Archive | January, 2012

1/17/12 Minneapolis Transportation & Public Works Committee

I know you all have been anxiously awaiting a report on the Minneapolis Transportation and Public Works Committee meeting of Jan. 17th.  Which rough and crumbly streets will finally receive a smooth new layer of asphalt?  Which ancient combined sewers will finally be separated, sparing our rivers the pollution from our societal effluent?  I apologize […]

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Shared Space

The concept of building shared space within the public realm is a radical one here in the United States, where automobiles are not only given priority, but completely dominate most public spaces. With the financial insolvency inherent in our current approach becoming more and more apparent each day, there is a need to study alternatives. […]

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Sure our skyways could be like Venice, if you mean the one in Las Vegas

I love the debate over skyways because it points to one of the most entrenched and subtle urban issues: what exactly people mean when they say “public space.” In particular, the skyways focus attention on the relationship between architecture and public space, how design works to both include and exclude certain kinds of people, to […]

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Disappointing outcomes for Snelling Avenue project

View Snelling & Montreal repaving, 2012 in a larger map The Minnesota Department of Transportation just held an open house meeting on Tuesday, January 24th, showing their plans for a $2 million mill-and-overlay repaving project along the southern end of Minnesota State Highway 51 in Saint Paul—Snelling Avenue just south of I-94 down to Montreal […]

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What Does Your Ideal Neighborhood Look Like?

Last summer, I spent a significant amount of time traversing the Twin Cities on a mission to purchase a house. I made a point to bike to most of the locations because I wanted to get a feel for the neighborhood. What was the transportation access? Where was the nearest park? Would my neighbors mind […]

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Those Skyways Won’t Go Down Without a Fight

While my post on this website suggesting that we gradually remove the skyways from downtown Minneapolis over a 50-year timeline got a couple compliments and a rebuke by our own David Levinson, it was also picked up by the Star Tribune. In that piece, Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak was quoted as saying “I don’t think […]

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The (re-)allocation of roadspace

The urban public right-of-way (roadspace) is a scarce resource that is now publicly allocated. Typically at the outside is a sidewalk (this might actually be on private property, but there is a right-of-passage there). Between the sidewalk and the street there is often a “boulevard”, a planted strip with occasional street trees and the frequent […]

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Edina Promenade and Centennial Lakes

This past weekend, I took advantage of the 30-something degree weather to go on a walk with my wife and infant daughter. We decided to check out the Edina Promenade and Centennial Lakes area in Edina because I’d never been there and it just seemed like something every respectable Twin Cities urbanist should be aware […]

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The End of Golf Course Urbanism?

[The 12th Hole on Edina’s Braemar Golf Course.]   It was a seemingly trivial bit of news last month. The Star Tribune had a short article on the closing down of a new golf course in the exurban town of Independence, Minnesota (population 3,622). The closing of the high-end golf course joins a list of […]

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The Izzy’s Conundrum: Can condos co-exist with light industrial?

Izzy’s is expanding. Owners Jeff Sommers and Lara Hammel plan to build an ice cream factory in Minneapolis. They’ve put in an offer for a city-owned empty lot near the Guthrie Theater. If all goes according to plan, the facility will be up and running by spring 2013. [Pioneer Press, Dec. 16, 2011] Great! The […]

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