Archive | Urban Design

The Need for #HousingnotBillboards in Saint Paul

Saint Paul is not lacking for one or two story commercial buildings topped with billboards. This is frustrating on many levels – they are designed for drivers, not pedestrians; there are no design standards; and they are often ignored in “neighborhood character” discussions. The first two of those frustrations, driver-focused design and lack of design standards, are […]

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Totem Town Trek

September 7, 2015 34.5 Miles West End, Downtown, Dayton’s Bluff, Battle Creek, Highwood Hills A long ride to the eastern reaches of Saint Paul, which started with some quick stops, first on the West End. Today’s plan was to reach and explore Boys Totem Town, Ramsey County’s live-in program for boys 14 to 18 who […]

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Simple Urbanism – So Elusive

At first blush, the new Harriet’s Inn at 40th Street and Lyndale Avenue in south Minneapolis is a nice addition to the city and its urban fabric. Jucy Lucy’s on the menu, Polygamy on a nitro tap, kids eat free on Tuesdays, what could go wrong!? Furthermore, the building has an attractive brick facade, big […]

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Vancouver

Urban Design and Grocery Stores

With a grocery store proposed as part of a mixed-use development at 46th and Hiawatha (see the Planning Commission submittal to the Committee of the Whole last week for plans), it is time to review good urban standards for grocery store design. Grocery stores are complicated due to issues of customer access, parking, and truck […]

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False Choice Between Bike Lanes and Heroin on Glenwood

Minneapolis City Council Member Blong Yang would like you to choose one or the other. On Friday morning, the Minneapolis City Council voted 9-4 to approve the Glenwood Avenue North Reconstruction Project. Council members who voted against the proposed plan were Lisa Bender, Alondra Cano, Cam Gordon, and Elizabeth Glidden. Bender spoke in her best urban planning […]

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Made for Walking

In small and mid-sized towns across the United States the daily decisions on design are literally making our health worse.  We need to go back to a system where we designed cities for humans.  Below is a link to my PechaKucha presentation from the Mayo Clinic Transform 2015 Symposium.   Streets.mn is a non-profit and […]

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The Commons – Some Observations

Since The Commons opened this summer, I’ve visited a few times and passed by several times, making a point of counting patrons and observing how people use this new public green downtown space. After all, how people use a new park is the best indicator of success, right? Here is a collection of observations so […]

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We Deserve Better

We moved to the Hale neighborhood in South Minneapolis just over a year ago, after looking around at houses for almost two years. The search took awhile because we were generally happy with our downtown condo and needed to find something that ticked all of the right boxes to tempt us away. It needed to […]

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