Podcast #58 – Minneapolis Conservation Conversation with Robin Garwood

sotw15cThe podcast this week is a conversation with Robin Garwood, the aide to City Council Member Cam Gordon who represents Ward 2, the Seward and Prospect Park neighborhoods of Minneapolis. Robin and I sat down the other day at the Seward Café to talk all about the city’s proposal for conversation districts, which close readers of the site might recall was a recent hot topic of debate between the two of us. I wrote a post called “Minneapolis Conservation Districts are a Terrible Idea” and Robin replied with one titled “Conservation Districts Can be a Tool For Smart Growth.” Despite the debate on the site, I was happy to get the chance to sit down with him to discuss the issue in depth.

We talked about the history of the proposal, the vagaries of the conservation district process versus the historic district process, and what the hurdles and next steps for the proposal might be at the City Council this year.

The link to the audio is here!

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3 Responses to Podcast #58 – Minneapolis Conservation Conversation with Robin Garwood

  1. Doug Trumm
    Doug Trumm February 12, 2014 at 11:14 pm #

    Didn’t expect such a friendly civil discussion after those hard hitting streets articles. I’m actually starting to like the idea of a Conservation District for Dinkytown as hinted at by Robin. It’s seems important to keep many small storefronts on University and 4th, even if the buildings themselves are upgraded to denser mixed use. If Conservation Districts could effectively do that, maybe I could get behind the ordinance.

    • Bill Lindeke
      Bill Lindeke February 12, 2014 at 11:51 pm #

      Thanks for the comment Doug! I feel like you heard my plea at the end there…

      Yes, secretly, Robin and I are good friends. I’m still not a real fan of the policy approach, as I think it could be abused, but I also share some of the goals of the conservation district proposal, namely the desire to see quality (vernacular) architecture in new development throughout the city.

      The main point though is that streets.mn should be a place where these kinds of arguments are hashed out in detail without prejudice. The site itself doesn’t have an opinion, believe it or not. So I like when that can happen, and (I hope) this is an example of that kind of productive debate.

  2. Morgan Zehner February 13, 2014 at 11:00 am #

    Thanks Robin!

    So that everyone knows, historic districts (conservation districts) don’t necessarily have to be small. Check out this map of Baltimore.

    http://www.baltimorecity.gov/Portals/0/agencies/planning/public%20downloads/HistoricDistrictsMap.pdf

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