This week’s podcast is a conversation with Paula Pentel, coordinator of the Urban Studies Program at the University of Minnesota, and a council member in the city of Golden Valley, a first ring suburb located just West of Minneapolis. We met in Paula’s office on the West Bank Campus of the University of Minnesota to talk about urban planning and politics in Golden Valley, which has a unique set of challenges involving corporate campuses, tax sharing policies, and suburban infill projects. Above all, Golden Valley is in the midst of a heated urban planning debate over the proposed Bottineau Light Rail project, which would run NorthWest from downtown Minneapolis. The current debate is over which route the rail line should take, either through North Minneapolis, one of the city’s densest and poorest neighborhoods, or through Golden Valley, where the route runs through a lot of park land. From her position on the advisory committee and at the City Council, Paula Pentel gave me an inside look at the debate and process for this important Twin Cities transit project. I hope you enjoy our conversation.
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