skip to content
Primary navigation

Capitol Mall design framework logo with image of the capitol building next to it with autumn colored flowers in the foreground

A New Vision for Minnesota’s Capitol Mall Released for Public Comment!

The Capitol Area Architectural and Planning Board (CAAPB) has released the Capitol Mall Design Framework for public comment. The Design Framework envisions actionable proposals to make the Capitol Mall more welcoming for more Minnesotans. This framework will act as a roadmap for phased implementation of investments in landscape, visitor facilities, accessibility, mobility infrastructure and community vitality. The CAAPB is inviting all Minnesotans to visit the project website and comment on the Design Framework before June 20, 2024.  
*This is the second draft released for comment but a first release of the full 177-page Framework document. This draft contains new depth of information from designers, more illustrations and other changes due to comments, surveys and reviews by partner agencies.
The Design Framework was developed with the goal of making the Capitol Mall more welcoming for more Minnesotans. To represent Minnesota's great diversity, the design team has collaborated with thousands of community members across the state over the last five months.  After an extensive initial analysis in late 2023, the team led a 4-day design session with 75 community members, hosted two online surveys with 2,425 responses, held 13 pop-ups across the state, hosted focus groups and a state-wide virtual workshop, and attended countless meetings with community groups, state agencies and others to gather design input. The final step in this process is to present the draft Design Framework for public comment before moving into implementation of phase 1 projects.
“We are excited to share the Capitol Mall Design Framework, which is the result of many voices, and the hard work of the project team. These changes represent a shared vision for the Capitol Mall, one that prioritizes accessibility, sustainability, and inclusivity. The Capitol belongs to all Minnesotans and this effort speaks to the heart of that.” says Lt. Governor Peggy Flannagan, the chair of the Capitol Area Architectural and Planning Board.
For more information and to provide input, please visit the project website at
The website is available in English, Hmong, Somali and Spanish.

News & Updates

CAAPB Meetings & Events 

No upcoming meetings are scheduled at this time. 

Our most recent Board Meeting was May 15, 2024. Read about our past Board Meetings Here



Rice Street - Keep up to date on the process!

Bethesda Site: Vision for New Mental Health Facility Approved by CAAPB

CAAPB staff recently completed the CAAPB FY22-23 Biennial Report. Each agency produces such a report every 2 years. It’s a handy overview of who we are, what we do, recent and upcoming projects, and budget.

Read about the new CAAP Board members and Advisor.

Feature image for Funding Delay: Capitol Area Community Vitality Account

Funding Delay: Capitol Area Community Vitality Account

The 2024 Minnesota Legislature fell seconds short of ‘closing the roll’ on approved legislation that would have enabled the account to be activated this year. 

The approved Task Force Report outlines: 

  • Vitality Account.  The $5M provided by legislature establishes a Capitol Area Community Vitality Account (CACCVA) held and disbursed by the City of Saint Paul, to be administered in the Capitol Area through a team of community navigators formed from staff at CAAPB and City of Saint Paul Planning & Economic Development (PED) department.  They will support a Vitality Committee of appointed community members (five members).  Ultimate oversight of committee and their decision-making mechanisms rest with CAAPB Board.

Funds, when they are appropriated in a future Legislative session, will be distributed over 3-5 years in the form of:

  • Launch Investments: community safety, clean up and technical assistance.
  • Direct Vitality Grants: micro, small, medium size — defined within a grant program.
  • Voices Initiative $3M set aside to support major initiatives identified by the community.

Feature image for Update on Legislation Funding Comprehensive Plan Priorities

Update on Legislation Funding Comprehensive Plan Priorities

 In the 2023 session*, several legislators developed and introduced a set of investments that implement major elements of the 2040 Comprehensive Plan for the Minnesota State Capitol Area. They include:

• $25M for the redesign and reconstruction of lower Rice Street between Pennsylvania Avenue and John Ireland and include enhanced multi-modal and shared mobility features (mobility hub) at University and Rice. The community will be engaged on design ideas and how to include investments in BRT stations.

Unfunded in 2024: $5M+ for creation of a Capitol Area Community Vitality Account guided by the work of a task force of appointed community members. For more information about the legislation and task force, click here.

• $1M to update the Capitol Mall Design Framework (CMDF)* including the creation of new urban spaces along Rice Street to mitigate the loss of a displaced Leif Erickson Park, and $5M to implement phase 1 of the Framework priorities by December 31st, 2024.

For more information on 2023 legislation affecting Capitol Area, see staff memo.


* The 2024 Minnesota Legislature fell seconds short of ‘closing the roll’ on updates to the 2023 Legislation: loss of $5m Vitality Account; no extension for Capitol Mall Design Framework phase 1 implementation and no $1m for fundraising for Cass Gilbert Park.

Feature image for Capitol Area Stormwater Management Study

Capitol Area Stormwater Management Study

Capitol Region Watershed District (CRWD) and Capitol Area Architectural and Planning Board (CAAPB) are partners on a stormwater management study to understand water quality and quantity issues in the Capitol Area and identify regional green infrastructure opportunities for improved stormwater management. CRWD and CAAPB believe that stormwater management strategies will be integral to achieving the broader vision and goals in the Capitol Area comprehensive plan. Visit CRWD's website (linked above) for further information.

back to top