Happy New Year! For a quick look back at 2017 on streets.mn, take a look at 2017: By The Numbers which includes the top posts as well as a snapshot of who reads streets.mn.
With the new year, Minneapolis has a new mayor, Jacob Frey. To help him get started, here are three letters from the Urban Currents series “Dear Mayor-Elect … Congratulation, Now The Work Begins.” What Would You Say to the Mayor-Elect? (Round One) was written by Nick Minderman and focuses on the power of infrastructure to connect people: “Cities are for people. Not cars, not buildings. The most beautiful skyscraper means nothing to this city if no one can afford to live in it and the only way to get around is a car. Ensuring that infrastructure supports getting residents around the city is, unlike affordability, entirely within the city government’s domain.” What Would You Say to the Mayor Elect (Round Two) comes from Alissa Luepke Pier, North Minneapolis resident and award-winning architect. She asks: “As the Mayor, if it came down to a flashy initiative that you could hang your hat on for re-election, versus a less glitzy strategy that would reap greater benefits for the city in a longer time-span but with little fanfare, could you resist the lure of the quick “fix”?” and also asks the Mayor to bring people to the table to learn from them long before project plans are on the table. Finally, What Would You Say to the Mayor Elect (Round Three) is from Eleonore Wesserle, Director of Narrative Strategy with Line Break Media who urges the Mayor “to grow the skill within yourself to take the challenges that people put towards you as opportunities to expand your thinking outside of your bubble. My encouragement to you is to partner with the most marginalized members of our community to craft the most imaginative possibilities of justice, equity, and sustainability for our city. And my hope for you is to use your office to uplift a visionary destination towards which we can navigate, together, on this and all other issues that our Minneapolis needs to tackle.”
Just in time for Super Bowl
Max Hailperin is walking every Minneapolis neighborhood (in alphabetical order). This week, just in time for the Super Bowl frenzy, read about two walks (taken in the Spring rather than the subzero temps of the last week) in the Downtwon East neighborhood for a taste of things beyond the Vikings with Downtown East: Not Just a Stadium and Return to Downtown East: Mill City.
Amy Gage, who lives near and works in neighborhood relations at Saint Thomas University, writes about St. Paul Smart Trips Educates Colleges on Use of Cars St. Paul Smart Trips “two-year, federally funded program aimed at reducing single-occupancy vehicle (SOV) driving and promoting more environmentally friendly, multi-modal options, such as walking, biking, transit and carpools” at five area institutions: Macalester College (already a leader in sustainable transportation), Augsburg University, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Saint Paul College and the University of St. Thomas. The goal is to work with the cohesive communities of colleges to change travel behavior.
For the first chart of the new year, here’s Chart of the Day: Minneapolis 4-year Population Growth, Young and Educated from a chart looking at population growth of young, educated adults in cities across the country (despite obstacles like rising rent).