2013–2014 Partner: North St. Paul

Collage of photos in and around North St. Paul

RCP's community partner for the 2013-2014 academic year was the City of North St Paul, Minnesota. As a fully developed first-ring suburb, North St. Paul has a rich history and small-town atmosphere, reflected in the spirit of its residents and the livelihood of community events. In recent decades, however, the city has faced a number of challenges, including a declining tax base, aging housing and infrastructure, ongoing competition for commercial and retail development, and lack of accessibility due to the recently completed Highway 36 reconstruction project. These challenges also present opportunities for the community to reenergize its residents and forge ahead toward a more sustainable and resilient community that both honors its past and anticipates its future.

RCP partnered with North St. Paul on 16 projects that engaged 35 courses across 11 colleges at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and Duluth campuses, and provided hands-on, applied research opportunities to more than 300 graduate and undergraduate students. You can view a brief summary of the partnership and projects, or learn more about individual projects below. Also available is an archive of news items about the partnership.

Projects

Live/Work Housing

Project Goal: Determine the potential for live/work housing as a means of enhancing livability, creating jobs, promoting equitable economic development, and increasing housing density, and  identify implementation steps for making it happen. 
Project Lead: Paul Ammerman, Community Development Director, City of North St. Paul

HSG 4461: Housing Development and Management (Instructors: Becky Yust and Lyn Bruin, College of Design)Group 1 Report and Poster  |  Group 2 Report and Poster  |  Group 3 Report and Poster  |  Group 4 Report and Poster

PA 5261: Housing Policy (Instructor: Edward Goetz, Humphrey School of Public Affairs)Report and Presentation

Living Streets and Capital Improvements

Project Goal: Design a prototype public participation process for the city to engage residents prior to and during reconstruction projects that implement North St. Paul's new living streets policy, which includes design recommendations for pavement street width, storm water treatment, underground utilities, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, and street plantings.
Project Lead: Paul Ammerman, Community Development Director, City of North St. Paul

PA 5253: Designing Participation Processes (Instructor: Carissa Schively Slotterback, Humphrey School of Public Affairs)Team 1 Report | Team 2 Report | Team 3 Report

PA 8081—Making Sustainable Transportation Work (Instructor: Greg Lindsey, Humphrey School of Public Affairs)Report and Poster

PH 6100—Topics in Environmental Health: Urban Ecosystems (Instructors: Betsy Wattenberg, Petrona Lee, and Matt Simcik, School of Public Health)Report and Presentation

ARCH 3250—Architecture: Community-Based Projects (Instructor: James Wheeler, College of Design)Report

Green Energy Initiative

Project Goal: Identify strategies for dedicating revenue from the city's munipal-owned electric utility to support green energy initiatives such as wind, solar, and geothermal.
Project Lead: Brian Frandle, North St. Paul Electric Utility Director and Paul Ammerman, Community Development Director, North St. Paul

LAW 7012: Land Use, Energy and Environment Clinic (Instructor: Jean Coleman, Law School)—GreenStep Cities Memo and Presentation  |  Sustainability Memo and Presentation

Crime Watch and Neighborhood Identities

Project Goal: Develop a strategy to increase involvement of underrepresented and disenfranchised populations in the city in neighborhood and community issues.
Project Lead: Paul Ammerman, Community Development Director, City of North St. Paul

PA 5253: Planning Participation Processes (Instructor: Carissa Schively Slotterback, Humphrey School of Public Affairs)Team 1 Report  |  Team 2 Report

Community Branding

Project Goal: Provide design alternatives for a new graphic identity that the City can use for signs, business forms and marketing materials, communications media (website, Facebook account, newsletter), and other materials.
Project Lead: Laurie Koehnle, Communications Manager, City of North St. Paul

GDES 3352: Identity and Symbols (Instructor: Deb Lawton, College of Design)Elise BoraasPresentation and Standards Manual  |  Emi NguyenPresentation  |  Emma RadkePresentation and Standards Manual  |  Jacinda SchweitzerPresentation and Standards Manual  |  Kathryn BlongPresentation and Standards Manual  |  Laura NygrenPresentation and Standards Manual  |  Max LindorferPresentation and Standards Manual

Downtown Revitalization Strategies

Project Goal: Identify strategies to revitalize North St. Paul’s downtown business district in the context of the city's recently adopted Redevelopment Master Plan for North Saint Paul’s “diversified district.”
Project Lead: Paul Ammerman, Community Development Director, City of North St. Paul

PA 5511: Community Economic Development (Instructor: Bob Streetar, Humphrey School of Public Affairs)Parking AnalysisFinal Report and Poster  |  Market AnalysisFinal Report and Poster

PA 8081: Economic Development (Instructors: Lee Munnich and Lyssa Leitner, Humphrey School of Public Affairs)Final Report and Presentation

Conservation and Economic Development Initiative

Project Goal: Evaluate existing conservation improvement and energy efficiency programs offered through the city's munipal-owned electric utility, and identify opportunities to to promote new energy efficiency/conservation rebate programs and conservation improvement projects to business owners and residents.
Project Lead: Brian Frandle, Utilities Director, City of North St. Paul

OLPD 5501: Principles and Methods of Evaluation (Instructor: Randi Nelson, College of Education and Human Development)—Final Report, Presentation, and Handout

PA 5721: Energy and Environmental Policy (Instructor: Elizabeth Wilson, Humphrey School of Public Affairs)—OverviewPresentation  |  Energy EfficiencyPolicy Brief and Presentation and Video  |  Smart MetersPolicy Brief, Presentation, and Poster and Video  |  Demand-Side ManagementPolicy Brief and Presentation and Video  |  Distributed GenerationPolicy Brief and Video  |  Net ZeroPresentation and Video

Civic Engagement and Communication

Project Goal: Evaluate North St. Paul's existing internal and external communications efforts and future needs, and provided recommendations for how to better engage residents in their local government and community.
Project Lead: Laurie Koehnle, Communications Manager, City of North St. Paul

OLPD 5501: Principles and Methods of Evaluation (Instructor: Randi Nelson, College of Education and Human Development)—Report, Presentation, and Handout

OLPD 8595: Evaluation Problems (Instructor: Jean King, College of Education and Human Development)—Report and Poster

Environmental Education Initiative

Project Goal: Identify opportunities for North St. Paul to leverage Southwood Parka 29-acre nature reserve that features a large wetland, restored oak savannah, and trail systemto educate residents about the local ecosystem and how to be good stewards of the natural resources in the community. 
Project Lead: Jon Fure, Community Development Intern, City of North St. Paul

EnEd 4315: Operations & Management (Instructor: Ken Gilbertson, Environmental Education, University of Minnesota at Duluth)—Final Report, Presentation, and Aerial Image 

DES 3131: User Experience in Design (Instructor: Ange Wang, College of Design)—Group 1 Report and Poster  |  Group 2 Report and Poster  |  Group 3 Report and Poster  |  Group 4 Report and Poster  |  Group 5 Report and Poster  |  Group 6 Report and Poster  |  Group 7 Report and Poster  |  Group 8 Report and Poster

Master of Science Thesis: Environmental Sciences, Policy, and Management (Student: Mary Hammes)—Final Report

EnEd 5325: Environmental Issues Investigation (Instructor: Ken Gilbertson, Environmental Education, University of Minnesota at Duluth)—Final Report, Presentation, and Poster

OLPD 5204: Designing Adult Education Programs (Instructor: Catherine Twohig, College of Education and Human Development)—Final Report, Presentation, and Poster

Redevelopment-Ready Community

Project Goal: Assess the city’s current development review process and regulations based on input from stakeholders, and provide recommendations for North St. Paul can enhance its process to signal that it is a “redevelopment-ready” community.
Project Lead: Paul Ammerman, Community Development Director, City of North St. Paul

OLPD 5501: Principles and Methods of Evaluation (Instructor: Randi Nelson, College of Education and Human Development)—Final Report, Presentation, and Handout

Community Gardening Planning

Project Goal: Design a community engagement process the City can use to develop a community gardening policy, and identify best practices and key garden site opportunities in the community. 
Project Lead: Jon Fure, Community Development Intern, City of North St. Paul

PA 5253: Planning Participation Processes (Instructor: Carissa Schively Slotterback, Humphrey School of Public Affairs)—Team 1 Final Report and Poster  |  Team 2 Final Report

PA 5242: Environmental Planning, Policy, and Decision Making (Instructor: Carissa Schively Slotterback, Humphrey School of Public Affairs)—Final Report, Poster, and Presentation

Aging in Place

Project Goal: Assess the economic, social, health, recreation, housing, transportation, and other needs of aging residents in North St. Paul, and identify programs or policies that will support residents aging in place in the city
Project Lead: Jon Fure, Community Development Intern, City of North St. Paul

HSG 5481: Promoting Independence in Housing and Community (Instructor: Lyn Bruin, College of Design)—Accessible House, Adaptable House, Smart House Presentation  |  Student Final Report, Presentation, and Poster

SW 8251: Social Work Practice in Health, Disabilities, and Aging (Instructor: Stacy Remke, College of Education and Human Development)—Final Report, Resource Report, and Poster

GERO 5105: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Aging (Instructor: Lisa Edstrom, School of Public Health)—Final Presentation  |  Final Report, Executive Summary, and Poster

PA 5261: Housing Policy (Instructor: Edward Goetz, Humphrey School of Public Affairs)—Final Report and Presentation

Staff Satisfaction and Staff Development

Project Goal: Assess current staff satisfaction among city staff, including incentives or educational opportunities would encourage them to continue working at the city; develop recommendations for improving staff morale and fostering staff development.
Project Lead: Jason Ziemer, City Manager, City of North St. Paul

OLPD 5501: Principles and Methods of Evaluation (Instructor: Randi Nelson, College of Education and Human Development)—Final Report, Handout, and Presentation

OLPD 8595: Evaluation Problems (Instructor: Jean King, College of Education and Human Development)—Final Report

HRIR 8034: Employee Development–Creating a Competitive Advantage (Instructor: Stacy Doepner-Hove (Carlson School of Management)—Poster  |  Change Management and Employee Engagement Report  |  Onboarding Report  |  Individual Development Report  |  Performance Management Report  |  Wellness and Work-Life Balance Report

Public Art 

Project Goals: Design a public participation process for developing a public art plan; propose a strategy for facilitating long-term community engagement around and support for public art.
Project Lead: Jon Fure, Community Development Intern, City of North St. Paul

PA 5253: Planning Participation Processes (Instructor: Carissa Schively Slotterback, Humphrey School of Public Affairs)—Team 1 Report  |  Team 2 Report and Poster

LS 5100: Design Thinking (Instructor: Virajita Singh (College of Design)—Final Report

Emerald Ash Borer Management Plan

Project Goals: Conduct an inventory of trees in North St. Paul; develop recommendations for combating emerald ash borer in the city and gaining community support for the management plan; develop an outreach plan to communicate tp homeowners the risks of EAB on private property.
Project Lead: Jon Fure, Community Development Intern, City of North St. Paul

FR 4501/5501: Research Problems: Urban Forestry—Biology and Management (Instructor: Gary Johnson, College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences)—Final Report and Presentation

OLPD 5204: Designing Adult Education Programs (Instructor: Catherine Twohig, College of Education and Human Development)—Final Report, Fact Sheet, and Poster

Stormwater Management

Project Goal: Identify cost-effective solutions to remediate local flooding issues and reduce total suspended solids and phosphorus load to local and downstream lakes.
Project Lead: Morgan Dawley, contract city engineer for North St. Paul/WSB Associates

CE 5511: Urban Hydrology (Instructor: John Gulliver, College of Science and Engineering)—Casey Lake SubwatershedFinal Report, Presentation, and Poster  |  Urban Ecology Center SubwatershedFinal Report, Presentation, and Poster  |  Silver Lake SubwatershedFinal Report, Presentation, and Poster

RCP–North St Paul Partnership in the News

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