Rosemount Town Pages: Input needed for Resilient Communities project

By Emily ZimmerRosemount Town Pages, March 12, 2015

Like any community, Rosemount has strengths. Brent Hales, senior associate dean at the University of Minnesota, believes that in those strengths lie opportunities.

To figure out what those opportunities are, Hale’s Asset Based Community Development class is in the midst of researching Rosemount’s assets and how the city can use them to meet the community’s needs.

One of the Resilient Communities projects going on this year in Rosemount, Hales’ Asset Based Community Development class will determine the desirable qualities of Rosemount that could lead to more industrial, commercial and residential development.

Resilient Communities is a University of Minnesota program that partners communities with college programs to meet city identified sustainability needs. In this case, Hales’ class has been asked to build on the businesses that Rosemount already has and to meet needs for new options. The goal, Hales said, is to meet Rosemount’s needs through its existing strengths.

To get started, Hales’ class would like some help determining what those desirable qualities are. Students would like people who live and work in Rosemount to complete an anonymous online survey, which is available on the city’s website, Hales said community input is important in creating a broad-based assessment of the community.

“We want the community to tell us what its strengths are. We want people to be really reflective about their community,” said Hales.

To gather additional information, the class will meet with the One Rosemount leaders group next week. And they will host a public meeting at 6 p.m. March 31 at the Rosemount Community Center, 13885 S. Robert Tr. Residents are invited to share their views and learn about the project.

“We really, truly want engagement from the community,” said Hales.

With the information, Hales said the class will identify opportunities. Hales, who has a background in regional and workforce development, said the goal is to provide a document the community can act on. The completed document will include actionable ideas for the near future as well as ideas for a year down the road.

“We want this to be a living document. What we don’t want is for this to sit on a shelf and gather dust,” said Hales.

Hales’ classes have done similar projects for the other Resilient Communities participants. In some of the communities, Hales has had to go back and update the documents because the cities have accomplished the tasks more quickly than anticipated.

“We’ve been very successful in other communities,” said Hales.

While it can be difficult getting people on board, Hales said asset-based community development can move a community forward.

Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pagessince 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'. Contact Emily at [email protected] or(651) 460-6606.