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Guiding Principles & Key Initiatives


In 2030 Fargo will be a vibrant and sustainable city with a high quality of life, robust economy and a welcoming community atmosphere.

Water and Environment

Fargo will create permanent flood protection, and ensure the quality and supply of this precious resource through water conservation.  We will celebrate water by embracing the Red River of the North and the Sheyenne River and integrating sustainable rainwater management techniques into the fabric of the city.  We will protect out natural resources and preserve the health and beauty of our environment.

•      Permanent Flood Protection
Develop internal flood protection systems to a river stage of 42.5 feet using permanent levees and flood walls and create long-term, 500-year flood protection through construction of a diversion channel.
•      Green Stormwater Infrastructure
Incorporate natural stormwater management and flood control areas that provide recreational opportunities into the City.  Examples include: On-street rain gardens that soak up and clean stormwater runoff before it enters the storm sewers and retention areas.
o      Secondary: Neighborhoods, Infill and New development
•      Watershed Management
Develop a strategy for regional watershed flood management simultaneously with the diversion project.
•      Drinking Water Quality and Supply
Ensure safe drinking water quality and supply by studying water quality impacts of Devils Lake overflows on the Sheyenne River, ensuring the health of the Red River and preparing for long-term emergency water supplies in times of drought.
•      Water Conservation
Develop policies and programs to reduce water usage in the City of Fargo.  For example, the city could expand its wastewater reclamation and reuse system for drinking, irrigation and industrial users.  The city could landscape with native/xeric plants to reduce need for irrigation.
•      Waste and Recycling
Develop policies to reduce waste and increase recycling programs.
•      Neighborhood Parks
Ensure all neighborhoods have access to neighborhood parks.  Enhance parks with more trees and amenities.  Maintain safety of parks.
o      Secondary: Neighborhoods, Infill and Development
•      Light Pollution
Develop strategies to reduce light pollution and maintain the beauty of the night sky.  Examples could include: energy efficient full cut off light fixtures on city streets.
o      Secondary: Energy
•      Tree Canopy
Increase the amount of trees in Fargo by preserving trees in new development, planting trees in parks and increasing the number of street trees along Fargo’s main corridors.
o      Secondary: Neighborhoods, Infill and Development


Fargo will aggressively seek innovative strategies to support national energy independence.  The community will find energy savings through efficiency measures and invest in renewable sources for the future.

•      City Leads Energy Efficiency, Reduces Carbon Footprint
Develop policies and strategies that allow the city to lead the way with energy efficiency standards and reduction of the carbon footprint of city facilities and schools.
•      Incentives for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Production
Create strategies to incentivize energy efficiency and renewable energy production by working with City, State and Federal governments.
o      Secondary: Economy
•      Smart Grid
Develop strategies to promote a smart grid and allow individuals to generate renewable energy and sell energy back to the grid.
o      Secondary: Economy


Fargo will encourage healthy choices and improve the health of residents by enhancing awareness, increasing year-round recreational opportunities, increasing access of healthy food and ensuring access to quality healthcare.

•      City-Wide Trail Loop
Connect the city with a greenway that is made up of primarily off-street trails.
o      Secondary: Transportation
•      Year-round Recreational Opportunities
Develop a year-round regional recreational amenity within the city.
o      Secondary: Economy
•      Healthy Food
Ensure all neighborhoods have access to healthy food.  Promote more Farmers’ Markets and community gardens in Fargo.
o      Secondary: Economy
•      Regional Recreational Amenity
Develop regional recreational destination, such as a water park, indoor athletic center, or zoo.
o      Secondary: Economy
•      Access to Healthcare
Fargo will ensure all residents have access to quality healthcare.


Fargo will transform its transportation system to encourage walking, biking and transit.  The city will coordinate infrastructure investments and land use policies in a supportive and synergistic way.

•      Bicycle/Pedestrian Infrastructure
Improve bicycle and pedestrian connectivity by identification of gaps in the local and regional system. Implement a complete streets policy.  For example, University could be a complete street and a pedestrian and bicycle transportation hub.     
o      Secondary: Health, Economy, Neighborhoods, Infill and Development, Water and Environment
•      Improve Transit
Expand and improve the existing transit service in terms of frequency, mode and other options, including an effort to revise both the existing MAT bus schedule and frequency of bus service throughout the city and the region (Moorhead and West Fargo).  Study the possibility of new local and regional travel venues, such as streetcars, light rails, commuter rail and high speed rail. 
o      Secondary: Economy, Neighborhoods, Infill and Development, Water and Environment
•      Transportation Linkages Across the Red River
Improve mobility in a manner that will accommodate growth and secure availability of emergency routes by developing an additional crossing of the Red River south of 52nd Ave and improve availability of, and access to, river crossings for bicycles and pedestrians.
o      Secondary: Economy, Health
•      Vehicular access to Downtown
Enhance vehicular downtown connectivity from the north, south and west, and simplify access to I-29 and I-94.
o      Secondary: Economy


Fargo will build on its agricultural and manufacturing heritage, and will be known as a cutting-edge creative economy.  We will educate and retain the best workforce in the nation, and foster an innovative entrepreneurial environment.

•      Amenities and Beautification as an Economic Development Tool
Invest in amenities and beautification as an economic development tool to attract creative individuals.  For example, improve the streetscape and walkability of Fargo’s main corridors.      
o      Secondary: Arts and Culture, Neighborhoods, Infill and New Development, Transportation
•      Incentives for specialized space
Provide incentives for developing specialized space where both the demand and public benefit are substantially demonstrated.  For example, there may be a need for more “wet” laboratory space to strengthen the bioscience industry and provide more jobs.
o      Secondary: Neighborhoods, Infill and New Development
•      Workforce Training
Promote workforce training at the local universities and colleges.
•      Entrepreneurship
Create an environment of entrepreneurship through business support and public awareness campaigns.
•      Redevelop West Acres
Redevelop West Acres to increase the amount of retail space, density, and promote walkability to increase competitiveness of this regional shopping destination.
o      Secondary: Neighborhoods, Infill and New Development

Neighborhoods, Infill and New Development

Fargo will promote attractive and welcoming neighborhoods by promoting a diverse and affordable housing stock.  Fargo will create neighborhoods where residents can age in place, children can walk to school, and essential services are only a short walk away.  Fargo will promote infill development and increasing density and vitality in its established neighborhoods.

•      Promote Infill
Develop policies to promote infill and density within areas that are already developed and are protected by a flood resiliency strategy.  Control sprawl and focus on areas outside of the floodplain.
o      Secondary: Economy, Energy, Transportation
•      High Quality Affordable Housing near NDSU
Develop higher quality affordable housing near the North Dakota State University campus.
o      Design Standards
Develop design guidelines for infill and new development, include policies on sidewalk cafes and dog friendly areas and limiting billboards and other visual clutter. Improve quality of new housing and develop neighborhood design standards to promote dense, walkable communities with neighborhood centers.
o      Secondary: Economy
•      Housing for new Americans and low income residents
Pursue strategies to increase access to housing for new Americans, low income residents.
•      Historical Preservation
Strengthen historical preservation incentives.

Arts and Culture

Fargo will increase the presence of public art in the city and access to cultural events and educational opportunities.  Fargo will flourish with a stronger arts and culture movement that increases the quality of life for all residents.

•      Public  Art
Incorporate public art into new transportation and utility infrastructure investments by implementation of a 1% for the arts program.
o      Secondary: Transportation, Economy
•      Festivals and Cultural Events
o      Develop space and programming for festivals and events.
o      Secondary: Water, Economy, Neighborhoods, Infill and Development
•      Public Gathering Spaces
Develop dedicated public gathering spaces and public spaces in neighborhood centers. Promote programming of public spaces with festivals and other cultural events.
o      Secondary: Neighborhoods, Infill and Development
•      Access to Art Classes and Cultural Programs
Develop strategies to increase access to art classes and cultural programs.