Exactly Where Does The Song “Skyway” Take Place?

[…] particular skyway in the 1987 Replacements song, “Skyway,” which skyway was it?
That mystery lies at the confluence of two local cottage industries of inquiry: The history of skyways and the geography of the Replacements. Studies of skyways started almost as soon as there were skyways (in 1962), and continue to the present day, while interest […]

The Nicollet Walk: A Stairway to the Skyway

[…] The proposal explicitly included five distinct interventions that while in some cases are relatively superficial, demonstrate a new attitude about interfacing the skyway with the street.  The skyways have been a hobgoblin of many downtowns since they emerged in the 60’s and 70’s as a prescribed remedy for the declining importance of urban downtowns […]

In defense of skyways

Crossposted at streets.mn and transportationist.org Photos of skyways by author from Sydney (2), Portland (2), Minneapolis (3), Tokyo (1), and Harrogate (1) respectively.
Everyone seems to be hating on Minneapolis’s world-beating skyway network. Sam Newberg is the latest in a recent post at streets.mn:
Is it Time to Remove Those Pesky Skyways? :
“The following post shares […]

Skyways Aren’t About the Weather

[…] most confusing.
The recent back and forth about the skyway system has been really interesting for me to follow, as the debate over the proper role of the skyways has long been one of the more frustrating topics I’ve covered over at my website. Inevitably, when I suggest to people I know who work downtown […]

Sure our skyways could be like Venice, if you mean the one in Las Vegas

I love the debate over skyways because it points to one of the most entrenched and subtle urban issues: what exactly people mean when they say “public space.” In particular, the skyways focus attention on the relationship between architecture and public space, how design works to both include and exclude certain kinds of people, […]

2012 Best Skyway/Underground System: Downtown Minneapolis

Skyways are often derided by idealistic urbanists. Critics point to barren downtown streetscapes and blame the skyways for lack of activity. In my previous life as a naive urban planning student learning about cities, I criticized them myself. But I now think of skyways in the same way as most people probably do: just another option […]

Minneapolis Skyways Offer an Escape from Reality

[…] in mind that I am writing to streets.mn, taking up Ode’s call “to examine the invention that made possible our second-story city.”
Urban planners have noted that Minneapolis’ skyways promote a segregation of populations. For instance, while the system is connected to parking lots and ramps, it can be difficult to find entry points on […]

Sidewalk Tour: Minneapolis Skyway System and the Last Holidazzle

You are invited to a tour of the Minneapolis Skyway system, which turned 50 just last year. I did a bunch of research on the Minneapolis skyways a while back, and am going to take people to a few of the highlights of the system.
Plus this is the last chance to see the Holidazzle […]

Evolution of the Minneapolis Skyway System (1962-2002)

Based on the data in Corbett, Michael, Feng Xie, and David Levinson (2009) Evolution of the Second-Story City: The Minneapolis Skyway System. Environment and Planning b 36(4) 711-724 Abstract. This research describes the growth of the Minneapolis Skyway network and aims to determine if the growth of the system has followed a predictable path. We hypothesize that the […]

deep north podcast

Deep North Podcast – Skyway Schism: Beyond the Binary


This week on Deep North: The climate controlled hallways that elevate Minneapolis and St. Paul humans to the second floor. The value of these skyways is a contentious issue. Some say they kill street life and hurt small business. Others see the skyways as an asset for less mobile populations, and a comfortable way to […]