Brooklyn Park Selected as Partner for U of M’s Resilient Communities Project

November 12, 2015

The University of Minnesota’s Resilient Communities Project (RCP) has selected the City of Brooklyn Park as its partner community for the 2016­–2017 academic year. The partnership will bring the expertise of the University and hundreds of graduate and professional students to sustainability-related projects chosen by the City and its partners, including the Brooklyn Bridge Alliance for Youth, local high schools, North Hennepin Community College, youth athletic organizations, Hennepin County, and the Three Rivers Park District.

“I am thrilled our City was selected for this wonderful opportunity,” said Mayor Jeffrey Lunde.  “Brooklyn Park is a dynamic city full of opportunities, undiscovered resources, and thriving residents. Being selected as a partner will help make us a unique community that is ready to be on the cutting edge when it comes to municipal government practices.”

RCP organizes year-long partnerships between the University of Minnesota and Minnesota communities. Each academic year, RCP chooses a city or county partner through a competitive request-for-proposal process, helps identify potential projects based on community-identified sustainability issues and needs, and matches those project needs with University of Minnesota courses and individual graduate and professional students.

The partnership provides the community with access to students and faculty from a wide range of programs and disciplines—from architecture, planning and engineering to business, environmental sciences and the humanities. Through work with RCP, the community is able to enhance its own capacity to advance sustainability.

“We're very excited about our upcoming partnership with Brooklyn Park,” said RCP director Mike Greco. “The City and its partners have demonstrated a strong commitment to advancing local sustainability and resilience through a diverse range of community-identified projects. We look forward to a productive collaboration that benefits Brooklyn Park and its residents, and provides meaningful community-engaged learning opportunities for University of Minnesota students.”

The City of Brooklyn Park’s winning proposal includes potential projects with an enormous range of impact, including creating a more accessible financial reporting process, addressing misconceptions of the city through branding and public art, assessing the City’s Community Engagement Initiative, evaluating college readiness centers in local high schools, exploring models for better supporting immigrant entrepreneurs, evaluating the City’s foreclosure recovery program, mapping neighborhood assets and needs, enhancing pedestrian safety, engaging the public in long-term comprehensive planning, incorporating nature-based play into the park system, and designing area-specific workforce development strategies.

This coming spring, staff from RCP and the City of Brooklyn Park will begin defining the scope of work and matching projects with courses that will be offered at the University in the fall of 2016 and the spring of 2017. RCP Director Mike Greco will administer the partnership on behalf of the University, and City of Brooklyn Park Community Development Director Kim Berggren will coordinate on the City’s behalf.

RCP receives funding and administrative support from the University of Minnesota’s Center for Urban and Regional Affairs. To learn more, visit rcp.umn.edu.

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