Archive | Trends

Down With Lawns: Community Gardening in the Suburbs

The iconic suburban lawn may be losing popularity. Oh, sure. Restrictive covenants still exist, and the guy who uses his leaf blower to vacuum up the lawn mulch wearing nothing but a Speedo at 9 at night in July still wanders, white hairy chest on display, in many communities. But as suburbanites face slowed development […]

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Golfing in the City of St. Paul

Golf is a humbling game, especially when you lose to a 98 year old. [Above: The menacing 2nd hole at the Highland 9 in St. Paul. I bogeyed, which is good for me] Public golf courses are in the red. For that matter, golf courses in general. There is even dispute going on right now […]

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Hipsterville: The Unprecedented Future of Small Town Minnesota

A growing issue throughout Minnesota is the uncertain future of our small outstate towns. The state is full of small towns with a few thousand or fewer people. To generalize, these towns have some difficult years ahead of them – aging populations, migration towards large metropolitan areas, little to no industry. In many cases the […]

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Does New Urbanism only make sense in the Sunbelt?

In my social science academic circles, whenever I start droning on about the benefits of streets and sidewalks and urban space, the topic of new urbanism comes up. And, invariably, I have to get defensive. For a lot of people, when they hear “new urbanism,” they think of Seaside, FL or one of those suburban […]

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Experiencing City Streets: 30 Days of Biking

Another year of 30 Days of Biking has come and gone. In addition to miserably failing to tweet regularly, I missed a few days of riding while I was traveling on the east coast. All the same, for me, this was the best year of 30 Days of Biking to date. For folks who haven’t […]

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Why urbanists (and others) should love the coming of the robot car (Part 1)

Much has already been written on the robot car, but streets.mn’s own Bill Lindeke posits that they “will not save us“, citing three problems.  While I agree that we probably can’t be saved (from what exactly I can’t say, there are many options), but in my opinion Bill and other urbanists should welcome the robot […]

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The problem with the problem of student housing

On the whole, universities are a great thing for cities. They’re like modern day factories. They generate many economic benefits, providing jobs, attracting young people, fostering “innovation”, and other  cultural linkages and synergies. Without its schools and universities (The U, Macalester, St. Thomas, Augsburg, St. Catherine’s, Metro State, and more) the Twin Cities would well […]

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Loving Place

Happy Valentine’s Day! On this day when we are encouraged to show our appreciation for the people that we love, I also want to talk about the places that we love. I was reminded why I love the atmosphere of Minneapolis last night when I emerged from night class to find my car decorated with […]

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(Greater) Minnesota Transit Index

From the Minnesota Legislature’s Session Weekly, an index of Minnesota transit statistics.  Here is a sample: 62% of Greater Minnesota transit users have household incomes of $20,000 or less. 51% of Greater Minnesota transit users do not have a driver’s license 86% of Greater Minnesota transit users ride at least twice a week 50% of […]

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Peak Drive-Thru

Cross-posted at streets.mn and transportationist.org. Wells Fargo Bank has shuttered the drive-thru bank part of its branch at University and Emerald in Minneapolis (on the St. Paul City Line). [Google Street View image shown.] This may be for several reasons, the branch is immediately across the street from a Central Corridor LRT station (under construction), […]

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