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Editorial: U of M partnership opens many doors

The city of Rosemount has a unique opportunity to get a lot of good things done in the near future.

The city was chosen recently to work with the University of Minnesota through its Resilient Communities Project. The partnership, currently wrapping up its second year, will give the city access to the expertise of university employees and to the work of hundreds of graduate students. It is the kind of input and the kind of raw manpower that would otherwise cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars.

It opens the doors, in other words, to projects that might never get done, and that certainly would not get done on the time frame the city can now consider.

Sustainability has been a focus for the city in recent years, and this partnership will accelerate those efforts. It will help the city in other areas as well, though the exact list of projects will not be identified until later this spring. The real work will not start until the fall, when the projects the city identifies are matched up with the appropriate departments at the university.

Other cities that have participated have reduced pollution in waterways, improved housing assistance programs and created environmental education programming for local parks, among other projects.

This partnership will not be the last time the U of M has an impact in Rosemount. The university’s UMore development, when it ultimately takes shape, will be a living implementation of the school’s planning expertise. It will bring more than 20,000 residents to a university-planned neighborhood within the city.

This Resilient Communities Project will be a sample of things to come, and we’re intrigued by the possibilities. We look forward to seeing what comes of it.