Category: Climate

Drive-Thrus are Bad for Cities and Saint Paul Should Stop Permitting Them

Earlier this month, the Saint Paul Planning Commission approved another drive-thru in the urban core, confirming a conditional use permit (CUP) for a 1,800-square-foot, one-story Taco Bell restaurant on a 16,500-square-foot lot with the vast majority of the remaining land used for parking and a drive-thru lane. The location is just over 1,000 feet from […]

Several branches with dozens of red and green cherries

The Orchard in My Backyard: Urban Fruit Plants

I first saw the trees in the depth of winter, when snow covered everything. They looked like normal, small, trees on a normal, small, city lot. I was excited by the nature surrounding the house I was going to live in, and by the potential of what I could harvest from these trees, vines, and […]

Xcel Wind Blade Assembly

Building New Wind Power is Cheaper Than Any Other Power Source

Electricity prices are not directly related to creating safer streets for all, but they are related to our interests in housing and the environment. It is important to recognize some of the turning points in the history of sustainable energy. One of those turning points happened just last year, when onshore wind power (like that […]

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National Links: Dealing with the Heat

Every day at The Overhead Wire we collect news about cities and send the links to our email list. At the end of the week we take some of the most popular stories and post them to Greater Greater Washington, a group blog similar to streets.mn that focuses on urban issues in the D.C. region. […]

Peach tree with wildflowers

Food and Permanence

Since buying a house in 2017, I’ve been planting trees. As of today, I have added 12 trees and about 37 woody shrubs, many of which are fruit- or nut-bearing. In a few years, these should provide a cornucopia of fresh food for both us and the wildlife. Right now, though, they produce almost nothing. […]

A closeup of fresh blooms of a Weigela bush

Living In The City Does Not Mean Being Disconnected From Nature!

During this era of isolation due to COVID-19, I’ve found myself walking, biking, and generally spending more time outside. I’ve had a lot of time to notice the natural world more than I used to and I’ve been able to experience the landscape and soundscape of my yard and neighborhood with a more profound appreciation. […]

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Dress Your Area with Violets

In our yard we are letting violets cover the ground. They have green heart-shaped leaves, and are an early flowering thing. I think this spring was the best year we’ve had with the violets so far. For a few weeks I was fascinated every time I walked by them. I can put my hand in […]

Bike

Prose Poem: Biking Under Helicopters

This morning biking under helicopters to get to work I practiced the meditation technique I made up where I pretend by pedaling I am the single source generating the happiness all living things feel, the way a bike would light a lightbulb. I avoid the buildings that are on fire, flow past objects graffitied with […]

dozens of chestnuts, about the size of the shown quarter

The City That Eats Together: A Climate Committee Tree Planting Event

Editor’s note: Julia wrote this piece prior to the killing of George Floyd and subsequent unrest. The last few days have again revealed the structural inequality that persists in our cities. These gaps come in many forms, including in access to food. As grocery stories have been destroyed or shuttered throughout many parts of the […]