Category: Planning

Minneapolis skyline in fog, black and white

Five Takeaways From Ten Years Of Minneapolis Planning Commission Approvals

Yesterday, I shared five takeaways from forty-one years of housing starts data in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro region. This data, collected from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, can be useful to get a look at how much housing is being built across a range of geographies, down to the municipality level. But […]

Three Ways of Looking at the Lexington and University Development Debate

At one level, all you need to know about the proposed development on Lexington Parkway, just south of University Avenue, is that it meets every rule in the St. Paul Zoning Code. That’s the point I was trying to make during the intense Planning Commission meeting ten days ago. The vote was part of a […]

21 North Washington Avenue, Minneapolis.

No, We Should Not Abolish the HPC. But It Could Look Different.

An essay posted January 15, 2021 on streets.mn entitled “Preserve The Future, Not Just The Past” is a fairly typical critique of heritage preservation and the role of heritage preservation commissions (HPCs) in American cities. The article points to the frequently absurd minutia and short-sightedness of HPC meetings and staff reports, but does not fully […]

Preserve The Future, Not Just The Past

Because I have a lot of important things to fill my time, I recently tuned in to a meeting of the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission. There was just one item on the agenda: the proposed demolition of a low-slung downtown office building at 17 N Washington Avenue, which would then be replaced by a 27 […]

Why are Building Height Limits in Minneapolis 2040 Delaying Affordable Housing in Whittier?

The City of Minneapolis’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan promised to change our city’s approach to housing. The plan’s central argument is that the city needs more homes, especially since Minneapolis doesn’t have sufficient affordable and supportive housing for our most vulnerable community members. Decades of racist and exclusionary zoning policies have made Minneapolis one of the […]

Once in a Lifetime: A Fantasy Transit Adventure

It’s extremely unfortunate when parties break previous agreements and derail transit projects, as is the case for the Blue Line Extension, aka the Bottineau Line. Since we’re going back to the drawing board, I am hopeful that the collective “we” can begin to right previous wrongs and finally create good transit that will serve communities […]

Questioning the B Line BRT

The State Legislature has approved the bonding to build the bus rapid transit (BRT) B Line, which would replace much of Route 21 Selby-Lake from downtown St. Paul to Uptown. They’re at the conceptual planning level, but there are still some crucial details to work out. This includes the shape of the remaining local service […]

Stitching Together Duluth’s Downtown and Waterfront – Part Two

The Duluth Waterfront Collective is a group of planners, designers, thinkers, and others united in our desire to create a more livable, equitable and sustainable Duluth. Our plan, entitled Highway 61 Revisited, takes an eraser to a one-mile stretch of Interstate 35 and will use a community engagement process to draw in the blank space […]