Archive | Neighborhoods

Bottleneck Fix: Turn (Don’t Merge)

One highly trafficked intersection in Minneapolis was layered with interstate lanes in 1971. Although the freeway was buried below, ramps and merging lanes complicate the streets above. This historically influential neighborhood was transformed into a transitory space for the automotive world.   Minneapolis can regain this missing district with one driving modification: ‘turn, instead of […]

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“The mixture of races in this district is detrimental”: North Minneapolis in the 1920s

This “Social Composition of North Side Neighborhoods”  provides a window on urban planning in Minneapolis in the 1920s. The primitive diagram shown here was drawn by a researcher associated with the Women’s Cooperative Alliance, which assembled an encyclopedic analysis of moral conditions in the city in 1925. The Cooperative Alliance was a consortium of women’s […]

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In Favor of the Southwest Moratorium

Call me inconsistent, but I’m conflicted regarding the Southwest Moratorium. Considering my previous positions and ideology, it seems hypocritical to support a freeze on all new construction permits in the five neighborhoods that Linea Palmisano represents. I had an uneasiness with my immediate supportive reaction after news of the moratorium broke, especially since so many of my […]

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the dark heart of dark suburban blaine

Accept the Consequences of Opposing Density

If you oppose density, don’t be surprised if you don’t gain any of the benefits of density. In Blaine, there has been a very suburban kerfuffle: Within a large, multi-builder housing development, there were several commercial plots. Despite the housing boom in the area, no one would step up to develop them as commercial, because […]

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Dogs Make Our Neighborhoods Better

The most valuable trait that a neighborhood can have is people. This statement may sound obvious, but to paraphrase Jane Jacobs; people are drawn to other people. Our culture, unfortunately, has mostly forgotten or shunned this universal truth. This is the reason that Washington Avenue will still carry 6 lanes of traffic after an $8 million […]

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“They Know they are Undesirable as Neighbors”

On December 3, 1920, the Secretary of the Minneapolis branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People penned a letter to her organization’s headquarters in New York City. She was writing to request any literature available on “residential segregation. Especially court decisions.” Two weeks earlier, this small chapter of the national civil […]

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