The 54-acre Heart of the City is a mixed-use, pedestrian friendly downtown area for Burnsville. Recognizing the residents’ desire for a more integrated, active-living lifestyle, Burnsville used smart growth principles to create an “urban setting in a suburban environment” that promotes economic prosperity, social equity, and environmental sustainability. The plan calls for 20% of the housing built to be affordable for diverse housing options, utilizes ground floor retail and office space, includes a large central park for gathering and recreation, and brings arts and cultural opportunities to the downtown core through a performing arts center. “That 54-acre site in the city only made $246,000 in property taxes,” reflects Mayor Elizabeth B. Kautz. “Today, it makes over a million.” By developing a compact, walkable downtown core, Burnsville was able to expand its economic opportunities, while protecting residents’ health and the environment.