Monthly Archives: March 2012

Residential meets Commercial in Minneapolis

Border Places: exploring edges of transformation

It has been said that energy is concentrated most on the borders and boundaries of human psychology. Edges are where communities touch and where conflict, growth, and learning occurs. Along edges is where we find opportunities for transformation as individuals, communities, and society. My good friend, Alex, and I were recently talking about the shape […]

A Shared Street Comes to Minneapolis

I was aware that the Minneapolis Park Board has been trying to redevelop the famed “Fuji Ya” site along the western bank (the Left Bank of Minneapolis) of the Mississippi River, at the foot of the popular and historic Stone Arch Bridge. The Park Board has released its plan for public input, and a presentation […]

Cars vs. Phones: Why Robocars Will Not Save Us

What with all the attention being paid right now to the struggling global economy, various wars, the 2012 electoral food fight, and Ben Flajnik’s underhandedness, the dawn of the robot car era may have slipped under your radar. Well, pay attention! Robocars (as I call them) have made a whole slew of breakthroughs in the […]

The Campus Iconic

Education can occur anywhere, in an office building, in a warehouse, or on the internet, but students, their parents, and their employers often prefer higher education on a College or University campus. Faculty like campuses because they are conducive to research. There are other reasons for a traditional campus, among them the signaling model as […]

Is Minneapolis Ready for Form-Based Codes?

Recent development debacles and near-debacles in Minneapolis have made me wonder if form-based codes could help the development process here. I’ve been researching form-based codes around the country lately, and I believe they may well have a role in my hometown. At a minimum, they can provide developers, city staff and elected officials, and neighbors […]

The case of the thirteen parking lots

The amount of parking along the Central Corridor in Minneapolis and Saint Paul could be measured in square miles. It is huge. Business owners have expressed frustration over the loss of hundreds of parking spaces along University Avenue itself, but those spots are dwarfed by the total amount of parking in the corridor. The Metropolitan […]

Is Downtown for Everyone?

A few weeks ago, my wife and I were able to steal a rare night away from our 9-month-old for a date night. A relative had gifted us some tickets to a musical at the Orpheum Theater, so we were excited for a chance to spend an evening in downtown Minneapolis. We don’t get downtown […]

Do Stadiums Bring Development?

Defense of the proposed Minnesota Vikings downtown stadium is typically accompanied by a handful of arguments. One of the most prominent being that of associated development. If we build it, the developers will come! Unfortunately this commonplace argument is based little in reality. “The mayor’s position is he believes that the site is really prime […]

Forgive and Forget

Last month an organization called TRIP, in conjunction with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) released a report on the hazards an aging population create in our auto-based transportation system. The report, titled Keeping Baby Boomers Mobile: Preserving the Mobility and Safety of Older Americans, identifies an important problem. Unfortunately, these […]

2/28/12 Minneapolis Transportation & Public Works Committee

The Transportation & Public Works Committee of the Minneapolis City Council is a not-very-interesting meeting where a lot of interesting stuff is talked about.  Here is an attempt to add some context to the dry but vital meeting topics.  I’ve been summarizing them here at since the beginning of the year; here’s a list […]