Archive | September, 2013

Morning in Minneapolis

Minneapolis is going to have a very different municipal government in 2014. We’ll have a new mayor for the first time since 2001. There are 13 councilpeople in our weak mayor-council government, and it’s not outside the realm of possibility that a majority of its members will be first termers come next January. Three councilpeople […]

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Hike & Seek for the National Wildlife Foundation: A fundraiser full of flora, fauna and fun.

The house where I grew up sits near the edge of a woodsy ravine. I spent many a day exploring down there—catching water bugs, balance-beaming over the creek on a fallen tree, making forts… And while sadly, my boy doesn’t have everyday access to experiences like that, I know he gets more nature time than […]

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The Birth of a Metro Highway (Interstate 94)

The idea to connect the Twin Cities was first approached by city officials in the 1920s, but took hold in 1944 due in part to a proposal by the National Inter-Regional Highways Committee – a creation of then president Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The Commission was tasked with adding 34,000 miles of “rural and urban highways” […]

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Life in the Green Lane

How to describe your first time in a green lane? There’s nothing quite like it. For me it happened on a business trip to Copenhagen. I saw bikes everywhere, beginning with the taxi ride from the airport where I spotted business executives toting briefcases on bikes, wanna-be fashion models wearing high heels on bikes, kids […]

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Stormwater Pond

What Does MIDS Mean for Minnesota Urbanism?

The Minimal Impact Design Standards Program (MIDS) is an enhanced set of regulatory tools, modeling methods, ordinance templates, and development credit systems to promote the implementation of effective techniques to limit water pollution from stormwater runoff.   The program is the result of an initiative by the Minnesota Stormwater Steering Committee to re-tune the public development […]

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Cattle in (the middle of) Cambridge

Streets and bicycles in MN and UK

Cambridge, England like Northfield, MN is a city of cows and colleges but with more of both: Cambridge University has 31 colleges plus Anglia Ruskin University; the cows are not only within the city limits, but right downtown. But, the time and space scales are very different: Cambridge is about 6 times larger than Northfield in […]

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Food Truck Parks: Two Birds, One Stone

Oh, I know what you’re thinking. “Gosh, Bill,” you mutter to yourself as you read this post on your iPhone while stuck in traffic at the 494/Highway 100 interchange. “That whole ‘two birds, one stone’ metaphor is a bit gruesome.” It is. But picture if those birds were chickens, and served up in a tasty […]

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A Wink And A Nod—Teaching Our Kids To Be Criminals (Part I)

What is it like growing up in the U.S. today?  What messages will you get from the society around you? As you grow and mature you’ll begin to form your own personal values. You’ll learn lessons from your own experiences and from others. You’ll form opinions about regard for others and their property, from sex, […]

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Podcast #44 – Resurrecting Block E with Joan Vorderbruggen

The podcast this week is a conversation with Joan Vorderbruggen, a local artist and arts organizer who is organizing the “Made Here” campaign in downtown Minneapolis’ Block E. For over a year now, Joan has been running a campaign called Artists in Storefronts along Nicollet Avenue in South Minneapolis’ Whitter neighborhood. Her project takes empty […]

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It’s not the suburbs, it’s mid-late 20th century urban design, planning, engineering, and architecture

American urbanists like to criticize “the suburbs”, but this isn’t really fair. The suburbs are just a place, like South Dakota, or Australia, or Antarctica. They cannot change where they are. Some of this is a criticism of “suburbanites”. But so long as there is housing in the suburbs, and transportation to enable people to […]

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