Archive | Trends

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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Pokemon GO

Pokemon GO: 10 Streets Etiquette Tips for Pokemon Trainers

Perhaps you have seen people wandering around with their face in a phone, more than usual? Perhaps you have heard them exclaim that they have found a “Pokestop!” or a “wild Charmander?” Perhaps you have even heard of the new craze, which is a mobile game called Pokemon GO. In it, mobile phone users become […]

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Map of the Day: Workforce Population Change, 2010 – 2040

Here’s an interesting map from a blogpost by the terrific Chicago-based writer, Aaron Renn. The map comes from a Pew Charitable Trust report that offers some population projections. This one shows the “workforce” data, the number of people in the peak working demographic of 25-54. Here you go: It’s interesting to me because Minneapolis / […]

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Map Monday: Peak Population Percentage of US States

Here’s a fun map, made by New York-based information visualization expert (and cartoonist) Dorothy Gambrell, showing “peak state.” In other words, according to the US census, it shows the decade at which each state contained the peak percentage of the US population. It’s a fun map. Some of the things that catch my eye are the general Westward […]

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Gas Stations: Not Long For This World?

In my post about some redevelopment in Shoreview I mentioned the likely closing of the Hill Blacksmith shop in the coming years. Some took exception, saying that they didn’t think it very likely, especially since it was built only recently in 1883. We’ve used horses for centuries and they’ve served us well. I do think […]

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Map Monday: Teardowns, Additions, New Construction in Saint Louis Park

Back on January 2, 2016, John Reinan in the Star Tribune wrote about how the teardown craze in SW Minneapolis and the city of Edina hasn’t yet crossed over into Saint Louis Park. The reasons why teardowns in Saint Louis Park haven’t taken off like the neighborhoods right across the city boundary are debatable. In […]

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Texting While Driving is Illegal and Dangerous, but People Still Do It

As Minnesota works to reduce the number of deaths and injuries due to traffic crashes, one of the biggest challenges is the growing number of crashes caused by distracted driving, especially texting and driving. In the last four years, almost a quarter of all crashes that resulted in a death or serious injury were attributed to […]

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