The Plymouth Avenue Corridor design team completed their Action Lab on Friday, February 16. This third and final Raising Places workshop brought the team together to incorporate prototype feedback, visualize their concepts, host a community event and plan pilots of their most promising ideas.

In the twelve weeks leading up to this milestone, design team members spent time creating, sharing and iterating their visual prototypes. This meant showing pictures of their concepts to both people who might benefit from the ideas and those who might be able to help implement them.

A visual prototype envisioning culturally-relevant development along the Plymouth Avenue Corridor that design team member Lynnea Atlas Ingebretson presented to residents at a feedback event.

At the lab, the design team reviewed participant feedback and made some tough decisions about which concepts to keep, cut or combine. Then, they quickly got to work on communicating each idea, including a name, photo, description, features and a roadmap for implementation. All this information went onto large concept posters, which were displayed at the community event.

Design team member Marquita Stephens and convener Beau Sinchai select images to represent their concepts on posters at the community event (left), design team members Tie Oei and Makeda Zulu-Gillespie work together to finalize their concept poster for a teen center called 'The Powerhouse' (right).

The concepts from this design team include the following:

‘The Powerhouse’ Teen Center

A multi-purpose space that brings together a wide variety of youth-focused activities, programs and services.

North Side Shuttle

A shuttle bus that takes residents to and from all the assets on the North Side.

“Sunlighting” Our Schools

A reimagining of North Side High’s architectural presence from little more than a warehouse into a sunlit, inviting and empowering space.

Attainable Co-Housing Development

A mixed-use co-housing development that brings affordable housing, retail and services to a diverse range of North Minneapolis residents.

Community Land Trust

A community land trust that ensures families have secure and stable housing and provides support services.

Family and Kid-Friendly Commercial Zoning

Amended commercial zoning for Plymouth Avenue that focuses on family and child-centered businesses, services, spaces and leisure opportunities.

Youth-Led Evaluation System

A new evaluation system for local organizations that is driven by local voices of youth who participate in community-based programming.

Lincoln School Revitalization

A revitalization of a historic landmark that will transform the existing Lincoln School into a mixed-use community space.

Plymouth Ave Pride Campaign

A community-based campaign led by a committee of local residents that shares positive messages about the rich history, culture and diversity of the Plymouth Avenue Corridor and North Minneapolis.

Some of these concepts are novel ideas, while others are tried-and-true solutions. Either way, the team knows that these ideas are right for their community, right now. Each concept came out of research with residents and stakeholders, was co-created through community brainstorming, and has been grown and shaped by many rounds of feedback and iteration.

Convener Adair Mosley from Pillsbury United Communities presents an overview of the North Minneapolis design team's concepts to residents at the community event (left); design team members Makeda and Tie gather feedback from community members on their concepts for a North Minneapolis shuttle and teen center (right).

The community event in North Minneapolis was quite successful. Over 30 people of multiple generations and backgrounds attended the event held at the Minneapolis Urban League center on Plymouth Avenue. The attendees were served lunch and our convener presented them with an overview of the Raising Places process. For the following 90 minutes, design team members presented their concept posters to individuals and small groups. Together, they discussed responses to their open questions, such as, “How can we make this concept even more beneficial for kids,” and, “If this concept were real, what are the potential negative outcomes?” With all this feedback came a lot of engagement and momentum – many individuals signed up to join the teams working on each concept!

The final component of the lab was pilot planning, where the design team laid out the nuts and bolts of running a pilot  – short-term test – of each concept over the next 2-3 months. They defined who needs to do what and by when, what success will look like, and how to measure it. They will share pilot results at the Raising Places National Convening in April!

If you’d like to get involved with the Plymouth Avenue team as they pilot these promising ideas, please contact the team’s convener. We look forward to seeing this community continue to transform!