Author Archive | Sam Newberg

Simple Urbanism – So Elusive

At first blush, the new Harriet’s Inn at 40th Street and Lyndale Avenue in south Minneapolis is a nice addition to the city and its urban fabric. Jucy Lucy’s on the menu, Polygamy on a nitro tap, kids eat free on Tuesdays, what could go wrong!? Furthermore, the building has an attractive brick facade, big […]

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Vancouver

Urban Design and Grocery Stores

With a grocery store proposed as part of a mixed-use development at 46th and Hiawatha (see the Planning Commission submittal to the Committee of the Whole last week for plans), it is time to review good urban standards for grocery store design. Grocery stores are complicated due to issues of customer access, parking, and truck […]

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Drinking My Way Around England

English pubs are among the premier “third places” in the world. Despite rumors of their death, they remain vital to the community and I’m impressed by how well they fit in to the urban (and rural) fabric. The English pub is a great place to gather with friends or strangers. They are also quite amenable […]

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The Commons – Some Observations

Since The Commons opened this summer, I’ve visited a few times and passed by several times, making a point of counting patrons and observing how people use this new public green downtown space. After all, how people use a new park is the best indicator of success, right? Here is a collection of observations so […]

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Proving a Sense of Place

It is fair to say defining a “sense of place” is a tricky proposition at best. Wikipedia’s definition is a good starting point, but remains incomplete. I’ve been struggling for almost two decades to define it, but it still eludes me. I just know it when I see it. Somewhat similar is this year’s presidential […]

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Make Boulevards Great Again

With so much attention paid to buildings and streets and how they relate to each other, we must remember the boulevard is a very important piece of public infrastructure, requiring careful consideration and planning. I’ve observed some very good examples of boulevards that are appropriate for their urban context, and others that need some work. […]

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The Lived-In City

At dinner last night at Shaw’s Crab House in Chicago, my wife and I were trying to find the word to describe why we liked the place so well. Miller’s Pub in Chicago and Murray’s Steakhouse in our own Minneapolis are similar in this regard. Shaw’s is old without being aged, clean without being immaculate, […]

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U.S. Bank Stadium – A Review

If there is a billion dollar view to be had in Minnesota, it is from the concourse above the lower bowl on the east side of the stadium. There I stood last Wednesday, leaning one of those tall tables that line the concourses, beer in hand, gazing across the immaculate grass field toward the downtown […]

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