Map Monday: Twin Cities Walkable Grocery Store Density

(Yes, I know it’s Tuesday… but you know, three day weekends and all that.)

Here’s a map from a recent article by David Levinson, former board chair and Engineering professor at the University of Minnesota. The article examines the interesting intersection of walkability and continuity, how walkable urban nodes seem disconnected from each other in many cities.

The map itself is only loosely related to the walkability model that the study focuses on, but it’s interesting regardless. Here you go:


You can use this grocery store map as kind of a shorthand to think about where pockets of walkability exist and don’t exist in the region.


Maple Grove’s “Main Street” offers an unconnected island of walkability.

Levinson’ study thinks about walkability and continuity, for example the way that some parts of town like Uptown or Downtown are separated by so many pedestrian barriers that seems almost impossible to walk between them. The idea is that, over time, these walkable islands will begin to get connected and more seamless, so that eventually you will have a pleasant walkable main street that runs for miles through the city. (Though it certainly seems like it’s going to take a long time!) If it proves effective, the model might be useful in identifying the best places to invest in more walkable streetscapes, in order to connect already-existing walkable nodes. That kind of focus is one of Jeff Speck’s key suggestions in his book, Walkable City; he calls it “Pick Your Winners.”

You can read Levinson’s entire open-source article online, but be warned, there is math!




6 thoughts on “Map Monday: Twin Cities Walkable Grocery Store Density

  1. Adam MillerAdam Miller

    I’d like to get a closer look at that map and data, as I’m intrigued as to where there are more than 5 grocery stores within a ten minute walk. They must be including convenience stores or something.

    1. Rosa

      There are 4 real (though small) grocery stores, each within 5 blocks of my house on the east side of Powderhorn. I would have to walk really quickly to get to Everett’s in 10 minutes, I think – i’ve never timed it. But if it counted gas stations that also sell bread, milk, and bananas then there are more than 5 in a ten minute walk of my place for sure.

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