With 97,000 residents, Rochester is the third largest city in Minnesota and covers approximately 50 square miles. Home to the Mayo Clinic and other major employers, Rochester includes 3,500 acres of parks and 60-plus miles of trails. The Rochester-Olmstead Planning Department is the hub for this Design for Health project. It is a unique entity since it acts as a consolidated city, county, and metropolitan governing body.

Rochester used funds from an Active Community Planning grant to prepare amendments to its comprehensive plan and Rochester Zoning Ordinance and Land Development Manual, including a new complete streets ordinance, to improve opportunities for incorporating physical activity into daily routines, and better incorporate health into plans and ordinances.

It began this effort with an Active Community Planning kick-off event to educate local agency staff and residents about the connections between health and planning. In preparation for this event, staff conducted a Preliminary Health Impact Assessment to evaluate development proposals in the city. The event featured speaker Michael Ronkin, president of Design Streets for Pedestrians and Bicyclists, who conducted a two-hour mini-workshop where attendees explored how land-use, street connectivity, access management, site design,and building orientation all affect the ultimate street section.

Rochester also created a steering committee to guide the priorities for the Active Community Planning project. The committee includes several Rochester neighborhood residents; the mayor, Mayo Clinic staff; staff from the departments of public works, public-health, parks and recreation, city administration and planning; the school district; and other community representatives.

Final Plan: Complete Streets Resolution (60 KB). In addition, Downtown Rochester released a master plan report in August 2010. In 2012, a Rochester Area Bicycle Master Plan was adopted as an amendment to the 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan.

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