A peek at what city life could be in 2020

February 12, 2013 by  

Last week, Minneapolis Mayor R. T. Rybak unveiled his plans for the city over the next seven years at the Downtown Council’s annual meeting. Rybak’s main goal of doubling downtown’s population by 2020 is to be supported by ideas such as installing street cars, restructuring Nicollet Mall to improve retail options, and developing around the new football stadium.

Among Rybak’s more unique ideas is a plan to use steam from the nearby Hennepin County garbage burner to heat the city’s sidewalks during the colder months.

Rybak gave his 12-minute speech with the help of digital amenities and poster printing in an effort to finalize plans for the city before he leaves office later this year. If these plans go into place, the ultimate goal would be to increase pedestrian traffic while preventing automotive gridlock in the long term.

It is further hoped that the future downtown area will see more integration between residential living areas and commercial areas, starting with the new Vikings stadium. The recently redeveloped sports center will not simply be surrounded by parking lots, but rather cooperate campuses and recreation facilities. Rybak explained during his speech:

“We’ll erase that imaginary line between where we live and where we work.”

The outgoing mayor also noted that increased retail will also play a considerable role in rejuvenating the city in the next several years. Improved “retail management” will be encouraged, ensuring the satisfaction of local consumers, tourists, and residents alike.