Photos courtesy Bloomington Public Schools.
Mayor’s memo: Building a community of choice
What does it mean to be a community of choice? Choosing a place to live or do business is very personal. When we started talking about Bloomington as a community of choice, we had to get specific about what draws people to a place.
Expansive parks, pedestrian and cyclist trails, public art, livable neighborhoods and strong school systems all play a large part in attracting and retaining residents and commercial investment.
We have a good foundation in place here in Bloomington. In the 2019 National Citizen Survey™, respondents gave the city strong livability scores with a 91% approval rating. A majority of residents also gave positive ratings to the City’s governance with 8 in 10 respondents calling it “excellent” or “good.” Bloomington is at the top of its class for financial strength and stability. With a strong foundation, we’re in a good position to make great progress toward our goal of being a vibrant city that continues to attract new residents, innovative development and dynamic businesses.
With 900 acres of parkland, great shopping, strong neighborhoods and a lot of amenities for residents and visitors to enjoy, there are many reasons to love spending time in Bloomington. We also have the opportunity to become an even more attractive place to live, work and play.
The City is focusing on ways to attract investment to revitalize aging commercial nodes, such as the Lyndale Avenue corridor, read more on that below, and the Portland gateway area. We recently gathered feedback on what residents envision for the future of these areas. Ensuring the availability of affordable housing is another area of focus. In 2019, the City Council passed an opportunity housing ordinance. As a result 9% of units in developments of 20 or more units must be affordable.
We’re building a community of choice—establishing the key links that align and connect us. The relationships we build help bring us into alignment to ensure we are working together on common goals for a promising future.