Author Archive | Nathaniel M Hood

Superman Declares War on Reckless Drivers

The early days of motoring were a dangerous time to be a pedestrian. In Philadelphia alone in just 1928, there were over 7,000 pedestrian accidents. The carnage was something that was previously unseen, and its unfortunately become something of the status quo. If you’re interested in hearing more, Freakonomics covered it on a recent podcast. Big Hat Tip: To see more, […]

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Mankato and the Death of Neighborhood Schools

We need an entirely different approach to where we locate schools and how we build them. Our current model – notably in small and mid-sized towns – is that of the destruction of our neighborhood schools in favor of the suburban campus model. The campus model is a burden on our system: built on an inhuman scale, unwalkable by design, with […]

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How To Mitigate Grand Avenue’s Parking Problem

The curious case of Cupcake. It’s two years old now, but it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth every time I meander past Grand and Milton. This is old news. Now, we have a doggy spa. Three parking spaces. That’s the difference between cupcakes and family-friendly self-service dog shampooing. The successful University Avenue retailer was looking to expand on Grand […]

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Being Smart with Street Signage

While walking along a sleepy residential street in my St. Paul neighborhood, I noticed something ugly about a traffic circle. There are eight signs in total; four warning of the upcoming traffic circle and four instructing each direction which way to navigate the circle. We need to design residential streets in a manner where most signs are not required. Here’s another […]

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What if Minneapolis Enacted a Moratorium in 1895?

Minneapolis didn’t go from single-family homes to towering skyscrapers overnight. It took incremental growth over the course of 160 years to get it where it is today. But, what would Minneapolis look like if we decided to preserve itself in 1895? The intersection of 5th and 2nd Avenue would look drastically different. The intersection on 7th […]

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City Pages: Best Local Blog? has been nominated as a 2014 best local blog by the City Pages! We launched over two years ago in January 2011 as a handful of scrappy bloggers with a logo pieced together in Microsoft Paint (here is what we looked like right after our launch). I remember being ecstatic over the 6,000 hits […]

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Don’t Be Stupid, Be Flexible

We need to create an environment with flexibility. It’s crucial in making our cities better places. Someone painted “ALOHA” – the Hawaiian greeting – into a crosswalk at Lunalilo Home Road and Kalanipuu Street outside Honolulu. With a little paint, an unfriendly suburban stroad crosswalk became slightly more tolerable. But, not everyone is happy. This is a must […]

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Demand Better Urbanism Today! Stop the New Senate Office Building

We don’t get it. The new State of Minnesota Senate Office Building is proof: we have an incoherent approach to urban development and continually fail at creating vibrant spaces. The architecture. The urban design. The lack of planning. The parking garages. The midnight financing. The confusing lease agreement. It is hard to imagine a scenario playing out […]

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