Minneapolis is completing an exciting process to explore if and how Minneapolis as a community can enhance its organizational capacity to continue riverfront revitalization.

Through the partnership efforts of the City of Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and numerous public and private entities, great strides have been taken in bringing the riverfront to life, particularly in the Minneapolis Riverfront District near downtown. Additional opportunities and challenges remain ahead, and now is an opportune time to investigate if there are ways to revise or add to our existing organizational structure so that future riverfront revitalization can be completed more quickly and/or with even better results.

The City has hired the consulting firm of Bacon & Associates to lead a two-phase process. The team of Carolyn Bacon and Ariella Tilsen have been working throughout the process with a small group representing public agency staff and community interests. A Riverfront Policy Oversight (RPO) Task Force and a Riverfront Senior Management (RSM) Task Force also have been involved at various parts of the process.

The result of this study is the establishment of a new non-profit, the Minneapolis Riverfront Corporation, to support and encourage ongoing riverfront revitalization in Minneapolis.

Summary of Study Activities

Phase I of the process included the following tasks.

Phase 1, Task 1 revitalization goals that Minneapolis wants the organizational capacity to achieve.

Riverfront Organization Study Task 1 Final Report (pdf)

Task 2 interim organizational steps and helped prepare for workshops in Task 3.

Riverfront Organization Study Task 2 Final Report (pdf)

During the Pre-Task 3 interim, several important steps were taken by the interim organizational task forces, as outlined in a status report to the City Council. These included approval of a near-term coordinated work plan and one-page working vision summary and appointment of a 30-member Riverfront Blue Ribbon Task Force to make a recommendation on the best organizational model for Minneapolis.

Task 3

Riverfront Organization Study Pre-Task 3 and Task 3 Final Report (pdf)

Creation of a new riverfront nonprofit organization as recommended by the Riverfront Blue Ribbon Task Force requires explicit authority from the Minnesota State Legislature. The 2008 Minnesota Legislature authorized the creation of the new nonprofit, and both the City and Park Board have approved that legislation.

City Council report approving legislation, appointing City reps and authorizing funding agreement ( see agenda item #1 ).

Implementation Activities

Phase II of the study is moving forward in the second half of 2008 with implementation of the recommendation. The new organization has been incorporated as a nonprofit, and work is under way to draft bylaws, recruit the initial board and launch the new organization. Watch for the future launch of the new corporation’s website at

More information:

"Core group" working with Bacon & Associates

Updated January 7, 2009

Last updated Nov 23, 2011



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