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!




Bill Lindeke

About Bill Lindeke

Pronouns: he/him

Bill Lindeke has writing blogging about sidewalks and cities since 2005, ever since he read Jane Jacobs. He is a lecturer in Urban Studies at the University of Minnesota Geography Department, the Cityscape columnist at Minnpost, and has written multiple books on local urban history. He was born in Minneapolis, but has spent most of his time in St Paul. Check out Twitter @BillLindeke or on Facebook.