Archive | Development

New Minneapolis Housing Projects Head to Planning Commission – April 2017

There’s a handful of housing projects coming up on the April 13, 2017 Minneapolis Planning Commission Committee of the Whole Agenda. I’m primarily writing this because every time people hear about new housing being built, there are often groans of “Ugh, it’s always more bro/luxury apartments.” It’s not really true, so I wanted to highlight these projects. So here’s a […]

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The Need for #HousingnotBillboards in Saint Paul

Saint Paul is not lacking for one or two story commercial buildings topped with billboards. This is frustrating on many levels – they are designed for drivers, not pedestrians; there are no design standards; and they are often ignored in “neighborhood character” discussions. The first two of those frustrations, driver-focused design and lack of design standards, are […]

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Placemaking and Animal People: Why “Night in the Woods” Rocks

Night in the Woods is a video game about an anthropomorphic cat. It’s also one of the most insightful explorations of the challenges struggling communities face today — and the hidden strengths that bring those communities together. Night in the Woods tells the story of a college dropout named Mae who returns to her hometown […]

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9 (More) Ideas to Help Implement Rochester’s Vision of DMC

I would not have guessed that last year’s “9 Ideas” blog post would garner such attention.  The quickly assembled list was a no more than a combination of thoughts and ideas shared between friends and colleagues as well as examples derived from authors and practitioners from across the United States.  Yet the ideas spurred conversation.  […]

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Transit Potential: Arsenal vs. Ford Plant

The Ford Plant and the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant (the Arsenal) offer rare opportunities to design new neighborhoods from the ground up. Both will feature a mix of commercial and residential, will be pedestrian friendly, and will incorporate public transit. In terms of transit potential, however, the two could hardly be more different. Transit to […]

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The Beast with No Backs

Rochester is dealing with what can only be described as a development craze. Speculation, market demand, and long term planning have formed a conflagration growing larger by the day. It is hard to remember back just a couple of years in the heart of the recession when nothing much of anything was being proposed. Today […]

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A Zoning Code That Matches Our Values

In commenting on the city’s current plan to downzone the Wedge neighborhood, former Minneapolis city planner Perry Thorvig has given us some historical perspective. He starts off by celebrating the results of the 1975 downzoning: The zoning scheme adopted in 1975 must have worked. It was gratifying to me and I’m sure many neighborhood residents, […]

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We Deserve Better

We moved to the Hale neighborhood in South Minneapolis just over a year ago, after looking around at houses for almost two years. The search took awhile because we were generally happy with our downtown condo and needed to find something that ticked all of the right boxes to tempt us away. It needed to […]

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Map Monday: Minneapolis Low-density Neighborhoods with Good Transit Service

Alex Cecchini recently argued that we should allow multifamily buildings along leafy, quiet streets. One of the points he used to support his argument was that transit service in many Minneapolis neighborhoods is flexible. This point seemed particularly ripe for further analysis and visualization. How good is transit in low-density neighborhoods in Minneapolis? Is our zoning code preventing […]

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