Archive | Urban Design

3 Ideas to Create Better Summer Cities

Summer’s recent resurgence has bummed me out since I’m not exactly a fan of hot weather, but the bright side is that it means this post (which I procrastinated on writing for about two months) can be published and still be somewhat timely even as the first signs of autumn appear. As global warming continues […]

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Downtown Apartment Areas Deserve Better Bus Service

Thousands of new apartments have been built on the fringes of downtown Minneapolis in the North Loop, the Guthrie Theatre area (Downtown East) and across the river in Old St. Anthony. These new residents ought to be prime candidates for bus service, but Metro Transit has made no service changes or improvements to try and […]

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The St. Paul Skyway: Public Space or Scrutinized Lobby?

[Part of the Saint Paul Field Guide to Public Spaces, put together by a geography class at Macalester College in fall 2018. See introduction here.] by Luke Sageser Take a walk through the skyways at noon on a weekday, and you get the impression that you have stumbled into a hybridization of a mall, an apartment complex, […]

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A Few More Opportunities for Public Input on the Minneapolis Transportation Action Plan

After my last class today, I took a ride on the route 4 bus–including the slow crawl along Nicollet–from Minneapolis College to the Central Library,  where I was able to attend the downtown Community Workshop for Minneapolis’ Transportation Action Plan. This workshop was one of a series of community engagement opportunities to interact with the […]

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Thoughts on the Mohamed Noor Trial

The shooting of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, by police officer Mohamed Noor could have happened in many contexts, but the fact that it happened in a car tells us a lot about the problem of car culture in our society. Ruszczyk, an Australian living in a fairly affluent neighborhood in Minneapolis had called the police to […]

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Temporary Park, Permanent Impact: An Experiment of Public Space in Downtown St. Paul

[Part of the Saint Paul Field Guide to Public Spaces, put together by a geography class at Macalester College in fall 2018. See introduction here.] By Ellie Hohulin Urban Flower Field, located on the site of Pedro Park, exists temporarily in downtown St. Paul, or as “temporary” as you could call a five-year existence. Simple materials dot […]

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The Planned Failure of the Ford Site

On January 25, 2019, Ryan Companies presented its plan for the Ford Site redevelopment to the St. Paul Planning Commission. One third of the way through the presentation, Ryan officials finished talking about themselves and turned to the city’s (supposed) vision for the Ford Site, That vision includes environmental sustainability, vibrant urban infill and a transit-oriented […]

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Brit Builds an ADU: Infill and Transportation

So, as I mentioned in the first installment I sometimes take the bus for errands and to get to meetings. As part of the city’s desire to reduce congestion by encouraging public transit Accessory Dwelling Units are not required to have additional parking space of their own. We are likely to either replace our current two […]

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St. Paul 2040 Could Learn Something from St. Paul 1922

As Saint Paul debates its 2040 plan, it is revealing to look back at one of the city’s first zoning maps from the early 1920s. A little inspection of the map reveals some of the origins of the city’s current social geography and social divides, but also some elements worthy of resurrection. The dominance of […]

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Best and Worst Pedestrian Bridges in MSP–an Unscientific Sampling

Last week’s article calling for a ban on slip lanes in Saint Paul is spot on. Too many of our city streets are built like highways, endangering pedestrians and bicyclists by design. The comments on the article, however, turned toward pedestrian bridges, in particular the bridge at Aldine over I-94, as an alternative to walking […]

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