Monthly Archives: May 2012

Accessibility Futures

Paul Anderson, Pavithra Parthasarathi, and I recently completed a study looking at the accessibility impact of alternative land use and network scenarios for the Twin Cities. The full report is 767 pages! Most is Appendix, with maps of each scenario. The text is only 25 pages, including main figures. This post, drawn from the report, […]

Open Streets 2012 is Back

Following the inaugural Open Streets Minneapolis event in June of 2011, Minneapolis residents will have another opportunity to explore and enjoy their neighborhood streets without the presence of motorized traffic on June 10th, 2012.  Open Streets events (based on the Ciclovía from Bogotá, Colombia) bring together families and neighbors to bike, walk, socialize, play and shop […]

The Importance of Individual Unit Entrances

A small apartment building just opened on my street, and I’m proud to say it has the stamp of Joe Urban on it. Station 38 Apartments opened in early April, right around the corner from the 38th Street light rail station. It has 64 market rate apartments leasing for around $1.45 per square foot, is […]

The 5 Stages of Development Grief

The following post is by guest writer Yasmine Robinson, a graduate student of urban planning who blogs at Student of the City. __ Growing up in Duluth, I was always excited to visit The City. Watching the skyline appear on the horizon from the back seat of the car was thrilling every time. As teenagers, […]

Does New Urbanism only make sense in the Sunbelt?

In my social science academic circles, whenever I start droning on about the benefits of streets and sidewalks and urban space, the topic of new urbanism comes up. And, invariably, I have to get defensive. For a lot of people, when they hear “new urbanism,” they think of Seaside, FL or one of those suburban […]

Engineering’s Echo Chamber

America’s engineering profession is deluding itself. In their own propaganda echo chamber, they are blaming society for the messes they helped create and have perpetuated. They say we are spoiled. Short sighted. Clueless. They don’t understand why we don’t open up our checkbooks to their “no-brainer” solutions. This internal dialog is dangerous. It is weakening […]

Is downtown development possible without subsidies?

It seems like you can’t get anything developed in downtown Minneapolis or St. Paul without some sort of tax deal. It’s not difficult to find an example: Pillsbury A-Mill, Izzy’s, Central Corridor development, Vikings Stadium, St. Paul Saints stadium, St. Paul’s Farmer’s Market Lofts, the Pentfield Lund’s, the American Academy of Neurology and that’s just […]

A Case of Desire

Minneapolis is not Detroit.  There are downsides to that, but in general I’d guess that most of us are fine with it.  We don’t have Motown, but Prince mostly makes up for it in his weird way.  We don’t have a People Mover, but Hiawatha is more useful anyway.  We don’t have 40 square miles […]

The Value of Value Capture

Today we spend money on infrastructure in the hopes of creating growth. That’s backwards. Infrastructure should not be a catalyst for growth but something that emerges in support of productive patterns of development. There has to be a relationship between the infrastructure we build and the value that is created. — Late last month I […]


We subsidize transit to spur development. Finance & Commerce: Apple Valley hopes BRT line can spur development near transit stations Metropolitan Council: Twin Cities regional transitways will spur economic development – May 2011 message from Metropolitan Council Chair Susan Haigh Mass Transit: New Lechmere Station for MBTA Spurs Development We subsidize development to spur transit […]