Archive | Land use

Three Things the Twin Cities Would Do if it Really Wanted an Amazon HQ

By now you’ve all seen the news about the amazing Amazon HQ. 50,000 high-paying jobs landing in some North American city is basically the mega-fantasy of every economic-development-person slash tax-base-loving-politician in the country. And the Twin Cities is among them. Cue the Amazon takes: Governor Dayton, cautiously optimistic; Chris Coleman, running for governor, releasing a […]

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Five Reasons to Support the Snelling Avenue South Zoning Study

The Saint Paul City Council hearing on the Snelling Avenue South Zoning Study is on September 6th, 2017. Highland District Council, Macalester Groveland Community Council and Union Park District Council voted to support the Study. The Snelling Avenue South Zoning Study recommends Traditional Neighborhood rezoning of Snelling and its commercial nodes. Traditional Neighborhood zoning will […]

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wall

A Plan for Tearing Down Exclusionary Zoning Walls

Earlier this month, The New York Times ran an op-end titled “The Walls We Won’t Tear Down” about how some of society’s worst problems have a very boring cause: exclusionary zoning laws. Here’s the conclusion: Just as it is shameful for government regulation to exclude people from neighborhoods on the basis of race, it is similarly deplorable […]

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The Ford Site Debate is Also About Equity

About two weeks ago, the Planning Commission finally passed Saint Paul’s plans for the old Ford factory in Highland. The vote was unanimous to support to support the city’s plans, which called for around 4,000 units of housing and plenty of mixed-use, along with a host of other amenities. (Note: there was also an amendment […]

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Pseudo-Public Spaces

Recently, The Guardian made waves with a story on the spread of “pseudo-public spaces” in London. Pseudo-public spaces appear to be typical public spaces such as parks and plazas, but are privately owned and subject to (often secret) rules that are enforced by private security. Some of London’s most prominent landmarks are surrounded by corporate-owned plazas […]

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yimby swag

What I learned at YIMBYtown 2017

Last week Anton Schieffer and I formed the Minnesota delegation at YIMBYtown 2017 in Oakland, Calif. YIMBY stands for “yes in my backyard,” which is in opposition to NIMBY, “not in my backyard,” which is a name you can call someone who opposes a thing you like, if you’ve given up on being persuasive or […]

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We Must Foster Opportunity on Hennepin Avenue

At the Lowry Hill Ice Cream Social a couple weeks ago, my neighbors asked me what I think about the Peris development proposal by The John and Denise Graves Foundation for affordable youth housing. It’s tucked on an awkward, oddly shaped parcel between Colfax and Hennepin Avenue, right where the freeway exit dumps drivers out […]

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LA streetcar

National Links: Fix It First California, Glass Buildings, and Lyft Shuttle

Every day at The Direct Transfer 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 DC region.  […]

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It’s Not the Non-Profits that Keep Saint Paul Poor, It’s Their Parking Lots

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Saint Paul has a weak tax base. Compared to every sizable city in the state, a huge portion of Saint Paul’s city land is occupied, not by taxpaying residents or companies, but by state and county governments, colleges and universities, and non-profit institutions. For this reason, so the logic goes, […]

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The Richfield South Minneapolis Home Depot

The Suburb to City Retail Subsidy

The Urban Planning “S” Words It seems in urban planning there’s no shortage of locker room talk to describe development and infrastructure you personally don’t like. For example, the epithet “sprawl.”  Some may say “I know it when I see it,” but too often it’s just an insult with no objective definition; perhaps just a […]

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