Archive | Planning

History Theater’s “The Highwaymen” Hit on Some Crucially Unexplored Themes

I am finally putting up my “review” of The Highwaymen, a play produced by the History Theater that centered on the construction of I-94 through Saint Paul’s African-American Rondo neighborhood. Thanks to the generosity of a friend, I got to attend the play during its closing week. I liked it but, since I’m so interested […]

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How Saint Paul’s 8 80 Vitality Fellowship Spread a Vision of Equity, Prosperity & Fun

It’s a brilliantly blue winter day, and a happy crowd in downtown Saint Paul dispels the myth that Minnesotans hibernate from November to May. Smiles erupt as people sip hot chocolate, build a snowman, cluster in threes and fours for animated conversation, and gobble food truck burritos at café tables. A young woman hands out […]

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Are District Councils Really Just Homeowner’s Associations?

Recently my neighborhood had its yearly district council election here in Highland Park. I couldn’t help but notice as the newly elected grid representatives received the applause of their neighbors, who they were: five white home-owning men, three out of the five sporting white hair. Out of the seven seats in contention that night, only one seat […]

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New Minneapolis Housing Projects Head to Planning Commission – April 2017

There’s a handful of housing projects coming up on the April 13, 2017 Minneapolis Planning Commission Committee of the Whole Agenda. I’m primarily writing this because every time people hear about new housing being built, there are often groans of “Ugh, it’s always more bro/luxury apartments.” It’s not really true, so I wanted to highlight these projects. So here’s a […]

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Placemaking and Animal People: Why “Night in the Woods” Rocks

Night in the Woods is a video game about an anthropomorphic cat. It’s also one of the most insightful explorations of the challenges struggling communities face today — and the hidden strengths that bring those communities together. Night in the Woods tells the story of a college dropout named Mae who returns to her hometown […]

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Prospect Park Neighborhood Meeting on Prospect North. February 14, 2015

Our Meetings Suck

Dear planners: I love you, but our meetings suck. That might hurt a little to hear, but the good news is I’m here to tell you why it’s not our fault (entirely), why we suck (specifically), and how we can do better. I am a regional transportation planner. Before that, I worked in the sales world for […]

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Top 7 Urban Planning Podcasts (Other than Streets.mn)

You may not have noticed, but podcasting (online prerecorded radio) is in the middle of a golden age. There are literally thousands of them right now, pumping out regular shows on every topic you can imagine, from old-timey styled radio shows, to in-depth analysis on everything that has, is, or can happen on this planet, […]

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Four Quick Things about the Latest Riverview Report

The long-running transit saga that is Saint Paul‘s “Riverview Corridor” is finally coming to an actual decision point. To my mind, it’s the most promising high-investment transit corridor on the books right now in the Twin Cities. (“High-investment” = not an aBRT line; that’s a long story for another post!) Unlike the two planned Minneapolis […]

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9 (More) Ideas to Help Implement Rochester’s Vision of DMC

I would not have guessed that last year’s “9 Ideas” blog post would garner such attention.  The quickly assembled list was a no more than a combination of thoughts and ideas shared between friends and colleagues as well as examples derived from authors and practitioners from across the United States.  Yet the ideas spurred conversation.  […]

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Do We Really Want Funding For Bicycle Projects?

We hear frequent calls for more funding for bicycling — for painted bike lanes, door zone bike lanes, sharrows, protected bikeways, bicycle parking, giant motor traffic intersections for Trader Joe’s, programs to encourage people to ride and any number of things. We don’t need all of that special funding. We may specifically not want that special […]

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