Category: Land Use

streets.stickers

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 […]

Open Streets MPLS Participants Prefer Protected Bike Lanes 24-to-1

This post was cross-posted from the Our Streets Minneapolis blog. Another summer of Open Streets Minneapolis festivities has come and gone, and during all the fun, the Downtown Bikeways Work Group collected some valuable data about people’s bike lane preferences. A poster with images of the different types of bike lanes you can find in Minneapolis […]

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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 […]

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 […]

San Francisco Skyline From The Bay Near Fisherman's Wharf

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 […]

Walking

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’ […]

Maps of Seattle and Minneapolis showing that both cities are largely zoned for exclusively single-family homes

Rebuttal to a Rebuttal: Let’s Talk Functional Density

Carol Becker is right about one thing in her September 18 opinion piece in the StarTribune (“Let’s Talk About What Density Really Is“): Having 150- to 250-unit apartment buildings spaced a half mile apart or more, with little in between, is not functional density. That’s it, though; the rest of the opinion piece is, well, […]

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Bloomington’s Comprehensive Plan: Forward 2040

Bloomington’s 2040 Plan, titled “Forward 2040” was officially adopted by the city on Aug 5, 2019. Unlike in Minneapolis, it passed with little notice and little controversy. Here are a few points that caught my attention. Housing and Diversity Although the need for more high density housing is acknowledged like in the Minneapolis plan, here […]

Downtown East

Downtown Apartment Areas Deserve Better Bus Service

Thousands of new apartments have been built on the fringes of downtown Minneapolis in the North Loop, the Guthrie Theatre area (Downtown East) and across the river in Old St. Anthony. These new residents ought to be prime candidates for bus service, but Metro Transit has made no service changes or improvements to try and […]

Nicollet Mall at U.S. Bancorp Center, facing south. Photo taken August 11, 2019.

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, […]