All residents should have an opportunity to participate. Not just selected residents.
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Edina is a place which current residents are very satisfied with, but the long-term success of the suburb depends on how well it competes among those who are choosing a new place to live - both current Edina residents who can relocate within or outside of Edina and those who come here from other communities. We have a natural advantage among those who have family or a job here, or highly value one aspect of community - such as our fine schools - but may be totally unknown by those who would love living here or are working against the bad rap the community has among some for being exclusive - in a negative sense.
In today's Star Tribune a small item from Fortune Magazine reported that Eden Prairie and Woodbury were among the top 50 suburbs in the country. I'll paste the article in below and make comments.
Metro briefs: Two suburbs make list of 'best places to live' in U.S. SEPTEMBER 24, 2016 — 11:05PM
Eden Prairie and Woodbury are the only Minnesota cities to make an annual list of top cities in the country.
The two suburbs are among the top 50 “Best Places to Live” in Money magazine’s 2016 rankings. Eden Prairie came in No. 2 and Woodbury came in No. 11. The magazine ranks all U.S. cities that have populations of 50,000 to 300,000 residents, looking at factors such as taxes, education and health care. The list was limited to no more than four places per state and one city per county.
The magazine pointed out Eden Prairie’s economy, large employers like Supervalu, parks and lakes, and the fact that 95 percent of respondents to a city survey gave the city “good” or “excellent” ratings for quality of life. It also featured a new development called Eden Gardens, a 36-home neighborhood of energy-efficient, high-density homes near Hwy. 212.
It’s the fourth time Eden Prairie has made the list — and its top 10 — since 2006. In 2010, the west-metro suburb came in first.
Woodbury, which has also made the list several times, was singled out for its growing community, amenities and sports facilities, as well as a thriving health and wellness industry, including Anytime Fitness’ new headquarters. To see the full list, go to time.com/money/collection/best-places-to-live/.
Given our bi-polar metro area, only Eden Prairie's presence on the list is significant, but their high ratings are a challenge to Edina, as they have been in this top group multiple times in recent years. While they are a younger population and the rating is for cities over 60,000 population (we have historically been slightly less than that), at least in this rating, they do better than Edina. Edina Public Schools are highly regarded - the top rated in the state - but they have never reached the top 50, much less the top ten.
If you want to be the best, you need to perform. I'll use the examples of our schools. They can choose to be satisfied with their current rating, or accept as their peer group the top 10 or 25 schools in the country, determine why they score better, and do the homework necessary to significantly raise their scores. To me, hitting top 10 would be an impressive goal.
This suburb rating only takes 1 school per county and 4 per state. As long as Eden Prairie scores higher, as we are both in Hennepin County, we can never make the list. We would need for them to slip or raise our performance. There is no other way. If we do better than a suburb rated 7th in the country, we might even be able to reach the top five. Simply beating them one year would be enough to use it as bragging rights with lasting value, but it reflects serious effort. We are shortly dong another quality life survey and long-range development, which makes it a perfect time to raise our performance and turn our desire to be the goal of being a destination suburb into reality.
Last night, I attended a city-organized focus group in which local adult residents were asked to imagine a desired future in terms of Edina’s business development. The group identified an interest making Edina more of a place where people can live, work and go to school. The consultant indicated that the current percentage of residents who both live and work here is low. As commuting times increase, more people are seeking to cut their long commuting times in order to achieve better work-life balance, being more present in their families and more involved in the community.
This was a good insight, but reflected the attitudes of what one person called a group of white folks older than 40 – probably most of us were older than 50. For issues building a network of sidewalks through the city, the planning horizon is 30 years, which as this point takes us nearly to mid century – 2050. I cannot speak for anyone else, but in 2060, if I’m still alive, I will be 100 years old. Everyone in attendance will be gone or well into retirement. The opinions of those most important – those under the age of 35 – were missing from the group. Likely, most people who will be living here in 2050 don’t even live here today.
Personally, my priority is to rebuilt Edina to work for young adults like my children – ages 30 and 32. Many, many of us have children who live out of state, which means for those of us who enjoy being grandparents, we don’t fully enjoy that opportunity.. If they live beyond 30 minutes away, the level of contact isn’t great. If they live in or near Edina, they are going to be easier to see and if they live close to where they work, they will have more times to be good parents and for themselves.
So who needs to tell us what kind of community life they want for their selves and their future families? Who is most likely to take the time to tell us what they think? The children of Edina.
That includes high school students, college students and young adults. They may still live here or somewhere else. If we ask them tell us, if we asked them, what they liked and disliked about growing up here and what attributes of communities they seek and reject. Even if they will never return, wherever they live, they make decisions based on how they view the options they have available, and whatever state where they reside, they may be having positive experiences we could emulate here. Edina Schools are viewed as a strong community asset, and typically viewed in the top 100 in the country. However, Edina nor any other Minnesota school has ever been in the top 50, 25 or 10 schools in the country. Our metro area competes nationally for jobs and talent. Edina Schools are a great example that being excellent doesn’t mean that you cannot get better.
I would recommend that as part of its long range planning process, the city survey EHS high school students and graduates under the age of 35 to determine what factors influence their decision not to return, particularly if it relates to our harsh climate or the job market in their field of interest. To fill out the picture, the city should at the same time talk with the small number of young adults under the age of 35 who didn’t grow up here. While not the primary purpose of doing this research, doing it with that age group would convey our strong interest coming here to live and work.
How about some feedback on this Grandview issue, which, no doubt, the majority of Edina residents are unaware: http://www.sd49gop.com/does_edina_s_grandview_development_need_tif
I think we hold out, till bus station is available for a connected project, and Edina gets the chance to create a unified idea.
Dear City Council Members, It seems that everywhere I go, people are up in arms about you. They are irate that you instructed the Grandview planners to create 90% (100%?) private plans for the publicly-owned Grandview space. Then you hide behind the planners as if they are the ones who won't listen to the public. It seems you don't listen to people at all anymore. Since many residents didn't support the "sidewalk issue," you think this gives you a license to pull-out of anything and everything. Yet, even though some folks didn't want sidewalks, there are many other issues we all wish you would wake up and engage in. Republicans, democrats, and everyone in between has had enough of this. We may not want our money to go to Washington, but we don't mind paying for local improvements we will all benefit from. We can't wait to vote in the next election, and say our final farewell.
A multipurpose development Including a formal "park and ride". option to promote public transportation during the work week while allowing other functions at night and on the weekends.
I would like this space [Grandview] to be a homeless shelter because then every one that dose not have a home can have a home.
I would like the site to become 'green space' I.e develop some nice walking, play spaces but also include vertical gardens for example. Why not have a community garden? And use it to start getting to know our neighbors better! I would like Edina to become a leader in integrating green space designs into its urban development. Look at what San Fran has done http://inhabitat.com/highlink-green-promenade-is-a-new-urban-gate-for-the-city-of-san-francisco/
Sell the land and bring in some revenue to offset the exorbitant state and local taxes we're paying! People are being taxed right out of their homes in Edina - just like me!