Archive | August, 2013

Does New Minneapolis Architecture All Look the Same?

A few weeks ago I happened across the first rendering of a new developing going in at the corner of Snelling and Selby Avenues in Saint Paul, via the Twin Cities Business Journal. The building is going to be be a six-story mixed-use complex housing a Whole Foods on a corner that has contained a […]

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In Defense of the Totino’s Apartments

I recently came across this blog post by Andrew Yarish lamenting that the old Totino’s building is being “razed to make way for trendy apartments.” He doesn’t explicitly criticize the development, but his tone betrays his disapproval. I understand the sentiment — this building is cute. But cute buildings don’t make cities great; instead it’s […]

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Getting A Handle On E-Bikes

The popularity of e-bikes has grown considerably over the past few years. The power to weight ratio of battery and motor technology has improved immensely, while the size has shrunk. With many newer e-bikes, such as at left, it’s difficult to even tell that they’re an e-bike thanks to thin batteries that add only about […]

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Do Streetcars Promote Economic Development?

As Bill notes, the Metropolitan Council argues that Streetcars are more for Economic Development than for Transportation, and so should be seeking a different pot of money. We have evidence in many historical cases of the co-evolution of transport and land use (e.g. London, New York, Twin Cities). In those cases the transport mode developed […]

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Small Units in Minneapolis May Become More Viable

  Minneapolis may eliminate the Minimum Lot Area requirement in many zoning districts, which would make it easier to construct smaller housing units in the city. Minimum Lot Area is one type of density control that requires that a certain amount of land area exist per housing unit. City staff and the Minneapolis Planning Commission […]

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MN State Fair 2005  12

All Minnesota’s Affair

This is a reblog from last year, this time, it is all still true. For the 12 days before and including Labor Day, Minnesotans reconvene at the State Fair. It is traditional and embedded in the culture. It matters here, unlike the fairs in other states I have lived (Maryland, Georgia, California). It is reportedly […]

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Life After Public Purpose

The Star Tribune recently ran an article about Minnesota’s 2006 law change that prevents cities from pursuing eminent domain for public purpose economic development schemes. It prevents cities from condemning property and reassembling it for projects (such as the Best Buy Corporate Campus along I-35 and I-494), “It used to be that … you could […]

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Friday Photo

Hello Streets.MN Readers, You were introduced to Joe and I back in March as the Streets.MN Flickr community curators. Starting today, and each Friday following, we’ll have a photo post with images from the community pool. Some posts will be a single image that caught our eye, some will include a story or delve into […]

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DSC00975

In praise of the prairie

When most people think summer in Minnesota, they think north: lakes, coniferous forests, large noisy black birds.  But Minnesota actually has four biomes, and I would consider the prairie grassland the most neglected when we engage in communal nostalgia for Minnesota summer.  Luckily, we have some great parks on the prairie where you can see […]

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