Author Archive | Spencer Agnew

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 […]

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Design Contest for a Streets.MN Logo!

Streets.MN is looking for a new logo! In the seventh months since Streets.MN launched, our readership has grown steadily. While we take pride in having a great team of contributers with diverse backgrounds and skills, we must acknowledge that none of us is particularly skilled in design work. Case in point: our current logo was […]

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Place and Non-Place

American cities and towns tend to have a large amount of “non-place.” The concept of Place and Non-Place has been described by Nathan Lewis and is a great way to think about the urban built environment. Lewis characterizes Places as areas where end-purpose activity occurs. Homes, offices, restaurants, parks, backyards are all Places, or locations […]

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Not on My Bike Path!

Midtown Greenway Coalition email subscribers, twitter followers, or website visitors will have seen this notice at some point today:  Let the Sun Shine In The Midtown Greenway Coalition fights excessive shadowing on the Greenway. What the Coalition is fighting is the shadowing of the Greenway that would result from the proposed development of a 6-story mixed-use […]

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Really Narrow Streets: A Missing Element in Twin Cities Urban Design

Even the narrowest of Twin Cities streets are pretty wide. With few exceptions, streets in Minneapolis and St. Paul tend to range in width from 30 to 60 feet, curb to curb. Including sidewalks and boulevards, the width stretches to a ballpark range of 40 to 70 feet. Streets get even wider when you move into the […]

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What is the Constituency of a Local Land-Use Decision?

In the Linden Hills neighborhood of Minneapolis, a local entrepreneur put together a proposal to develop a surface parking lot into a 5-story condo building with retail space on the ground floor. The location is a commercial node in an affluent Minneapolis neighborhood that was first developed along a streetcar line in the early 20th […]

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