Archive | Placemaking

East Lake Murals

Symptoms and Causes of Car Dependency on Lake Street

I want to talk about Lake Street. Specifically, East Lake Street. More specifically, East Lake from about 35W to about 36th Ave S. There’s a ton I like about this stretch. Every tortilleria, taqueria, and independent grocery, for example. The proximity to Powderhorn Park, a jewel in the Minneapolis Park system. The Midtown Global Market. […]

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Mix of Single-Family Detached Houses on Chowen Ave. S.

Single Family Housing – A Waste of Space

As southwest Minneapolis takes a strong stand against density by arguing for the preservation of the “character of their neighborhood”, let’s take a look at the inefficiencies of living in a single-family house. Take me, for example. I live in south Minneapolis in a single-family house. It’s 1,800 square feet. The occupants of the house […]

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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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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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