Beautiful, well maintained greening elements soften the edges of our downtown making it feel more human in scale, promoting way-finding, and connecting the many highlights and neighborhoods of our city. DID looks for opportunities to advocate for greening at the policy level, provide sustainable greening in the public right of way and encourage greening on private properties. It aligns with the Intersections: The Downtown 2025 Plan goal to enhance the greening and public realm of downtown through various projects by the year 2025.
Each spring the Mpls DID fills planters and gardens with over 15,000 colorful plants throughout the district. In the colder months Mpls DID replaces the bright flowers with lush spruce tips, birch logs, and vibrant dogwood branches, and adorns the light poles with live garland and festive wreaths.
The benefits of downtown’s street trees and plants go beyond the added beauty by promoting emotional, physical, and urban health. According to a study by Washington State University, trees and flowers create feelings of relaxation and increase a person's overall well-being. Proximity to green space has also been shown to reduce crime.
Public art, engaging signage and urban design can turn a walk through downtown into an experience. Mpls DID has developed a series of events and initiatives that engage the community and result in unique additions to our public realm. Each year DID hosts the annual Downtown Greening & Public Realm Awards where private properties, big and small, are celebrated for their contribution to downtown's vibrancy and for setting a positive example for all property owners. Public nominations are collected in July, and an online public vote takes place in August. Be sure to take part this year.
Mpls DID works to create a more vibrant Downtown that is clean, green, and sustainable. Public recycling is just one more step in the right direction. By reducing use of landfills, recycling helps keep our air and waterways clean, protects wildlife, and conserves resources.
Minneapolis’ infrastructure benefits from MDID's urban plantings which capture storm water, reducing erosion and filtering out pollutants which would otherwise drain into the Mississippi River.