Anatomy of a Proposed Urban Railway: Royalston

[…] largely empty, but ripe for redevelopment. Penn Avenue is in a park under a freeway and perhaps unlikely to get much use. Royalston is maybe the combination of those two. There’s definitely property for redevelopment, but there’s not a lot of stuff currently going on in the area. You can see the closest I […]

Anatomy of a Proposed Urban Railway: Penn Station

A vista over the proposed Penn Ave station Continuing with my series of poor photographs of the landscape around the proposed Minneapolis SWLRT stations, let’s take a closer look at the Penn Avenue station. To briefly review where we’ve already been, the Van White station is 100% pure redevelopment potential. There’s nothing there now, […]

Anatomy of a Proposed Urban Railway: Van White Station

[…] throw-away comment in a photo caption in my inaugural post, but it got me thinking. As it turns out The Great Divide is also the future home of several proposed SWLRT stations. I’ve seen a fair amount of discussion of those stops, and in particular some who argue that they will provide import access […]

Map Monday: Urban Heat islands of the U.S ranked

[…] at the UGA, Neil Debbage, led a study trying to determine with urban forms affected urban heat islands the most. The study also ranked the urban heat islands of the U.S. Researchers found no one size fits all urban model where the advice to build more dense or build more sprawling would solve urban heat […]

Minneapolis Skyline

Peer-to-Peer Urbanism & New Urban Mechanics

Last night, I attended a Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association meeting featuring Nigel Jacob, of the Office of New Urban Mechanics in the City of Boston. He spoke about the means by which the office streamlines innovation to create crowdsourced and peer-to-peer solutions to make cities more livable and enjoyable for residents. Urbanization is increasing […]

Does New Urbanism only make sense in the Sunbelt?

The plaza in the CityPlace development in West Palm Beach, FL In my social science academic circles, whenever I start droning on about the benefits of streets and sidewalks and urban space, the topic of new urbanism comes up. And, invariably, I have to get defensive. For a lot of people, when they hear […]

Sunday Sketch: Urban Sketching in Minnesota

[…] the Twin Cities. Artists sketching on location in cities has likely been around for as long as there have been cities and artists, but the new crop of sketchers are linked by the ability to easily post and share their sketches as well as share tips and organize sketching trips, or sketch-outs. Another reason […]

Arial view of downtown Rochester, MN

The Dirty Words of Urban Design

Previously I have described the inherent qualities of urbanity.  So if you are trying to reinforce or perhaps create from scratch that essence of being urban–determining what typifies the essence of a livable city–where should you begin? I believe that to truly begin to embrace urban is to accept two rudimentary principles.  Two vilified, […]

Podcast #19 – Urban Sketching with Ken and Roberta Avidor

[…] The podcast this week is a conversation with Ken and Roberta Avidor about urban sketching. The Avidors are local pen and brush artists, who are both part of the self-described cult of urban sketching, each making beautiful drawings in their journals of people, buildings, and urban landscapes that they encounter on their trips through […]

Simple Urbanism – Inspiration and Aspiration

As a follow-up to the critique of a recent post about the urban design of Harriet’s Inn, let’s consider the parts of the city that inspire us and the standards to which we should be aspiring. To do so, we need only look past Harriet’s Inn, as well as the gold standard for old […]