Archive | Public Realm

deep north podcast

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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A birds-eye illustration of a busy crosswalk and bump out with many people in bright colors crossing and walking to and fro. Text on the image reads: you walk in mpls? you care about walking? you’re a mpls walking expert! Apply to serve on the Minneapolis Pedestrian Advisory Committee! With other community members, advise our Mayor and City Council to improve walking safety, mobility, accessibility, and comfort; to promote walking for transportation, recreation, community-building, and health; and to strengthen the link between our streets and public transportation. No previous experience necessary! This is a volunteer position, but you’ll learn about the city and have a real impact on projects and policy. Apply by May 12: http://tiny.cc/iwalkmpls

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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When a Transit Shelter is Not a Transit Shelter

Last week Metro Transit unveiled a collaboration with the Downtown Improvement District to place a new bus shelter at 3rd Avenue S and S 7th Street downtown which is a very busy stop. This new shelter doubles as an herb greenhouse to better blah blah blah I can’t believe I’m writing this. Look. I can’t believe I have […]

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Detroit Still Exists

I spent a few days last month in downtown Detroit at CNU 24. CNU is smart enough to host their annual “congress” in and around the city. We spent not a single moment in a conference center, but rather in beautiful old theaters, bars, parks, pop-up event spaces with food trucks, tables, vendors and Ping-Pong, and informal gathering spots. In […]

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