"The Initiative shows the importance of getting residents meaningfully engaged in shaping the future of their neighborhoods," said APA Awards Jury Chair Carol Rhea, AICP. "Any community looking for a new way to resolve controversial neighborhood redevelopment and infill issues should consider using this as a model," she said.

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About CDI PDF Print E-mail

Tired of the cost, time, and conflict involved in contentious development proposals?
Discover a better way—the Corridor Development Initiative.

After a particularly difficult development project, have you ever wished there were a better way? Now there is.
The Corridor Development Initiative can help you make and keep great neighborhoods by fundamentally changing the way you approach development opportunities.
We offer a proactive, facilitated process that brings together all interested parties --governing agencies, developers, and neighborhood and community interests. Through discussions and hands-on planning experiences, we learn, discuss, analyze, and grow to understand market realities that face a particular development site—all before any proposal is submitted to a governing agency.


The result?
Development opportunities move more efficiently through the public review system. Neighborhoods have the chance to make sure proposed projects meet their community vision, and developers reduce the amount of time between making a proposal and breaking ground. As one developer put it, “What would have taken two years was done in four months.”

When to use the initiative
The initiative is ideal if your community is:
  • implementing the growth area goals of your comprehensive plan,
  • developing strategies to strengthen the tax base by replacing deteriorated, blighted, or underutilized areas, or
  • connecting greater density and mixed use projects to transportation corridors.
Look at our track record. Since 2002, we’ve helped 16 communities in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. In every case, the results show that when citizens are brought to the table sooner rather than later, communities are able to move development opportunities forward more efficiently.

How the process works
The initiative is based on the belief that development projects enjoy their greatest success when all interested parties have an equal voice in the outcomes that. A typical initiative lasts six months and is overseen by an advisory group of city staff and elected officials, community and business associations, and volunteer committees.

The advisory group works with initiative technical team to identify key issues, aggregate current planning reports and studies, and propose specific opportunity sites to be explored for development opportunities. The group is also responsible for:
  • designing and guiding a series of community workshops
  • developing an outreach and communication strategy to recruit participation
  • reviewing the materials and recommendations provided through the Corridor Development Initiative process.
Community workshops
At our community workshops, everyone has a seat at the table—from the beginning. Guided by a team of design, development, facilitation, transportation, and market analysis experts, we typically hold four community workshops for each initiative.

These workshops allow neighborhood residents to have candid conservations about development scenarios. Most importantly, the workshops provide an opportunity for residents to explore options and alternatives within a framework of city goals, community values, and market feasibility. They create their own development scenarios and test them to see if they’re financially viable. By the end of the process, participants collaboratively create specific development recommendations to present to community officials.

Training

In working with a community, The Corridor Development Initiative is committed to capacity building so that communities can continue using this process themselves for future opportunity sites.

Agencies or organizations that would like to replicate the initiative in their own communities can request a free one-day, nuts and bolts training by our technical team. For more information, contact Gretchen Nicholls at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .