Archive | Urban Design

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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Reimagining Nicollet Mall for Micro-Mobility

During the NCAA Final Four, Nicollet Mall achieved what the planners had only dreamed of. It was a packed, vibrant hive of pedestrian activation with visitors shooting hoops, dining outside and even riding a Ferris wheel. The festivities ceded the 24-foot-wide bus lanes to pedestrians, and the activities and outdoor dining attracted crowds. Months later, […]

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The Ten Blocks

I drive along Dowling, a busy avenue in my North Minneapolis neighborhood. As I travel the ten blocks I know like my own hands, a quote swirls through my brain. Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things. Small doings are in plain sight, […]

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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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Tile Entries

One of the things you get to see when you walk instead of drive is tile entryways to commercial (and sometimes residential) buildings. I’ve been collecting photos of tile for a while, mostly from somewhere other than the Twin Cities. Some of the designs are decorative only, as in the first row of images. Semi-floral, […]

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The Basketball Hoop

One morning in 2009, Husband pulled on his grubby work clothes and set out for the garage. He welded when he had the time, and that day, he needed to create a piece for the school’s art gala. Hours later, I glanced out the kitchen window. He had an audience. The two boys from down […]

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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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Goodbye Lime Bikes, We Never Cared

Lime isn’t bringing its bikes back to Saint Paul in 2019 and I think that’s fine. And if I died while riding my bike the cops in Saint Paul would be nonplussed. I tried riding a Lime last year. Not the scooter; those were fine, if a little boring. But the green bikes were heavy, […]

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Final Four on Nicollet Mall Shows What Downtown Minneapolis Could Be

On semifinal Saturday, as the game between Virginia and Auburn was about to begin, I followed the streaming crowds backward to Nicollet Mall, where the other half of the fan base was enjoying our new pedestrian mall, now vehicle-free! Traffic was relatively light, and visitors were taking to the sidewalk pretty well. One Final Four […]

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