Healthy generations: It’s a phrase that defines the City of Osseo’s vision for growth and development, which states, “For this update to the comprehensive plan, Osseo has chosen to focus on opportunities to improve public health.”
“Public health is a lens we can use to make city planning more concrete, because it can be somewhat abstract to plan for 20 or more years into the future,” said Nancy Abts, AICP, Osseo’s city planner.
“The World Health Organization focuses on health as complete physical, mental, and social well-being and that’s the perspective we adopted in updating our plan,” Abts said. “Actions that affect social, economic, and environmental conditions should be made with community members’ health and well-being in mind.”
“Focus on good living”
Osseo’s plan includes policies, goals and strategies that relate to public health, including:
Access to healthy food. Promote community planting and local food retail sources.
Physical activity and active living. Promote infrastructure decision making that favors connections and safety and helps to ensure mobility options.
Community safety. Consider crime prevention and fire protection in decisions about development.
Social health and equity. Acknowledge and address barriers that keep people from reaching their full potential,
Healthy natural and built environment. Promote a clean environment and functioning ecosystem.
Residents embrace small-town feel and walkable streets
The City of Osseo is a community of about 2,700 residents and 1,300 households in an area of approximately three-quarters of a mile in size. It’s one of the oldest communities in Hennepin County, organized in 1852.
Though it has characteristics of a small town, with a traditional commercial main street with small businesses and services, it’s designated “urban” due to its compact development pattern. As the metro area has expanded, the city has been increasingly surrounded by suburban growth.
“Osseo might be one of the smaller cities in the metro area, but we make up for it in charm,” said Abts. “Osseo residents value our small-town feel, the variety of housing, a walkable, traditional street grid, and closeness to retail and services. And, of course, a focus on good living. There’s a lot to love.”