Archive | Placemaking

Planning Plazas for Safe Protest

Since the 2016 elections, I have followed the news chronicling the latest demonstrations and protests on a wide range of issues — including immigration, inequality, and women’s rights — and felt inspired by the people who are no longer content with waiting for someone else to make change happen. At the same time, I am […]

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Five Keys to Rochester’s North Broadway Debate

A lot has happened during Rochester’s North Broadway discussions, but I feel that much of the consternation is not about the project itself. Rather, people in Rochester are debating about which direction the city is heading. There is a group of people, both elected and not, who are clinging to the last strands of what […]

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Minneapolis 2040: Tree Edition

Minneapolis residents may be wondering who is digging holes in their neighborhoods and dropping little trees in them. It’s the Forestry Division of the Minneapolis Park Board. Trees are great for the environment. They’re good for public health. They can calm car traffic. Maybe they reduce crime? They definitely make streets vastly more pleasant places […]

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Deep North Podcast – The Upper Harbor Terminal Development: An Overview

The Mississippi River in North Minneapolis and what will become of the Upper Harbor Terminal Subscribe on iTunes>>                 With more than 10,000 lakes and more shoreline than Florida, Hawaii, and California combined, it’s difficult to travel anywhere in Minnesota without crossing a lake, waterfall or river. The name […]

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Deep North Podcast – The Artist Life in MSP

Artist density in Minnesota is 150% greater than the national average but is it possible to live the artist life in MSP? Artist density in Minnesota is 150% greater than the national average,  Minnesota is second to only New York City in theatre employment, and Minnesotans lay claim to icons like Bob Dylan, The Replacements, […]

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Deep North Podcast – Why Minneapolis St. Paul?

Jay Walljasper (author of The Great Neighborhood Book) and Alexandra Connett (a Minneapolis transplant) make a case for a city beyond cows, cold, and Camp Snoopy.   Before moving to Minneapolis, Alexandra had no expectations for Minnesota, “Everyone was asking me why I was moving to the middle of nowhere.” Since arriving, her experience has been […]

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Valentine to Your City

The idea of writing a love letter to your city isn’t new. I hadn’t thought of it in a while, but then I was in Wausau, Wisconsin, last weekend, where downtown storefront windows were filled with red hearts proclaiming reasons why people love Wausau.     At the state’s oldest bookstore, I donated a buck […]

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If I Ran the World: West 7th Street

If I ran the world, West 7th Street would be great. In addition to cool shops and bars, a long history, and excellent transit, West 7th Street would have a series of linear parks. Parks with benches. Parks with tables. Parks with trees. Anyone could walk or hop a street car from one cool shop […]

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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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Bemidji: A Town After my Heart

I realize that New Ulm is the urbanist’s dream and I truly do enjoy New Ulm (Herman the German – great!). However, Bemidji is giving New Ulm a run for its money. I adore Bemidji. Work travel used to take me there once or twice a year and now vacations do. Take note, urbanists! Over […]

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