Author: Janne Flisrand

About Janne Flisrand

Janne Flisrand spends her time thinking about how people interact with the space around them. Why do they (or don't they) walk or bike or shop somewhere? How do spaces feel? Why do people sit here and not there? Why bus instead of bike, bike instead of drive? What sorts of spaces build community, and what sorts kill it? Can spaces build civic trust and engagement?

Map of the Day: Substandard Lot Sizes in Minneapolis

There are more than 14,000 residential lots in Minneapolis that are smaller than what is currently required to build on per the current zoning code. Now, this is a messy statement. There are multiple minimum lot sizes (5,000 square feet, 6,000 square feet, and a large lot zone where the number is based on the […]

Will Minneapolis 2040 Live Up to its Promise?

Undoing failed zoning by basing new rules on the development that occurred under that failed zoning is a cycle doomed to repeat past failures. If you want to get the diversity of buildings we used to have, you have to work back from what you want.

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How TIF Can Solve a Market Failure in Minneapolis

I wrote an earlier post that explains what TIF is and how it works. Click through and read it here. In any community, we put things we want in plans. We want good jobs for the people who live here. We want homes people can afford to rent and buy. We want polluted land cleaned […]

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FAQ: Tax Increment Financing

The recent Seward Commons debate highlighted an important discussion about how the city uses Tax Increment Financing, or TIF. It’s one of the few financial tools cities have and control fully. But it’s not broadly understood. So what is TIF and how does it work? What has Minneapolis used it for in the past? What […]

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Minneapolis’ Secret 2040 Sauce was Engagement

Around the country, people advocating to build abundant homes are asking how Minneapolis did it. Why is Minneapolis the city passing a comprehensive plan that ends exclusionary zoning and allows triplexes everywhere? There are a multitude of reasons why. We’ve long had an active urbanist community, fostered by discussion on streets.mn, a nationally recognized bike […]

Extended Deadline: Opportunity to Apply to streets.mn Board Ends Wednesday

The streets.mn Board Development Committee is extending the deadline to apply for the streets.mn board by 48 hours to 8:00 a.m. Wednesday morning. Express your interest here: Deadline 8am Wednesday, November 14  We’re working hard to make sure our board looks more and more like the people who live in Minnesota’s communities. We’re building our capacity […]

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Hidden Priorities, in Plain Sight

A friend compiled this series of Google Earth images. I scanned them, and intended to get on with my work, but I just couldn’t. I went through them again. And then again. I found myself rethinking the city I live in. Most people think Minneapolis looks like this: Or this: But, when you step back, […]

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Yes to Homes, But I’m No “YIMBY”

A couple weeks ago, I packed my bags and headed off to Boston for an annual gathering called YIMBYtown. I’m no YIMBY. I want everyone to have a safe, affordable place to live, and for that to happen we need to build enough homes to go around. (Yes, that includes apartments, like my own apartment-that-is-a-home.) […]

Franklin Avenue Can’t Be Everything for Everybody

This post was written by Will Delaney, Associate Director at Hope Community, Inc. It is cross-posted from the Our Streets Minneapolis blog. Our Streets and Hope Community  have been working together to make Franklin Avenue a safer street since 2008. This June, the rebuilt Franklin Avenue bridge over I-35W re-opened after being closed for more […]

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Does ADA Even Apply to Sidewalks?

I live just off Franklin, and have regularly bussed and biked along it for decades. One day many years ago, I was surprised to see someone rolling down the east-bound traffic lane in a wheelchair. It was on that particularly harrowing section of Franklin between Portland and Chicago. I immediately wondered what was so wrong […]