Archive | Land use

Picture of taupe garage through back window with s-shaped connection to alley.

Brit Builds an ADU: Who Would Want an Accessory Dwelling Unit?

Two years ago my family of three adults, a polyamorous family with my wife and husband, bought a three bedroom, two bathroom house in south Minneapolis. It’s charming and has fantastic 1940s details like coved ceilings, stucco exterior, and a smallish footprint at about 1600 sq ft. I work from home full-time and we have […]

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Affordable Housing in Minneapolis and Beyond

The current debates over the Minneapolis 2040 comprehensive plan and inclusionary housing raise some interesting ideas for consideration about the city and Twin Cities metro area overall. First, more housing at all levels of affordability is critical to the future of the city, not for the sake of density itself but rather the city’s ability […]

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Pianos Contribute to the Sidewalk Ballet in Downtown Minneapolis

Hands-down my favorite part of downtown Minneapolis this past summer was the pianos on Nicollet Avenue. Not necessarily a new idea, to be sure, but I was struck by the talent of seemingly random players and the joy it gave passers-by. Any given morning on my walk from the train to the office I’d pass […]

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Map Monday (Bonus): All The Buildings in Minnesota (and elsewhere) Mapped

This is a very cool map from the NY Times that reminds me of the famous Nolli map of Rome. It shows all the buildings in the state on a simple black-and-white scale. What fun to play around with! Here are a few views of Minnesota at different scales: Closer up to Mankato… Closer up […]

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Upper Harbor Terminal Amphitheater and a North Minneapolis Riverfront

Looking at the surface, an amphitheater at the Upper Harbor Terminal (UHT) would be fantastic. Selfishly, it’s just over 2 miles from me and the thought of seeing an outdoor concert at 10,000 capacity, and within walking distance is almost a dream. Awesome-O! I was intrigued enough to take a walk on the grid to hopefully […]

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Yes to Homes, But I’m No “YIMBY”

A couple weeks ago, I packed my bags and headed off to Boston for an annual gathering called YIMBYtown. I’m no YIMBY. I want everyone to have a safe, affordable place to live, and for that to happen we need to build enough homes to go around. (Yes, that includes apartments, like my own apartment-that-is-a-home.) […]

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Minneapolis 2040 Opposition: A Look At The Signs

High property wealth and homeownership is the connecting thread among those strongly opposed to the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan. The Strib recently reported on rumors that city planners will scale back on the nationally heralded plan to legalize fourplexes citywide. The new plan could instead allow for triplexes everywhere. This, among other compromises, shifts the […]

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Car-Free Day Car-toons

Saturday, September 22 is World Car-Free Day! OurStreets Minneapolis, The Minneapolis Downtown Council and a few local groups are celebrating it on Friday, September 21st. In honor of this blessed event, I’m posting a few car-toons. The U.S.A. (including Minnesota) remain “The Land of the Cars!” Here’s a new American flag proposal so outsiders will […]

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Good vs Bad Density

Peter Stalland / Tyr Development has proposed building a 140 unit apartment complex in the midst of low density residential in Vadnais Heights. I believe it will have 140 parking spaces below ground and 140 parking spaces above ground so two per unit. This is the second plan submitted by the developer. This 3-story plan […]

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Map Monday: Total Space for Automobiles in Saint Paul

Here’s a map from a recent presentation out of Saint Paul Planning and Economic Development department, a small point made in a larger conversation about updating the city’s parking requirements and policies. Here are the maps, created by Tony Johnson at PED. The first shows the total amount of space in the city that is […]

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