Donjek Project: Minneapolis Downtown Open Space Initiative

The year's twilight is a good time to add a postscript to a previous item I wrote, at that time introducing work undertaken to help the City of Minneapolis evaluate the prospect of converting downtown land area to open space. Since that post in fall, 2007, Donjek has been engaged on projects in a similar vein in Little Rock, Arkansas and I have written a number of short commentary pieces on that project and issues surrounding parks.

The City of Minneapolis' Department of Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) recently posted the full report of the multi-disciplinary team to its website and the document is available by chapter or as a whole here. There is never a "perfect time" to convert land from taxable to tax-exempt use (history suggests the same), and property and sales tax revenues are at a premium across the country today for core public purposes. Still, what is also evident is that other things equal, urban land stands only to become more valuable in the coming decades thanks to transportation logistics, energy policy and climate change. In economists' terms, the opportunity cost of failing to procure open space for downtown dwellers now stands to grow significantly in the future.

Photo: Courtesy of jpnuwat/Flickr.