Session One

The Twin Cities region is experiencing a building boom. Billions of dollars are being invested in public and private infrastructure while community members consider the long-term impacts of this growth. If built with equity in mind, these developments—which include public transportation, sports stadiums, housing, government buildings, and commercial nodes—could be leveraged to anchor healthy outcomes in low-wealth communities and communities of color.

Combined with the existing assets and expertise in local communities, large-scale developments could generate long-term economic opportunity. Yet history shows that the benefits of large public investments often bypass communities of color. To ensure that urban developments yield tangible community benefits, we need to understand the history of disinvestment that has led to pervasive racial and economic disparities in our region.

  • What are the policy decisions that have contributed to longstanding gaps in homeownership, employment, health, education, and personal income?
  • What are the development practices that have intentionally isolated low-wealth communities and communities of color?
  • How can we change these institutional practices today to secure better outcomes tomorrow?

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