Thank you for sharing your bold and innovative vision for Saint Paul's future!
During 2016, city staff talked to more than 1,900 people at 57 events as a part of a comprehensive public engagement process for the first phase of the “Saint Paul for All” Comprehensive Plan update. More than 3,400 ideas were provided at those events and online. People were enthusiastic and honest about current issues and wanted to have a voice in making Saint Paul better.
In our community engagement, we prioritized events and locations that we hoped would result in geographically and demographically representative input. We estimate that the nearly 1,600 people engaged just over the summer were 50 percent people of color and were generally representative of the city’s age spectrum.
In December 2016 and January 2017, we publicized nine "themes and priorities" based on what we heard in 2016, and asked, "Have we heard right?" You said that we mostly did hear right, but that we need to prioritize environmental sustainability to a greater degree. The amended "themes and priorities" are below, which will guide the Comprehensive Plan's content and direction.
Themes and Priorities
- Livability, equity and sustainability. When we asked about regional themes established by the Metropolitan Council, you said livability, equity and sustainability are the most important for Saint Paul. Other regional themes we will incorporate into the updated Comprehensive Plan include prosperity and stewardship.
- Parks and open space. Parks and open space, from Como Park to Swede Hollow to the Mississippi River to your local playground, were consistently identified throughout the city as cherished places that we should preserve and enhance.
- Sense of community. Many people identified social connections, diversity and their neighborhood’s character – whether “vibrant” or “quiet” – as key advantages of living in Saint Paul.
- Public safety. People want to be safe and feel safe in their communities, and to have positive relationships with police officers. Strategic investment and thoughtful design can improve public safety. While this issue goes beyond typical development policies covered in the plan, we will seek ways to incorporate this deep concern in meaningful ways.
- Road safety for non-vehicles. Pedestrian safety at crossings and improved facilities were frequently identified as issues, as were bicycle facility improvements and safety.
- Invest in people. Whether job training or programming at recreation centers (especially for youth), you identified this as an important issue for Saint Paul. Many commented that these investments pay dividends for livability, prosperity and public safety.
- Jobs. You said we need more and better jobs to allow people to provide for their families and lift up the entire community.
- Quality affordable housing. You said we need more affordable housing, and that existing housing must be well-maintained.
- Saint Paul is full of opportunity sites. The range of “places with potential” identified was astounding, including major projects like Snelling-Midway (soccer stadium area) and the Ford site, large geographies like “the East Side,” “the Green Line” or “the riverfront,” commercial corridors like White Bear Avenue or Selby Avenue, and individual sites throughout the city. You said there are gems throughout the city, ready for (re)discovery and investment.
Unique ideas count, too
Rest assured that we are reviewing and analyzing all of the ideas received, not just the ones heard most. Some of these ideas do not rise to the level of “themes,” but may be informative or thought-provoking. Examples include:
- Save water: don’t let restaurants serve water glasses automatically – make customers ask.
- Station a social worker in libraries and other public venues.
- Build off the Pokemon Go craze in our parks for a public purpose.
- Construct covered bike paths in certain areas with solar panels on top.
- Rebuild the historic Rondo community over I-94.
The next step in the comprehensive planning process is to develop draft policies based on these priorities, legal requirements, policymaker guidance, and technical issues. We will ask for your feedback on these policies in late 2017 and early 2018. The plan will then be presented to the City Council for approval and submitted to the Metropolitan Council before the end of 2018. We encourage you to stay engaged and provide input throughout this process. We need your feedback to ensure that the plan represents the priorities of everyone in Saint Paul.
Frequently asked questions
We've complied a list of frequently asked questions in this FAQ document. If you have additional questions not answered here, please contact us.