Archive | Environment

Map Monday: Rooftop Solar Grid Parity

Here’s a map that crossed my desk this morning all about how affordable rooftop solar is becoming in many places around the US. (This comes from a big infographic out of the Union of Concerned Scientists…) It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why Minnesota might be a bit slow with this particular technology. […]

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The Nicollet Mall Redesign and the Failure of Planning

“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.” – Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities The biggest impediment to improving Nicollet Mall is not the aesthetic of the street, but the buildings themselves and their poor frontages. This fact is apparently lost […]

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Traffic in downtown Minneapolis. CC licensed by flickr user Drew Geraets

Creating a Low-Carbon Transportation System for MSP: Part One, Baselining

Thrive MSP 2040, the new regional plan for the 7-county metro adopted by the Metropolitan Council, includes moderately strong language about addressing climate change.  But the main implementation tool we’ve seen so far from the Council, the Draft 2040 Transportation Policy Plan, doesn’t go nearly far enough.  In fact, it doesn’t even start where it should, with a […]

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Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District Unveils Greening Awards Summer Finalists

The Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District today released the 5th annual Greening and Public Realm Awards’ summer finalists. Winners will be decided by an online vote at through Sept. 19, and the winning organizations will be announced announced on Sept. 24. The Greening Awards are an effort by the DID to inspire local businesses and organizations […]

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A New Meadowbrook Regional Park

Much as Minneapolis has turned back to the Mississippi River, different cities and groups are turning back towards Minnehaha Creek, gathering up land that would have fallen prey to developers. I’ve had a fantasy that a new regional park could be cobbled together from this patchwork to make the first regional park in the inner […]

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How Much Energy Could Minneapolis Get from Solar?

Solar PV seems to be the current darling of the renewable energy world.  But how much “resource” is really out there?  How much should cities rely on the development of local solar resources to meet their climate and energy goals?  What trade-offs should urban cities make between desirable things like tree canopy and maximizing solar energy resources?  GIS tools […]

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Net Zero: Opportunities for Neighborhood Development

Last month during three events—an 8 to 80 event focused on the Ford Site,  the 20th Annual Great River Gathering, and the U.S. Green Building Council of Minnesota’s annual Impact Conference, Mayor Chris Coleman touched on a concept that holds a lot of opportunity for the City of Saint Paul: net zero. But what does […]

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Predictions for Super Bowl 2018

I predict the Packers will win, prompting the biggest riot the city has ever seen! No, seriously, I support hosting the 2018 Super Bowl in Minnesota. After all, we need to start paying off our billion-dollar, publicly financed stadium that was supposed to be paid for with non-existent gaming revenues. Looking at the behavior of […]

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