It was remarkable to hear Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey say, regarding climate change and the environment in his State of the City address: “At the local level, we don’t have the luxury of ignoring science.” (As reported in the April 19 article.) Unfortunately, the city of Minneapolis has denied the need for any environmental study of the 2040 Comprehensive Plan and its likely cumulative effects. The plan will intensify land use in virtually every square inch of the city.
A blanket upzoning on this scale has never been attempted anywhere in North America and will, if it receives final approval, affect over 49% of the land in Minneapolis. Any responsible plan for greater density must anticipate and identify ways to mitigate unintended harm to already fragile urban water, air and earth resources, as well as planning for climate-change resilience. The only way to do this is through meaningful scientific study, which the city has refused to do. This is why Smart Growth Minneapolis and its co-plaintiffs are suing the city: because at the local level we really don’t have the luxury of ignoring science.
REBECCA ARONS, MINNEAPOLIS Executive Director of Smart Growth Minneapolis.
Note: A Ruling on the case by the courts is expected by the end of April. This would be a good time for Minneapolis residents (you, all of you) to write city leaders about the benefits of an adequate Environmental Plan for Minneapolis. Topics include: Environmental Justice, Water Quality, Flood Prevention, Minimizing Heat Zones, Shade Prevention of Solar Panels/Urban Gardens, Urban Forest Development, Urban wild life habitat, Climate Change Resilience, and Watershed Protection.