U of M to partner with City of Ramsey through Resilient Communities Project
The University of Minnesota’s Resilient Communities Project (RCP) announced today that the City of Ramsey, located in Anoka County, has been selected as its partner community for the 2017–2018 academic year. Starting in September 2017, Ramsey and the University will begin collaborating on 20 multidisciplinary projects that advance community from Ramsey’s Strategic Plan focused on a stable tax base, a connected community, smart citizen-focused government, and an efficient organization.
“This partnership builds on Ramsey’s history of being a leader in planning and citizen engagement strategies," said Ramsey Mayor Sarah Strommen. "Ramsey demonstrated its commitment to engaging residents in a collaborative way during our last Comprehensive Plan Update through the assistance of the McKnight Foundation and a citizen group known as Ramsey3. The launching of our next Comprehensive Plan Update represents an opportunity to partner with the University of Minnesota to develop more new and innovative strategies.”
Ramsey’s proposal to RCP identified nearly 20 potential projects, including small business incubation, community engagement, U.S. Highway 10 corridor planning, environmental and floodplain communication, asset management, greenway planning, housing for all, organics recycling, retail market analysis, water conservation, and a community volunteer program.
City Administrator Kurt Ulrich believes it will benefit from the broad range of expertise that can be provided by University staff and students. “Innovative solutions to today’s problems will help Ramsey be better prepared to provide efficient municipal service, and to realize a productive, safe, and healthy community for many generations to come,” he said.
Now in its fifth year, RCP—a program of the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs at the U of M— seeks to connect students’ innovation, ingenuity, and fresh perspectives to local governments and agencies seeking a more sustainable and resilient future. The program matches U students with a single Minnesota city or county for an entire academic year. This will be the first year that RCP is partnering with a community in Anoka County.
“We’re truly excited about our upcoming partnership with the City of Ramsey,” said RCP’s Director Mike Greco. “As a growing city, Ramsey has identified a very diverse slate of projects. Working with Ramsey staff, residents, and community partners will provide students with great experiential learning opportunities, while increasing the city’s capacity to build a more resilient community in response to economic, social, and environmental changes. We look forward to a productive collaboration.”
A RCP partnership provides the community with access to students 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 deal with a variety of community issues. Students who participate in RCP projects benefit from real-world opportunities to apply their knowledge and training.
Over the next few months, staff from RCP and Ramsey will define the scope and purpose of the individual projects, and begin matching them with courses offered at the University in fall 2017 and spring 2018. RCP Director Mike Greco will administer the partnership on behalf of the University, and Ramsey Community Development Director Tim Gladhill will coordinate the City’s participation in the program.
About the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs
The University of Minnesota’s Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) connects the resources of the University of Minnesota with the interests and needs of urban communities and the region. CURA pursues its urban and regional mission by facilitating and supporting connections between state and local governments, neighborhoods, and nonprofit organizations, and relevant resources at the University, including faculty and students from appropriate campuses, colleges, centers or departments. To learn more, visit rcp.umn.edu or cura.umn.edu.
About the City of Ramsey
Located in the northwest Twin Cities Metro, the City of Ramsey boasts an urban downtown, incredible outdoor recreation opportunities, an impressive manufacturing sector, and a stable, proactive local government. Ramsey is bordered by the Mississippi River and the Rum River, has over 565 acres of parkland, an extensive trail system, two golf courses, and over four square miles of protected wetlands. Ramsey is an evolving community with thousands of acres guided by future development, but also focused on retaining a balance of rural and urban character along with strong economic development. Ramsey is home to The COR, an innovative transit-oriented, mixed-use development centered around the Northstar Commuter Rail – Ramsey Station. The City of Ramsey is home to nearly 6,000 jobs and 25,580 residents (based on Ramsey’s 2015 population count). To learn more visit cityoframsey.com.