Even before the United Nations Center for Human Settlements placed the Minneapolis NRP on its elite Global 100 Best Practices List
in 2000, municipalities from around the world have long sought to replicate the program. So when a 13-member delegation of community leaders from Duluth arrived on February 10, it was no surprise that they were looking to the NRP as a model for revitalizing some of their city's more challenged neighborhoods.
After taking a tour of Minneapolis neighborhoods where NRP investments have spurred dramatic improvements in economic development, housing, crime prevention, schools and more, Duluth Mayor Herb Bergson and Councilor At Large Roger Reinert expressed confidence that an NRP-like initiative could achieve results similar to those in Minneapolis if implemented in their city.
A delegation from the City of Duluth, which included
Mayor Herb Bergson (not pictured) and three council
members toured areas of Minneapolis where NRP
investments have had a significant impact. Duluth
city leaders are considering launching an
initiative like the NRP.
"Can you imagine what the Hillside [neighborhood] would be like now if we did this 10 years ago?" Bergson was quoted as saying in the Duluth News Tribune
in reference to NRP-inspired results.
Another member of the touring Duluth delegation, St. Louis County public official John Ongaro, also took time to praise the work of the NRP. In an e-mail message to NRP Director Bob Miller, Ongaro said: "You had previously told me that NRP was by far the best program you've seen government deliver in your nearly 30 years in public service. Seeing is believing, you may have understated the impact! Thanks again for opening all of our eyes to the many possibilities."
The NRP may also soon play host to one of the United States' foremost academic writers on citizen engagement who has begun a case study of the NRP for inclusion in a book to be published by an international scholar on best practices throughout the world.