Archive | Trends

Map Monday: Visualizing Twin Cities Sprawl, Density, and Change

Like many of the maps I find I came across a webpage via Twitter, hat tip to @stateofthecity. The webpage takes data from the Global Human Settlement Layer and runs it onto Google Maps. This is the result, Human Terrain by Matt Daniels (@matthew_daniels). I immediately panned to tool over to Minnesota and geeked out. Something I […]

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Chart of the Day: Per Capita Vehicle Miles Traveled, 2018 Update

Time once again for another update on the big picture of driving in the United States: Vehicle Miles Travelled, per person. Long-time wonks who have been following this key stat might remember that it “peaked” fifteen years ago, and VMT (overall and per capita) had plateaued and was declining… … until gas prices went way […]

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Driverless Cars and the Cult of Technology

We constantly hear that driverless cars are just around the corner. We’re told they will revolutionize transportation and enable us to continue using our car-based transport and land-use system. If they’re made by Tesla, they’ll be powered by magic, solar-powered, super efficient batteries and we’ll all be able to keep living our hyper-mobile, hyper-consumptive lifestyles […]

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Chart of the Day: Perceptions of Electric Shared Scooters by Income, Gender

The other day, the Wedge Live online periodical tweeted out this amusing chart showing technology adoption rates: It was funny and made me chuckle, but then a week or so later I saw a report from a consulting group that offered a literal version of the same kind of data:   The report was a […]

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Chart of the Day: US Transit Ridership Growth, 2002-2018

There’s a great chart-laden essay on Yonah Freemark’s “Transport Politic” blog that seeks to explain the reasons for the decline in transit (especially bus) ridership across the country. Here’s one of the charts that features the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro:   Minneapolis is the red line, the second from the top. As you can see, transit […]

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All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace

Quite a furor surrounded the recent death of Elaine Herzberg in Tempe, AZ, her body broken by a ton of steel and glass, processors and sensors. The most perplexing aspect of the tragedy, though, was the subsequent frenzy of legislative action, an outpouring of posturing that revealed, if nothing else, the deep denial we as […]

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The LED Streetlights Are Here

The Dawn of Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) Previously I covered the cobrahead streetlights of the Twin Cities. Well, they’re almost gone. The thousands of high pressure sodium MnDOT lights on the freeways have been converted to LED (light emitting diodes) and the 90,000 Xcel energy lights are in the process of being converted. So it’s […]

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Chart of the Day: US Metro Areas Ranked by Ridesharing Usage

Here’s another great chart from Portland-based City Observatory showing the number of people who work driving ridesharing cars like Uber and Lyft per capita (the so-called “gig economy”). It’s not carsharing per se (so does not include car2go or Hourcar), but a chart based on (self)employment statistics. Here’s how the data was collected: We want […]

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Map Monday: Twin Cities Region by Racial “Community Type”

Here is a fascinating map from Myron Orfield’s Institute for Metropolitan Opportunity that categorizes the Twin Cities’ metro region into four different groups based on racial diversity and density. I like this map’s simplicity and focus, and also the fine grain at which it makes its distinctions. For example, you can see how different parts of Saint Paul […]

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The Surprising Urban Geography of Pokemon Go

You see them chasing digital dreams,  shadows of their childhood. Young people ambling slowly with faces pressed to their phones, clumps plotting on benches. It’s Pokemon Go,  the new game! Half digital, half material, and a sign of things to come. I don’t have to explain it to you, because a hundred hot takes have done […]

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