U OFFERING CITIES A NEW PARTNERSHIP TO SOLVE PROBLEMS
by Kelly Smith, Star Tribune, September 14, 2012
It's a dilemma that cities grapple with statewide and nationwide: an aging population and other significant demographic changes, but also tighter budgets and smaller staffs to tackle "to do" lists.
Cue the next generation.
This year, dozens of graduate students at the University of Minnesota are trading classrooms for City Hall, working alongside the city staff in Minnetonka to dig up new solutions to issues -- from conserving water to attracting more mid-priced housing for younger families.
It's part of a program the university is testing in Minnetonka this year before expanding it statewide. The program, which officially starts Friday, is designed to help cities better respond to changes and sustainability problems and also to give students real-world experience.