Three projects were defined for inclusion in Minnesota’s Natural Disaster Resilience Competition. Each project increases resiliency in Minnesota’s most-impacted, most-distressed area, with unmet recovery needs (MID-URN) and advances resiliency approaches statewide. Although projects were defined geographically and can be found here, each had components including addressing neighborhood needs, connecting communities, and addressing flood affected infrastructure. Each activity included was selected based on its ability to address unmet recovery needs and ongoing stressors, integration into a holistic approach, budgets commensurate with anticipated outcomes, positive impact on vulnerable populations, and alignment with State goals.

Activity Themes

Although the final application broke projects into Vertical Waterways and City Core Resilience (eastern part of target area affected by flash flooding off of the Duluth bluff), St. Louis River Corridor Resilience (western part of target area affected by riverine flooding and flat topography), and Resilient Housing Solutions in the MID-URN (entire target area focused on resilient rehabilitation of flood affected properties and buyouts where appropriate), each project reflects the following themes:

 Remove, Repair, Reuse, & Revitalize

Reduce exposure to potential economic shocks through stabilizing housing and energy costs, & develop economic opportunities for under represented populations and small businesses

  • Provide healthy, affordable , energy efficient housing to 600 households through adaptive reuse, rehabilitation, and new construction.
  • Integrate transitional and career-pathway job development, and entrepreneurial opportunities for LMI and minority populations into NDRC activities


  • Remove 25 at-risk homes, resiliently repair 250 homes, adaptively reuse 4 historic structures (133 mixed-income units), and demonstrate resilient housing models with micro-manufacturing to replace lost housing from the June 2012 floods.
  • Revitalize low-income neighborhood commercial corridors through a Small Business Resilience Revitalization fund and development of 2 new housing projects (50-unit supportive housing project & 150 mixed-use development).


Nature, Nurture, & Net

Increase access to quality green space and community amenities adjacent to low- and moderate-income neighborhoods and develop greater connection between neighborhoods

  • Repair and remediate 72 acres of park and 55 miles of trails connecting LMI neighborhoods
  • Serve 18,000 LMI residents through relocated and expanded community gathering facilities


  • Repair existing flood damage to MID-URN parks and trail system as part of larger River Corridor Vision that connects low- and moderate-income neighborhoods to high quality green space and recreation opportunities.
  • Replace lost community space in partnership with NGOs to expand wellness, youth, employment, & tech opportunities.

Retain, Redirect, & Renewable

Reduce contribution to, and impacts from, anticipated climate change

  • Improve water quality in 15 trout streams while attenuating flooding in downstream neighborhoods
  • Develop 2.5 MW of renewable energy for critical systems and social infrastructure, and reduce carbon by 10,000 tons of carbon per year (includes efficiency measures)
  • Implement green infrastructure strategies including extended detention wetlands & reestablishment of natural floodplains.


  • Develop resilient power demonstration projects and modify the flood-affected district heat distribution system to provide long-term resilience, greater efficiency, and opportunity for conversion to locally derived biomass instead of coal.