ReFresh Milwaukee provides a vision for community sustainability over the next 10 years and seeks to make Milwaukee a center for sustainability innovation and thought leadership. ReFresh Milwaukee was published in July 2013 and is Milwaukee's first sustainability plan.

This plan sets goals and targets for individuals and organizations to achieve and provides a citywide roadmap for improving the environmental, economic and social conditions of Milwaukee's neighborhoods. ReFresh Milwaukee is a call to action to the community and connects residents, businesses and other groups working on sustainability issues.

What makes ReFresh Milwaukee unique, and the recommendations quite poignant, is the fact that residents set the direction of this planning effort.

Mayor Tom Barrett

ReFresh Milwaukee serves as a road map not only for city government, but for our community at large. The website will serve as a way for the community to engage with the recommendations so we can all work together to achieve common sustainable goals.

Sustainability Director Matt Howard

In February 2012, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett appointed the Milwaukee Green Team to create a vision and new ideas for a more sustainable city. Nearly eighteen months of planning and organizing later, the ReFresh Milwaukee initiative was unveiled.

ReFresh Milwaukee details specific goals and targets for the city to achieve while highlighting high priority strategies to make this vision a reality. The plan sets goals and targets in eight issue areas: buildings, energy, food, human capital, land and urban ecosystems, mobility, resource recovery and water.

It also identifies two projects - HOME GR/OWN and the Inner Harbor Redevelopment – as "catalytic projects" which can act as visible demonstrations of multiple ReFresh Milwaukee goals.

The goals and targets within each of the issue chapters provide a strategic framework, or roadmap, for encouraging individual responsibility, City leadership, and purposeful action that will ultimately lead to collective benefits for our city. Read on for fresh ideas for America's Fresh Coast Capital!


This website is designed to serve as an interactive way for the community to learn about the plan's goals and recommendations, as well as engage in solutions.

This website features goals and strategies from each issue area. Click on the Plan Tab, and then further explore each issue area:

  • Introduction: Current baseline of the issue
  • Goals: Broad goals for the issue
  • Strategies: Highest priority strategies to reach the goals
  • Engage: Resources and organizations to engage with to take actions at home, at work or in your neighborhood.

I am #ReFreshMKE. It will take each of us to build a sustainable Milwaukee. We want to know what you're doing to #ReFreshMKE. Click on the I am #ReFreshMKE Tab to see what others are doing and be inspired to take just one step today!



Download and print the plan Read the complete plan online