City of Duluth Small Area Plan

Duluth, Minnesota
City of Duluth, Minnesota Department of Health

The City of Duluth Long-Range Planning staff are working to create a small area plan, which could impact health by improving blighted properties, developing vacant land, cleaning contaminated land, connecting sidewalks and adding bike lanes, promoting businesses and job growth, increasing green space and connecting the community to new recreational opportunities, and more. The HIA, scheduled to take place in parallel to the plan’s development, provides an opportunity to work with the community to identify existing strengths and weaknesses of the neighborhood and to provide recommendations to the city council on improving the health of residents through community-based planning.

The Gary-New Duluth neighborhood is adjacent to a landfill and the United States Steel Corp.’s Duluth Works, a former manufacturing complex that is now a Superfund site. There is a separate planning process for the U.S. Steel master area plan, and an HIA will ensure health is considered in its development.

This is part of a Health Impact Project HIA program grant. As part of the work of that work, Minnesota Department of Health will establish a state-level interagency work group and a coalition of local agency and nonprofit partners to support HIA training and technical assistance. The department will also create tools and develop state-level policies to help make HIA a routine part of decision-making.

The Minnesota Department of Health is also conducting an HIA to inform the U.S. Steel master area plan. It previously conducted four HIAs: 6th Avenue East Duluth HIA, Divine Mercy development HIA,  Douglas County comprehensive plan HIA, and the St. Louis Park comprehensive plan HIA.