Archive | Land use

The Edina Public Works Site is a Once in a Generation Opportunity

On my bus ride home each day the bus takes me by the vacant former Edina Public Works site in the Grandview district. I’m not the first to write about this topic – there’s an entire section of the city website dedicated to this parcel of land. Dating back to 2014, the Star Tribune did […]

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It’s a Climate Emergency! Join the streets.mn Board!

I don’t know how I first stumbled across streets.mn, but I have definite memories of losing hours and hours the first few days as I read article after article and jumped into the comments of new and old posts. And I gradually learned more about its reach and its community as I made new friends […]

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Neighbors for More Neighbors St. Paul City Council Candidate Questionnaire

The people of St. Paul are getting ready for a big local election on Tuesday, November 5th. All seven seats on the St. Paul City Council are up for election, with a whopping 28 candidates running.  This election could be a defining moment for St. Paul, especially when it comes to land use policies and […]

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Another Kmart, Another Controversy – Part 1

Another Kmart has closed. This one leaves behind an 11.5 acre site just outside downtown Rochester. The property was sold for $7M back in January, before Kmart had even closed. The parcel itself is weird, the current plan is disappointing, and the public process for such a large site in the supposed Destination Medical Center […]

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Rent in San Francisco is $4,314; in Minneapolis, it’s $1,615

I recently reviewed a commercial real estate report from the first half of this year. Takeaway: Vacancy is steady at around 7 to 8 percent. The report got me thinking about home prices and rental rates across the country and what the humble dollar gets you in different cities. Check out all the Zillow data […]

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Not Everyone Lives the Same Way You Do, and That’s OK

People who have spent their entire lives living a suburban, car-centric life cannot necessarily understand what an urban, car-light lifestyle is like. It’s not a hellscape of driving in circles forever trying to park. It’s the opposite of that. A car-light life is different for every person. For me, it means walking to my friends’ […]

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Reimagining Nicollet Mall for Micro-Mobility

During the NCAA Final Four, Nicollet Mall achieved what the planners had only dreamed of. It was a packed, vibrant hive of pedestrian activation with visitors shooting hoops, dining outside and even riding a Ferris wheel. The festivities ceded the 24-foot-wide bus lanes to pedestrians, and the activities and outdoor dining attracted crowds. Months later, […]

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Map Monday: Trees & Urban Carbon Emissions in the Twin Cities

As you may be aware, trees mitigate carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas. As such, tree planting has gained popularity as a form of carbon offset, with some cities and states providing incentives to plant trees as an offset activity. This 2015 study of the Twin Cities suggests that trees can help, but that they […]

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Chart of the Day: Property Value v. Distance from Minneapolis Lakes

Here’s a fun chart / map combo from Strong Towns, using the excellent land value per acre maps that consultant Urban3 puts out. It shows the value-per-acre for areas around Lake Minnetonka and the South Minneapolis “chain of lakes” area. Before we get to the chart, check out these maps: Here are the two charts, […]

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Edina Debates a Comprehensive Plan

Edina’s City Council approved a draft comprehensive plan last Tuesday. While it’s not nearly as ambitious as the 2040 plan approved last year in Minneapolis, the Edina plan has still attracted some organized opposition. Bruce Christensen, creator of two anti-population growth websites in Edina (stopthelid.com and We Can Do Better Edina), led a contingent of of residents whose testimony […]

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