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Minneapolis Convention Center Plaza Becomes SITES-Certified

By Todd R. Berger

The Minneapolis Convention Center (MCC) Plaza has been awarded Silver certification under the Sustainable SITES Initiative rating system for achievement in landscape sustainability. The MCC Plaza is the nation’s first SITES-certified project to be located at a convention center and the first-ever SITES-certified project in the Upper Midwest. 

Administered by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), SITES promotes sustainable and resilient landscape development to enhance sustainability, implement green infrastructure strategies, and improve resilience.

To earn SITES Silver certification, the MCC Plaza demonstrated:

  • Long-term commitment to landscape sustainability
  • Reduction of outdoor water use and design of functional stormwater features
  • Conservation, restoration, and use of native plant species
  • Reduction of urban heat island effects
  • Use of renewable sources for landscape electricity needs
  • Benefits for the community and public health

Located on the south side of downtown and designed by Minneapolis’ Damon Farber Landscape Architects for environmental sustainability, the 2.5-acre MCC Plaza features an urban meadow planted with native tree, wildflower, and prairie grass species to create downtown’s largest pollinator refuge. In addition, irrigation at the plaza utilizes the convention center’s stormwater capture system. The redesigned plaza was officially revealed to the public on Sept. 30, 2021.