Archive | Smart Growth

Density Does Not Have to Equal More Driving (and Less Parking)

I know a woman who lives on Hague Avenue in St. Paul, within two blocks of the frenetic intersection of Selby and Snelling. She parks her car in the driveway that runs alongside her house, by the “Drive Like Your Kids Live Here” sign in the front yard. I asked her recently if she minded […]

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What “Two and a Half Stories” Actually Looks Like

The 2040 Minneapolis Comprehensive Plan has proposed that we open all single-family homes and duplexes to being bulldozed and replaced with fourplexes. This has, rightly, alarmed many people.  Some parts of the City would benefit from more density but indiscriminately bulldozing homes would destroy the fabric of many of our neighborhoods. Housing advocates have said […]

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Chart of the Day: Metro Population Growth 2010-2017

The Metropolitan Council reports net growth of the metropolitan area of 8% in the years between 2010 and 2017, with the greatest growth occurring in “Urban Center communities” — Minneapolis and Saint Paul and the region’s oldest suburbs. Growth in these areas has accounted for one-third of the region’s population growth since 2010. Growth by […]

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Bring Back Streetcar Living

Minneapolis is a streetcar city. Maybe it’s hard to tell if you mostly experience it by using a freeway to get to downtown, but out on the city’s surface streets, it’s easy to see once you know what you’re looking at. The last streetcar rails were torn up (or just as likely, paved over) in […]

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What Is The Minneapolis Comprehensive Plan?

You may have heard recent chatter about the Minneapolis Comprehensive Plan (“Comp Plan”). For those new to the Comp Plan, here’s a quick primer on what it is, what is happening, and why it matters: What is the Comp Plan? Every ten years, the City of Minneapolis develops and releases a Comp Plan. This is […]

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Field Report from YIMBYtown 2016

This weekend I attended the first ever YIMBY conference in Boulder, Colorado. The YIMBY movement (that’s “Yes In My Back Yard!”) is an effort to make housing more affordable in cities across the United States and around the globe. Many people are struggling to pay rising housing costs and are being displaced due to ongoing […]

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Chia Cities

We are living in a fascinating time for urban design. Over the past 20 years, at various levels of acceptance, the United States has realized the error in its ways of the past 50-60 years. A half-century of anti-dense and anti-diverse urban planning has rendered our culture vulnerable to collapse. It is as though America […]

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When Single-Family Housing Becomes Luxury Housing

Property values in Minneapolis and the surrounding metro area have been rising rapidly for the past several years, and there’s little evidence that the trend will stop anytime soon. Properties are on the market now for a matter of days (or even hours). Multiple buyers often end up in bidding wars at prices which far […]

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How to Really Fix Cedar/Franklin/Minnehaha

The exact intersection of the Phillips, Seward, and Cedar-Riverside neighborhoods is at the center of this photograph: We all know the story. These neighborhoods were sacrificed for the convenience of newly minted suburbanites. It’s weird how vigorously the government reshaped our patterns of living in the era of urban freeway building, and how timidly it now approaches […]

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Map Monday: Urban Heat islands of the U.S ranked

A doctoral student at the UGA, Neil Debbage, led a study trying to determine with urban forms affected urban heat islands the most. The study also ranked the urban heat islands of the U.S. Researchers found no one size fits all urban model where the advice to build more dense or build more sprawling would solve […]

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