Archive | Public Realm

Can We Have Quieter Food Trucks Please?

I like food trucks. I’m usually too cheap to spend $10 on food truck food, but that doesn’t matter because they do a great job at enlivening our public spaces. Food trucks mean more people outside, occupying formerly empty spots in the streetscape. Plus, I’m told they offer good food. And with all the brick-and-mortar […]

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Decision Time for Minneapolis Director of Public Works

The other day I saw a father and his kid stand at the corner, waiting to cross the street. They had just bought a doughnut at A Baker’s Wife (the best bakery in the city), located at 42nd Street and 28th Avenue in south Minneapolis. Whether they were heading to their car or walking home, […]

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Can We Hit the Pause Button on the Macy’s Site?

It is easy to look at the former Macy’s store in St. Paul and see an irredeemable wreck. It is large and hostile to pedestrians. Its few windows and huge floorplates were ideal for the retail environment of the 1960’s, but are stubbornly resistant to redevelopment. It is too expensive to tear down, and besides, developers aren’t […]

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Five Ideas to Help Fund Minneapolis Street Reconstructions

Over at the Star Tribune, Steve Brandt did a great job covering the looming Minneapolis residential street reconstruction funding crisis. I’m grateful for the coverage, since the city’s presentation on the matter is a little light on narrative, and not everyone can attend city council meetings to hear the details and political opinions. In a […]

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Urban Awesomeness 101 – Place de la Contrescarpe, Paris

I found a pretty damn fine public square on my recent visit to Paris. By stroke of luck, my Latin Quarter AirBnB was just around the corner, so it didn’t take me long to stumble upon Place de la Contrescarpe. Those of you who have been there know it is beautiful, walkable, well-scaled, and has […]

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