Designing a child-centered community along a marginalized corridor. Because when it comes to health, zip codes matter more than genetic codes.

Raising Places

Designing a child-centered community along a marginalized corridor. Because when it comes to health, zip codes matter more than genetic codes.


The team interview and shadow residents of North Minneapolis to learn about their lives, their needs, things they love about their community and their concerns. These findings turn into insights.

Identifying needs

We built a cross-sector dream team of residents, educator, leaders, and organizations whose work impact Plymouth Ave corridor and started the work by asking ourselves "What are the barriers to all children and families thriving here?” 

‍We identified:
- Lack of a “village approach” by education systems
- Lack of a thriving economy
- Lack of accountability of public institutions



A series of powerful insights lead the team to ask ourselves "How might we...," as a tool to create new ways of looking at problems. The team then host an event where community members are invited to participate and ideate solutions. 


Test // Pilot

We test run our ideas to understand the feasibility and its potential to be a permanent solution. Below are our residents riding the Northside shuttle that runs from a senior high-rise to a community grocery store, to a few of organizations in North Mpls, reducing barrier of access to services and amenities.

2nd Circulator Ride of the day 050218.JPG


Working with the people who are directly impacted, together we create a few prototypes to test our ideas. A few of the ideas include: 

  • Youth-led Evaluation system
  • Northside Shuttle
  • Sun-lighting North High School
  • Plymouth Ave. Pride Campaign
  • Revitalizing an abandoned Lincoln School
  • "Powerhouse" Teen Center
  • Community Land Trust
  • Family and kids friendly commercial zoning


Vickie Goulette, Hennepin County Child Wellbeing Transformation Team
Sarah Hernandez, McKnight Foundation
Lynnea Atlas Ingebretson, Imagine | Deliver 
Jimmy Loyd, Thor Construction
Kenzie O’Keefe , North News
George Roberts, Homewood Studios
Artika Roller, Hennepin County Child Wellbeing Transformation Team
Martine Smaller, Northside Resident Redevelopment Council
Marquita Stevens, Minneapolis Urban League 
Makeda Zulu-Gillespie, University of Minnesota, Robert J. Jones Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center
Tie Oei, Asian Media Access

As the lead convener, my role is to mentor, guide, facilitate, and support the design team through every stage of the process. This includes training on the HCD process, connecting the team to our communities, progress accountability, and event planning.

Made possible through Raising Places grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with the support from Greater Good Studio.

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