City Detail

Background Information

City of Duluth
County: St. Louis
Population: 86265
GreenStep City category: A
Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.): 850
Participating township, county, school:

GreenStep Coordinator

Alex Jackson, Energy Coordinator
City Staff
218-730-4433
City web page relating to sustainability/GreenStep activities:
GreenStep City resolution: Click here to view the file.
GreenStep City status and date: STEP 2 ( )

City Assessment Files and City Performance Metrics

City councils pass a resolution to join the GreenStep program and are recognized at Step 1. Step 2 and Step 3 recognition levels reflect completed city actions, reported and rated below with stars (1 star = good, 2 stars = better, 3 stars = best). The Assessment File below summarizes completed city actions in a short Word file. Step 4 recognition is awarded to cities who report a minimum number of core metrics for the previous calendar year. These metrics aim to show the aggregate, quantitative results of taking multiple GreenStep actions. Step 5 cities show improvement in the Step 4 metrics. See yearly data for Steps 4&5. Additional city data can be found by reviewing information on B3 Benchmarking and Regional Indicators Initiative.

Assessment File

Best Practice Actions Underway and Completed

Completed actions are denoted by stars.

Total completed actions: 46
1 star actions: 13
2 star actions: 16
3 star actions: 15

Buildings and Lighting Buildings and Lighting

Efficient Existing Public Buildings {BP no.1}

Pending - Action 1: Enter building information into the Minnesota B3 Benchmarking database and routinely enter monthly energy, water use data for all city-owned buildings.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
STATUS – 2008 baseline data and years 2009-2012 energy data has been entered for 38 buildings greater than 5,000 square feet.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Alex Jackson, Energy Coordinator (City staff) | ajackson@DuluthMN.gov | 218-730-4433
3 star - Action 2: Make no/low cost indoor lighting and operational changes in city-owned/school buildings to reduce energy costs.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Low cost changes to operating practices were made at city-owned buildings.

The City of Duluth joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR Low Carbon IT Campaign by enabling the power management, or sleep mode, on our computers and monitors. This simple step will help reduce the nation's growing demand for electricity, save organizations money and help fight climate change. Power management enables computers and monitors to go into a low-power sleep mode after a period of inactivity. Power management has the potential to save up to $ 50 per computer annually.
Outcome measures/metrics:
combined energy savings are identified in Best Practice Action 3 attachment.
Descriptive File: view file
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
For more information contact:
Alex Jackson, Energy Coordinator (City staff) | ajackson@DuluthMN.gov | 218-730-4433
3 star - Action 3: Invest in larger energy efficiency projects through performance contracting or other funding or through smaller retro-commissioning/retrofit projects in city-owned/school buildings.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Energy Use was reduced by 1,058,447 kWh and 15,668 Therms during years 2011 to 2013 by implementing energy measures, primarily lighting and high efficiency boilers, in over 50 city-owned buildings and other energy saving measures.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Annual Electric energy use and total cost savings from energy efficiency measures:
2011 - 288,334 kWh saved and $37,238 costs saved
2012 - 438,131 kWh saved and $51,201 costs saved
2013 - 271.862 kWh saved and $23,533 costs saved
Descriptive File: view file
Minnesota Power Conservation Program, Energy Insight, Inc. Comfort Systems
For more information contact:
Alex Jackson, Energy Coordinator (City staff) | ajackson@DuluthMN.gov | 218-730-4433
2 star - Action 4: Implement information technology efforts and city employee engagement to reduce plug loads, building energy use and workflow efficiency.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
MIS Division has centralized control of all City computers and uses power management controls such as standard sleep settings.
Working jointly with divisions to identify centralized printing options, Duluth was able to reduce the number of printers in the organization by 100. The new centralized devices are all energy star rated.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
Toshiba
For more information contact:
Alex Jackson, Energy Coordinator (City staff) | ajackson@DuluthMN.gov | 218-730-4433
2 star - Action 7: Install for one or more city-owned/school buildings one of the following efficiency measures:
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Duluth Energy Systems is a steam plant owned by the City that has provided steam to several city buildings as well as downtown businesses for the past 80 years.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Alex Jackson, Energy Coordinator (City staff) | ajackson@DuluthMN.gov | 218-730-4433

New Green Buildings {BP no.3}

2 star - Action 3: Adopt a sustainable building policy for private buildings; include the SB 2030 energy standard; adopt language governing new development projects that:
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Duluth UDC 50.29 requires that all developments above a certain size accrue a certain number of points from a listed Sustainability Point System or achieve LEED silver or above
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Alex Jackson, Energy Coordinator (City staff) | ajackson@DuluthMN.gov | 218-730-4433

Efficient Outdoor Lighting and Signals {BP no.4}

3 star - Action 4: Coordinate traffic signals and/or optimize signal timing so as minimize car idling at intersections yet maintain safe and publicly acceptable vehicle speeds.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Duluth’s Street Light Utility Division utilizes a continuous signal timing optimization program, Synchro traffic simulation software to develop signal timing plans and to preform signal optimization.
City of Duluth has flashing left turn arrow signals installed at:
Rice Lake Road & Arlington,
Rice Lake Road & Sawyer (MN Power's entrance), Trinity & Mall Drive.
All future installations will be Flashing Yellow Arrows

Interconnected traffic signals and coordination with other jurisdictions:
Currently the County has employed a timing consultant for the Mall Area Signals, all three jurisdictions will be involved, City, County and MN/Dot.
We have other coordinated systems although they are not joint with other jurisdictions.
• Grand Ave. from 44th West to 57th West,
• 21st Ave. East from London Road to St. Marie St on Woodland Ave.
• Downtown Central Business District, which includes 1st, 2nd, & 3rd Streets.
• 10th Ave. East from 1st St. through 3rd St.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Alex Jackson, Energy Coordinator (City staff) | ajackson@DuluthMN.gov | 218-730-4433
2 star - Action 7: Replace city-owned parking lot/ramp lighting with Dark-Sky compliant, energy efficient, automatic dimming lighting technologies.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
IN PROGRESS – Two smaller ramps have been converted to Dark-Sky compliant lighting on upper lots. Planning is in progress to replace HID fixtures with dimming LED fixtures at two large ramps. Shields will be installed on selected fixtures to eliminate light pollution from reaching outside the parking ramp.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Alex Jackson, Energy Coordinator (City staff) | ajackson@DuluthMN.gov | 218-730-4433
3 star - Action 8: Replace the city's existing traffic signals with LEDs.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
In 2004 and 2005, the majority of Duluth’s green traffic signals were replaced with high efficiency LED lights. As of June 2014, 95% of the City's traffic signals are LED.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Alex Jackson, Energy Coordinator (City staff) | ajackson@DuluthMN.gov | 218-730-4433

Land Use Land Use

Comprehensive, Climate and Energy Plans {BP no.6}

1 star - Action 1: Adopt a comprehensive plan or (for Category B & C cities) adopt a land use plan that was adopted by the county or a regional entity.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The Comprehensive Land Use Plan was adopted in 2006 and is a policy document that describes the City's 20-year vision for growth and development.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Adam Fulton (City staff) | afulton@hermantownmn.com | 218-729-3618
1 star - Action 2: Demonstrate that regulatory ordinances comply with the comprehensive plan including but not limited to having the zoning ordinance explicitly reference the comprehensive plan as the foundational document for decision making.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City adopted the Unified Development Chapter (UDC) of the City's legislative code in 2010 to implement the City of Duluth's 2006 Comprehensive Land Use Plan. The Comprehensive Land Use Plan is referenced both generally at the beginning of the UDC as the goal for all zoning, land use, and development ordinances, as well as specifically at the start of individual ordinances
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Adam Fulton (City staff) | afulton@hermantownmn.com | 218-729-3618
3 star - Action 3: Include requirements in comprehensive and/or other plans for intergovernmental coordination addressing regional land use and watershed / wellhead impacts, infrastructure, transportation, economic development and city/regional services.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The Arrowhead Regional Development Commission (ARDC) and helps Duluth coordinate with local jurisdictions on a range of services including transportation, emergency planning, senior services, and several others through its three program divisions: ARDC Regional Planning, Duluth-Superior Metropolitan Interstate Council (MIC), and the Arrowhead Area Agency on Aging. MIC in particular has facilitated programs involving joint service and investment in infrastructure between Duluth and many of the other communities served by the ARDC - several of these programs appear in their annual reports.
The Western Lake Superior Sanitary District (WLSSD) "provides wastewater services... for a 500-square mile service area, including the communities of Duluth, Cloquet, Proctor, and Hermantown and surrounding communities." Much of the infrastructure operated by WLSSD is located in Duluth itself, but serves a much larger area.
Duluth also coordinates with the rest of St. Louis County's police and fire departments, as well as on foreclosures and housing programs and services.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Adam Fulton (City staff) | afulton@hermantownmn.com | 218-729-3618
3 star - Action 4: Include ecological provisions in the comprehensive plan that explicitly aim to minimize open space fragmentation and/or establish a growth area with expansion criteria.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Page 131 of Duluth's Comprehensive Land Use Plan describes the design of the conceptual staging map, which separates developable land into three categories based on the order in which the city wishes to develop it. The highest priority is infill of previously developed land; order of development is designed to "retain the integrity of the City's green infrastructure".
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Adam Fulton (City staff) | afulton@hermantownmn.com | 218-729-3618

Mixed Uses {BP no.8}

2 star - Action 1:

Organize or participate in a community planning/design process for the city/a mixed use district.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Many of the planning and design processes conducted by Duluth's Planning department involve public input, including for some mixed use districts.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Adam Fulton (City staff) | afulton@hermantownmn.com | 218-729-3618
1 star - Action 3: Modify a planned unit development ordinance to emphasize mixed use development or to limit residential PUDs to areas adjacent to commercial development.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
PUDs can be used for mixed use development.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Adam Fulton (City staff) | afulton@hermantownmn.com | 218-729-3618
3 star - Action 5: Have a downtown zoning district that allows residential and compatible commercial development.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Office, retail, educational, civic, and residential units are all permitted within the same building in Duluth's downtown zoning district.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Adam Fulton (City staff) | afulton@hermantownmn.com | 218-729-3618
2 star - Action 7: Create incentives for vertical mixed-use development in appropriate locations (downtown, commercial districts near colleges or universities, historic commercial districts).
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Some zone districts in Duluth have height incentives; in form districts there are certain building types where some uses are only allowed on upper floors.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Adam Fulton (City staff) | afulton@hermantownmn.com | 218-729-3618

Design for Natural Resource Conservation {BP no.10}

1 star - Action 3: For cities within metropolitan areas, incorporate woodland best management practices addressing protection of wooded areas into zoning or development review.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Individual stands are protected under UDC 50-25.
Subdivision design protects "natural resources… to the degree practicable" under UDC 50-33.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Adam Fulton (City staff) | afulton@hermantownmn.com | 218-729-3618

Transportation Transportation

Living Streets {BP no.11}

1 star - Action 1: Adopt a complete streets policy, or a living streets policy, which addresses landscaping and stormwater.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Duluth adopted resolution 10-1028 in 2010, providing for a Complete Streets Policy.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Alex Jackson, Energy Coordinator (City staff) | ajackson@DuluthMN.gov | 218-730-4433
2 star - Action 3: Modify a street in compliance with the city's complete streets policy.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Duluth reconstructed Oxford/Livingston/Glenwood streets in the Woodland and Lakeside areas in 2013. We added sidewalks to Glenwood where they were missing, Trees, vegetation and stormwater treatment were also included in the overall project.
In 2014, the City Council passed a resolution to do a road diet on London Road, between 10th and 21st Ave E. to go to a three lane section with bike lanes on each side. The restriping to complete the road diet on that section of London Road will take place in late summer 2014.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Alex Jackson, Energy Coordinator (City staff) | ajackson@DuluthMN.gov | 218-730-4433
1 star - Action 4: Identify, prioritize and remedy complete streets gaps and lack of connectivity/safety within your road network by, for example, adding a bike route/lane, truck route, sidewalk or mid-block alley.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Added sidewalks and trees along Glenwood Street in the upper Lakeside neighborhood.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Cindy Voigt (City staff) | cvoigt@Duluthmn.gov | 218-730-5071
3 star - Action 5: Identify and remedy street-trail gaps between city streets and off-road trails/bike trails to better facilitate walking and biking.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
In December 2013, the Duluth City Council adopted a Plan for Duluth's Bikeway System, establishment of bicycle lanes, paths and routes, and requesting City Staff to implement such plan.
Duluth's premier bike path, the Duluth Lakewalk provides a walking and bike trail that connects the Duluth Canal Park downtown district to the Gitchee Gammi Park North of the Lester River Bridge on Duluth's eastern City boundary. Duluth is in the process of constructing the Cross-town trail to connect the Lake Walk trail to the Northern Minnesota Munger Trail.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Duluth's Lake Walk has over 5 miles of walking and biking trail.
Descriptive File: view file
MIC - Duluth-Superior Metropolitan Interstate Council: Healthy Duluth Coalition
For more information contact:
James Gittemeier (Community volunteer) | jgittemeier@ardc.org | 218-529-7556
2 star - Action 6: Implement traffic calming policy/measures, including lane conversions (road diets), roundabouts, shared space and depaving, in at least one street redevelopment project.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Duluth implemented traffic calming measures at the reconstructed intersection at Jefferson Street and 17th Ave East.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Alex Jackson, Energy Coordinator (City staff) | ajackson@DuluthMN.gov | 218-730-4433

Mobility Options {BP no.12}

3 star - Action 1: Increase walking, biking and transit use by one or more of the following means:
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The League of American Bicyclists has designated Duluth as a Bicycle Friendly Community at the Brongze level, because Duluth exhibits a sustained commitment to cycling.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Shawna MullenEardley (Community volunteer) | smulleneardley@duluthymca.org | 218-722-4745
2 star - Action 2: Conduct an Active Living campaign such as a Safe Routes to School program.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Duluth is a participating member of a regional SRTS program. In 2006, the Duluth-Superior Metropolitan Interstate Council released the Duluth SRTS Plan. City staff, council member and community citizens participated on the plan steering committee. Five schools were studied for the plan. There are seven elementary and two middle schools in Duluth.
The plan provided recommendations for evaluation of interventions, encouragement, education, engineering, and enforcements.
Engineering – Creating operational and physical improvements to the infrastructure surrounding schools that reduce speeds and potential conflicts with motor vehicle traffic, and establish safer and fully accessible crossings, walkways, trails and bikeways.
Duluth’s plan recommended traffic calming infrastructure, new sidewalks, and traffic separation measures.
2. Education – Teaching children about the broad range of transportation choices, instructing them in important lifelong bicycling and walking safety skills, and launching driver safety campaigns in the vicinity of schools.
3. Enforcement – Partnering with local law enforcement to ensure traffic laws are obeyed in the vicinity of schools (this includes enforcement of speeds, yielding to pedestrians in crossings , and proper walking and bicycling behaviors), and initiating community enforcement such as crossing guard programs.
4. Encouragement – Using events and activities to promote walking and bicycling.
5. Evaluation – Monitoring and documenting outcomes and trends through the collection of data.
During 2013 and 2014, the City participated in active living campaigns and events that promote biking, walking and public transit. Events included the Mayor's annual bike to work day, public presentations on existing and planned bike routes, demonstrations on how to load a bike on the Duluth Transit Authority buses, and bike safety.
In 2013, activities were held during an entire week in May and in 2013, actvities were held during the entire month of May.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
Duluth Healthy Living Coalition; MIC: St. Louis County Health Services: Duluth Area Family YMCA, Arrowhead Regional Development Commission
For more information contact:
Shawna MullenEardley (Community volunteer) | smulleneardley@duluthymca.org | 218-722-4745

Environmental Management Environmental Management

Sustainable Purchasing {BP no.15}

1 star - Action 1: Adopt a sustainable purchasing policy or administrative guidelines/practices directing that the city purchase at least:
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Duluth purchases EnergyStar certified equipment and appliances and 30% post-consumer content recycled paper.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Alex Jackson, Energy Coordinator (City staff) | ajackson@DuluthMN.gov | 218-730-4433
1 star - Action 4: Require purchase of U.S. EPA WaterSense-certified products.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Facilities Management Division requires the purchse of U.S. EPA WaterSense certified products or their equivalent for commmercial use.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Alex Jackson, Energy Coordinator (City staff) | ajackson@DuluthMN.gov | 218-730-4433

Urban Forests and Soils {BP no.16}

1 star - Action 1: Certify as a Tree City USA.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Duluth is a Tree City USA city and has been for 23 years.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Erik Birkeland (City staff) | ebirkeland@DuluthMN.gov | 218-730-4435
3 star - Action 5: Adopt a tree preservation or native landscaping ordinance.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Section 50-25 of Duluth's Unified Development Code details City standards for landscaping and tree preservation during all development - this includes the protection of existing vegetation during construction, "credited" trees when large trees are preserved during construction, percentage tree cover requirements, and a percentage of the sum of removed DBH to be replaced by the sum of planted DBH (rather than removal/replacement standards on a per tree basis).
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Erik Birkeland (City staff) | ebirkeland@DuluthMN.gov | 218-730-4435
3 star - Action 6:

Build community capacity to protect existing trees by one or more of:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
City of Duluth has four certified arborists. The City Parks Department has written a community invasive species guide and plan that includes the emerald ash borer.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Erik Birkeland (City staff) | ebirkeland@DuluthMN.gov | 218-730-4435

Stormwater Management {BP no.17}

1 star - Action 2: Complete a stormwater management assessment and be recognized for implementing the actions therein.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
12/08/16- Registered Duluth for the Blue Star award program, in the process of completing the self-assessment
12/20/16- Assessment mostly completed, but we are only at 54% (need to get 60%). We're continuing to work on it.

Login: estrom@duluthmn.gov
Password: 123456
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Chris Kleist (City staff) | ckleist@DuluthMN.gov | 218-730-4063
3 star - Action 4: Create a stormwater utility that uses variable fees to incentivize enhanced stormwater management, minimize the volume of and pollutants in runoff, and educate property owners.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Duluth's stormwater utility uses variable fees to incentivize enhanced stormwater management to minimize the volume of runoff and pollutants that reach Lake Superior, and has a program to educate property owners. 100% of the fees are used for the stormwater program.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Chris Kleist (City staff) | ckleist@DuluthMN.gov | 218-730-4063
2 star - Action 5: Adopt and implement guidelines or design standards/incentives for at least one of the following stormwater infiltration/reuse practices:
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Under the Duluth UDC section 50-41, the definition for "Erosion and sedimentation practice specifications, or practice" makes explicit reference to the MPCA Protecting Water Quality in Urban Areas handbook, which serves as a guideline for design standards for stormwater management. It includes guidelines for many different types of rain gardens and other infiltration methods, as well as grid pavers and green walls, among others. Stormwater management that follows some set of best management practices (the MPCA handbook is highly recommended but not required) is necessary in order to obtain a building permit.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Todd Carlson (City staff) | tcarlson@duluthmn.gov | 218-730-4051

Efficient Water and Wastewater Systems {BP no.20}

3 star - Action 3:

Establish an on-going budget and program for decreasing inflow and infiltration into sewer lines and losses in drinking water systems.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
As a result of serious inflow and infiltration issues and subsequent overflows in the early 2000s, the City of Duluth and WLSSD cosigned a decree in 2009 to "cease all wet-weather related sanitary sewer overflow... and resolve 18 separate overflow points" within the following 7 years. The decree was terminated after successful completion a year and a half ahead of time; the city has not experienced an overflow event since 2012, and regular maintenance is conducted to ensure the tightness of Duluth's sewer lines.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Todd Carlson (City staff) | tcarlson@duluthmn.gov | 218-730-4051

Local Air Quality {BP no.23}

2 star - Action 5: Install, assist with and promote one or more public fueling stations for plug-in hybrid and full electric vehicles, flex-fuel ethanol vehicles, CNG vehicles.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
There has been a ChargePoint charging station, installed, owned, and operated by the City, at the Duluth Library/Depot Parking Structure (at the west end of the downtown area) since mid-2013; it is capable of charging at both 120- and 240-volt levels.
The City also has plans to install five more charging stations for public use in 2017.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Alex Jackson, Energy Coordinator (City staff) | ajackson@DuluthMN.gov | 218-730-4433

Resilient Economic & Community Development Resilient Economic and Community Development

Benchmarks and Community Engagement {BP no.24}

2 star - Action 1: Use a city commission, or committee to lead, coordinate, and report to and engage community members on implementation of sustainability best practices.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
City has a department-wide Sustainability Team and will report GreenStep accomplishments on the City's website.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Alex Jackson, Energy Coordinator (City staff) | ajackson@DuluthMN.gov | 218-730-4433
Pending - Action 2: Organize goals/outcome measures from all city plans and report to community members data that show progress toward meeting these goals.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Several departments in the City do annual reporting.
- Duluth's Community Planning department releases the Housing Indicators Report and CAPER on its webpage
- Duluth Public Library reports various usage statistics to State Library Services
- Parks and Recreation posts an annual report of completed projects, budgeting, and plans for the near future to their webpage
-
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Adam Fulton (City staff) | afulton@hermantownmn.com | 218-729-3618
2 star - Action 5: Conduct or support a community education, visioning and planning initiative using a sustainability framework such as:
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Duluth is a supporting organization for Sustainable Twin Ports (STP), a non-profit, 501(c3)organization that provides science based training in the Natural Step process to achieve sustainablity. Two City employee teams have participated in the six-month or longer training conducted by STP, along with thirty other Twin Ports organizations.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Alex Jackson, Energy Coordinator (City staff) | ajackson@DuluthMN.gov | 218-730-4433

Green Business Development {BP no.25}

1 star - Action 3: Promote sustainable tourism in your city, and green tourism resources to tourism and hospitality businesses in/around the city.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Duluth promotes the St. Louis River Corridor which is the world’s largest freshwater estuary. Efforts include enhancing trails connectivity, walkability. The Duluth Mayor has successfully sought reinactment of the 1/2% tourism tax to fund future development and enhancements to the the St. Louis River corridor. Businesses in the western district have rallied around the initiative to make the west area a destination for recreational activiities and commerce.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Alex Jackson, Energy Coordinator (City staff) | ajackson@DuluthMN.gov | 218-730-4433
3 star - Action 5: Lower the environmental and health risk footprint of a brownfield remediation/redevelopment project; report brightfield projects.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City has lowered the environmental footprint of brownfields at the former U.S. Steel Plant, Atlas Cement Plant and other brownfield sites. Two new, sustainable businesses have established businesses at brownfield sites in Duluth:
Situated on a former industrial brownfield site which the company restored to meet EPA standards, Loll Designs of Duluth is one of the most innovative new companies in Minnesota. Founded in 2005, the company makes stylish outdoor furniture from recycled materials and has received glowing write-ups in publications ranging from Architectural Record to Dwell magazine. One of the company’s core values, and undoubtedly one of the primary factors behind its success, has been an unwavering commitment to sustainability. The company’s directors are determined to integrate sustainable practices into every aspect of operations.
The corporate headquarters, designed by David Salmela, is an inspiring base of operations for an environmentally-minded company. The building is situated on a former industrial brownfield site which the company restored to meet EPA standards. The office features exposed structural elements, a passive-solar design, and a high-efficiency thermal envelope of structural insulated panels. From the company’s initial decision to manufacture products locally from recycled materials, to its distinctive and modern product line, Loll Designs is catching the attention of designers and environmentally-conscious consumers.
When asked,"When did you first decide to integrate sustainable practices into your business?"
Greg Benson, CEO and founding partner said, “With me, the sustainability thing started in high school back in ‘79 or ‘80. I had an environmental studies teacher, Tom Hayden, who had a huge influence on me. Later on, at UMD, I studied environmental science and literature. For me, these ideas were really there from the beginning. When we first started out, we were building skate ramps and durability was a huge issue. I would think about the lifecycle of what we were building and that’s what drove me to look for other materials – materials that were more durable, that had a longer life, and were made from recycled materials. The other aspect of this is that these concepts just make good economic sense – streamlining the manufacturing process and minimizing waste just makes sense… In the book Cradle to Cradle, Braungart and McDonough argue that making a disposable product out of non-renewable, non-recyclable, non-biodegradable materials is just bad business. If you’re going to make a product out of non-renewable or non-recyclable materials, build it to last.”

Duluth Hertiage Sports Center
Duluth, Minnesota
Brownfield redevelopment in Lincoln Park Neighborhood of Duluth
2008 Economic Development Association of Minnesota Award “Reviving the Lincoln Park Neighborhood”
Located on a redeveloped industrial brownfield site, formerly Clyde Iron Works, the Duluth Heritage Sports Center is the center of a multi-million dollar Clyde Park development. Home to Duluth Amateur Hockey Association and Duluth Schools Hockey, the center serves as a practice facility for other school sports programs and for the City of Duluth Parks and Recreation programming for ice activities. It is also home to the Boys and Girls Club outreach center.
The facility is designed and constructed around an existing industrial building donated by the property owner, which is now the centerpiece of the facility called Heritage Hall. This created the opportunity for the design to be influenced by the historic industrial nature of the site. The design includes unique aesthetic amenities such as an original 20-ton bridge crane that remains in place about the entry lobby, restored original brick walls and steel structure incorporated into the design of the lobby, arena and pavilion.

Two new buildings will jut from Clyde's old assembly building, for public hockey, indoor soccer and softball. The Duluth Heritage Sports Center will replace a public rink lost to fire two years ago.
It will be owned and operated by a non-profit organization. Promoters say it's about more than hockey - it's about one of Duluth's needier neighborhoods.
"Taking a look at a 50 year old brownfield site that's a blight on the community, and turning a major portion of lower Lincoln Park into a place and a destination point which will draw people, families and kids, and give a boost to our tourism industry," says Dick Loraas, President of the Duluth Heritage Sports Center Corporation.
"This has a lot of very positive impacts for non-hockey Duluth," Loraas says.
This project, he says, has huge potential - not unlike the way Grandmas restaurant spurred what's today's popular Canal Park district on Duluth's waterfront.
"You can build an indoor ice plant just about anywhere," Loraas says. "We're doing something that I think has far greater long term positive impact on the community than just putting up a steel building and throwing a piece of ice in it."
Private donations will pay most of the $16 million price tag for the sports center, although the Duluth school district, the city, and the state have also committed money. Alessandro Giuliani's retail development is privately financed, beyond some tax breaks.

Outcome measures/metrics:
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For more information contact:
Alex Jackson, Energy Coordinator (City staff) | ajackson@DuluthMN.gov | 218-730-4433

Renewable Energy {BP no.26}

3 star - Action 3: Promote financing and incentive programs such as PACE for clean energy:
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
In September 2014, the City of Duluth entered into a joint powers agreement with the Saint Paul Port Authority to "implement and administer their property assisted clean energy ("PACE") of Minnesota program" in Duluth.
Outcome measures/metrics:
No projects have closed so far; there is one in the works with Miller Hill Mall that is likely to go forward in the first quarter of 2017.
Descriptive File:
St. Paul Port Authority
For more information contact:
Nathan LaCoursiere (City staff) | nlacoursiere@duluthmn.org | 2187305490
1 star - Action 5: Install a public sector/municipally-owned renewable energy technology, such as solar electric (PV), wind, biomass, solar hot water/air, or micro-hydro.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
4.33 kW of photovoltaics were installed at the Lester Park Chalet, offsetting electrical consumption of the nearby cross-country ski trail lighting.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Alex Jackson, Energy Coordinator (City staff) | ajackson@DuluthMN.gov | 218-730-4433

Local Food {BP no.27}

2 star - Action 1: Incorporate working landscapes - agriculture and forestry - into the city by adopting an ordinance for one or more of the following:
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Duluth's Unified Development Code (UDC) section 50-19.8 permits agriculture of some sort in several zone districts, including all residential zone districts.
Outcome measures/metrics:
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For more information contact:
Jennifer Moses (City staff) | jmoses@duluthmn.gov | 218-730-5328
2 star - Action 2: Facilitate creation of home/community gardens, chicken & bee keeping, and incorporation of food growing areas/access in multifamily residential developments.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Duluth's Unified Development Code (UDC) section 50-19.8 permits agriculture of some sort in several zone districts, including all residential zone districts; it is zoned for and allowed by right.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Jennifer Moses (City staff) | jmoses@duluthmn.gov | 218-730-5328
2 star - Action 3: Create, assist with and promote local food production/distribution within the city:
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
- The following schools in Duluth have school forests: North Shore Community School, Lakewood Elementary, Lester Park Elementary, Homecroft Elementary, Duluth East High School, and Bay View Elementary.
- The Duluth Farmers' Market has existed since 1911. The West Duluth Farmers' Market and the Lincoln Park Farmers' Market serve different parts of Duluth.
- The Duluth Community Garden program has several plots located on city-owned property.
- The Duluth Parks and Recreation department's Edible Duluth program "aims to promote, develop and create sustainable and maintained edible landscapes on public property". There are currently 147 trees at 16 different locations across the city.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Jennifer Moses (City staff) | jmoses@duluthmn.gov | 218-730-5328

Climate Adaptation and Community Resilience {BP no.29}

1 star - Action 8: Improve local energy resilience by minimizing fuel poverty, installing distributed renewable energy systems, and developing microgrids that can improve energy system resiliency.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The Duluth Flood Recovery Program, a partnership between Ecolibrium3, the City of Duluth, and local utilities, invested over $1,000,000 into assisting 168 low-income households recover from the June flood by making energy-efficient repairs to homes damaged.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file