Category: Land Use

New Housing Lowers Rents in Minneapolis; St. Paul, Not So Much

There’s an ongoing and tedious debate about whether or not building new market-rate apartment housing helps or hurts affordability in US cities. The argument is tedious not because it’s an uninteresting question, but because nothing seems to change. “You can’t build your way out of a housing crisis,” on one hand; “we have a housing […]

Simcity

Thoughts on SimCity

I’ve spent a lot of my life playing SimCity (and Cities: Skylines, which I’ve called “The SimCity we deserve”). I’ve always liked simulation games, where I have a sandbox in which to tinker, and can make something of my own. Even when relaxing, I still have the creative urge. Now, as I look around at […]

Violets2

Dress Your Area with Violets

In our yard we are letting violets cover the ground. They have green heart-shaped leaves, and are an early flowering thing. I think this spring was the best year we’ve had with the violets so far. For a few weeks I was fascinated every time I walked by them. I can put my hand in […]

dozens of chestnuts, about the size of the shown quarter

The City That Eats Together: A Climate Committee Tree Planting Event

Editor’s note: Julia wrote this piece prior to the killing of George Floyd and subsequent unrest. The last few days have again revealed the structural inequality that persists in our cities. These gaps come in many forms, including in access to food. As grocery stories have been destroyed or shuttered throughout many parts of the […]

Prospectpark Small

What Happens When You Build Things Near Transit? An Unsurprising Case Study

A few weeks ago, I spoke to an older couple who, over the course of our conversation, mentioned that they had both attended the University of Minnesota. I am not a Gopher alum, but I did live near to the campus for a couple of years, on a little stub of 4th Street SE near […]

Arbor Lakes Main Street

From Shopping Malls to Lifestyle Centers

On why structured parking is allegedly problematic for regional retail in general, which is causing problems at West End.  This installment will look at the overall evolution of regional retail – from downtown, to the regional malls, to lifestyle centers like West End.  Downtown 2.0: The Mall With the massive movement of people to the […]

Healthystreets

Introducing: Minneapolis Stay Healthy Streets!

Effective April 29, the City of Minneapolis will begin creating “Stay Healthy Streets” in the 3 geographical areas of the City (North, South, Northeast). From the Minneapolis Website: Streets on these routes will generally be closed to thru car traffic but remain open for local resident access. On-street parking will generally be retained; some connection […]

Br Vlt Passengers Rio Mariana Gil Wri Cidades Flickr

Want Equitable Cities? We’ll Need More Women in Transportation Planning

The majority of people who use public transit in the United States are women, yet transportation planners and engineers are predominantly men.  The underrepresentation of women in planning has created cities in which women’s needs are not met. This begs the question, what would public spaces and transportation look like if women had a greater role in […]

Tokyo Commute 2

It’s Not Density That’s Driving the American Pandemic

Well, to begin, please stay home when and if you can and avoid close contact with people for a while. Preventing a huge outbreak that would overwhelm our healthcare system is critical right now. But with that out of the way, here’s something I’ve been thinking about. This spring, I’ve been teaching a urban geography […]

$100 Million for What?!

It has been publicized that Hennepin County is working on plans to build a “wishbone overlook” on the upper portion of Saint Anthony Falls on the Mississippi River. The Star Tribune article states cost-estimates of $50-100 Million USD to build this project. I’m going to err on the side of the upper estimate, because at […]