Category: Climate

Preserve The Future, Not Just The Past

Because I have a lot of important things to fill my time, I recently tuned in to a meeting of the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission. There was just one item on the agenda: the proposed demolition of a low-slung downtown office building at 17 N Washington Avenue, which would then be replaced by a 27 […]

A white car that crashed into a traffic lightpost. It has a coating of snow on it.

What is the End Game? An Airing of Grievances

It’s that time of year again, and what a year it’s been! I usually like writing posts that have some aspect of positivity or future collective goal, but this post is not like that. This is my 2020 airing of grievances. As COVID-19 continued to spread through our community and we neared the peak of […]

A Street Not for People

Like many transit riders, I have been riding much less since the pandemic, mostly because I have been sticking closer to my home and neighborhood. (Though note: there is starting to be evidence that transit-riding is not a big contributor to COVID-19 rates.) That decrease is a personal sadness because of the lost human connections […]

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. […]