Archive | Public Realm

How Accessible Are Twin Cities Bus Stops?

You would be hard pressed to find a Twin Cities intersection that doesn’t have ADA-mandated curb cuts. In contrast, almost half of the metro area bus stops are not accessible. Furthermore, there is no count of how many actually meet ADA requirements. This is a major hole in the accessibility network. It also has a […]

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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 – Winter Markets: How We Gather

It’s cold here. Embracing it instills community in very different ways. In this episode we visit the spaces shifting the paradigm of what it means to gather during winter.       Music by Enjoy the Cat, the Limozine Group, Zack Baltich, This episode marks the halfway point of Season 1. To hear plans for season 2 and […]

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Pseudo-Public Spaces

Recently, The Guardian made waves with a story on the spread of “pseudo-public spaces” in London. Pseudo-public spaces appear to be typical public spaces such as parks and plazas, but are privately owned and subject to (often secret) rules that are enforced by private security. Some of London’s most prominent landmarks are surrounded by corporate-owned plazas […]

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Apply for the Minneapolis Pedestrian Advisory Committee!

After a friend first told me about the Minneapolis Pedestrian Advisory Committee (PAC) a few years ago, it took another two or three gentle suggestions before I was willing to seriously consider applying. Despite being car-free by choice and a Minneapolitan for my entire adult life, I saw myself as neither a pedestrian nor someone […]

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Downtown Needs Bathrooms

Everyone needs to pee. This is an observation so obvious that it shouldn’t need to be stated. Yet it seems it’s not an observation that has made its way into our urban planning. It’s really a simple equation. People need to pee – no public bathrooms = peeing in public (or worse). Much of the […]

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Pedestrianizing Big Box Stores – Midway Super Target

Like many parts of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, the Midway in Saint Paul is a slightly strange hybrid between urban and suburban built forms.  Houses and apartments on narrow lots and streetcar-era retail buildings with zero setbacks coexist (oftentimes uneasily) with suburban-style big-box stores that have giant parking lots.  The Green Line provides frequent transit service to places that have […]

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Street Connections

How important are connections between inside and out? Panino’s, a place my wife and I enjoy eating at fairly often, recently expanded into the space next door. The original space was kind of a quirky collection of areas but it worked and felt comfortable. Unfortunately the new space is a giant windowless sterile echo chamber […]

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