Category: Urban Design

Friday Photo: Buildings and Time

There’s been a healthy debate here recently on the merits of new construction and preservation, including issues of community representation, environmental impact, quality of design, etc. One facet of the issue that I would like to discuss more explicitly is the consequences of where development occurs in time. So I thought I’d give you you […]

Would the Minneapolis of Today Oppose the Construction of the IDS Center?

Can We Still Dream as We Once Did? When built, the IDS Center didn’t match any of the character of the city, any of the colors or materials of the surrounding buildings, their heights or setbacks, and it stuck out on the horizon for tens of miles. Yet it became embraced by the city and […]

A Better Nicollet Mall – More Retail Frontage

What do the great streets that Nicollet Mall aspires to become have in common? Do they all have benches? Do they all have trees? Are they all vehicle free? Do they all have shade trees? Do they all have a playground? Are they all major regional shopping streets? No. One thing they all have in […]

Bike Lanes in Winter

Witness: The struggle that is a bike lane in winter, via these (poor) images, taken from inside a car. That glacier is the bike lane. Now, certainly, over the railing is a well-cleared sidewalk. It is an option. It’s actually an appealing option. But if you’re coming right off Marshall, once you commit, you are […]

Cycling Safety Positive Feedback Loop

Assuming cyclists have “safety in numbers,” the real question I posed in my last post is how can St. Paul or Minneapolis (or Anyplace, Minnesota) get more people on bikes? The best way spur cycling is to make cycling appear safer. This recipe has many ingredients, but the most critical is giving users what they […]

What if City Center Looked Like This?

“She said City Center used to be the center of our scene. Now City Center’s over.” – The Hold Steady, Your Little Hoodrat Friend Could City Center have turned out differently? The answer is absolutely it could have. Reading Nick Magrino’s post on the four corners of City Center in Minneapolis, I recalled there is […]

The STROAD I had to drive on outside of Walt Disney World.

Lessons from a trip to Disney World

I had the very good fortune to be able to spend last week in Orlando, FL, with my family doing the things that a family of four would do while in Central Florida. We spent a few days at Disney World, went to the ocean, did a lot of swimming and going out to eat […]

Residential meets Commercial in Minneapolis

Border Places: exploring edges of transformation

It has been said that energy is concentrated most on the borders and boundaries of human psychology. Edges are where communities touch and where conflict, growth, and learning occurs. Along edges is where we find opportunities for transformation as individuals, communities, and society. My good friend, Alex, and I were recently talking about the shape […]

A Shared Street Comes to Minneapolis

I was aware that the Minneapolis Park Board has been trying to redevelop the famed “Fuji Ya” site along the western bank (the Left Bank of Minneapolis) of the Mississippi River, at the foot of the popular and historic Stone Arch Bridge. The Park Board has released its plan for public input, and a presentation […]