How Minneapolis Plans to Create the Most Resilient Neighborhood

According to a Next City article, climate change in Minneapolis will most likely mean hotter, wetter years by mid-century. Annual temperatures could rise as much as five degrees. However, its infrastructure – pipes, sewers and electricity – were laid with very different weather in mind. Effectively adapting to these climate differences might necessitate the ability to disconnect from that grid – so that’s what Prospect North planners are thinking about.

Set in the heart of Minneapolis, Prospect North has been described as a “city within a city,” an “innovation district” and a “living laboratory.”

The team behind the project includes architect Richard Gilyard, the City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, the Public Housing Authority, the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization and the University of Minnesota.

According to Next City, their shared vision is for a dense, mixed-income research district adjacent to the university – a textile center, a science park with labs, libraries, 3-D printing hubs and incubator spaces and housing all within a light-rail ride of the Twin Cities’ dual downtowns. And thanks to plans for a closed-loop district grid, the neighborhood could become “a demonstration putting into practice the science and technology of the university,” Gilyard says.

The Next City article further explains the project:

If completed as developers currently propose, the neighborhood’s infrastructure would be possible through something called an integrated utility system, designed by the Ecala Group.

A closed-loop district grid, the IUS would revolve around an eight-acre hub where anaerobic digestion transformed waste into biogas. Converted into electricity and hydrogen, these vapors would power the neighborhood while excess emissions fed a massive greenhouse full of vegetables. An aquaponic fish farm would also be onsite, along with a water treatment plant for waste and gray water, potentially augmented by stormwater.

Small wind turbines that fit in existing silos would provide excess power, along with a solar farm. Other silos would be used to store hot water for a district heating-and-cooling system.

Essentially, the IUS uses itself to create a comfortable microclimate, which is especially important for Minneapolis. While some regions are expected to become susceptible to one type of drastic catastrophe – droughts, hurricanes, sea-level rise – Southern Minnesota seems to be looking at warmer, wetter versions of the seasons that already exist.

 

For more information, see the original article here: http://nextcity.org/daily/entry/minneapolis-climate-change-resilience-neighborhood-plan