Archive | Urbanism

East Lake Murals

Symptoms and Causes of Car Dependency on Lake Street

I want to talk about Lake Street. Specifically, East Lake Street. More specifically, East Lake from about 35W to about 36th Ave S. There’s a ton I like about this stretch. Every tortilleria, taqueria, and independent grocery, for example. The proximity to Powderhorn Park, a jewel in the Minneapolis Park system. The Midtown Global Market. […]

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Brit Builds an ADU: the First $2,500

Today, a little past Thanksgiving 2018, I wrote a check for $2,500. I have the money in a savings account and will transfer it to checking shortly. Yes, $2,500 is a lot of money! I could buy a really nice bicycle for that amount, maybe even one with electric assist. Instead we are spending this […]

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Where the Alleys Have No Name

“The alley is the outback world of the unmentionable, if not the unwanted, the displaced of modern society,” ~ Grady Clay, Alleys: a hidden resource Perhaps I will never be considered “from here”, having moved from Cincinnati nearly three years ago. I may not get invitations to house shows or hot dish socials, or share […]

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Brit Builds an ADU: Who Would Want an Accessory Dwelling Unit?

Two years ago my family of three adults, a polyamorous family with my wife and husband, bought a three bedroom, two bathroom house in south Minneapolis. It’s charming and has fantastic 1940s details like coved ceilings, stucco exterior, and a smallish footprint at about 1600 sq ft. I work from home full-time and we have […]

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Top Twin Cities Urbanist Halloween Costumes for 2018!

Halloween is still the best urbanist holiday. Last year, we offered up five exciting Halloween costume ideas for Twin Cities urbanists who were ready to party. Perhaps yours won the costume contest or the admiration of your friends and neighbors? Perhaps you have made new friends this year and can reuse last year’s options. But […]

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Destination Motley – A New Type of Minneapolis Neighborhood

It wasn’t until a month or so ago when I first heard about Motley. It’s the neighborhood, gateway, destination area thing just east of the U. That was my understanding, anyway. There was a U of M + Motley Open Streets in September and many including myself were just wondering exactly what is Motley? Here’s a […]

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The Winter of Minnesota’s Transportation Discontent

  I was reviewing the comments to the Draft Minneapolis Comprehensive Plan, and I came across an unexpected theme: That’s a weird and surprising notion. I didn’t expect to come across someone who’d suggest a popular form of winter transportation and recreation was not feasible in the winter. I continued reading… Whaaat? Well, maybe this […]

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Seven Urbanism Lessons from the Minnesota State Fair

Much like Al’s Breakfast, the State Fair revels running against the conventional wisdom about what Minnesotans want in an urban experience. That’s one of the big reasons I enjoy going, and make sure to do so each year. There’s a lot that urban designers and decision makers can learn from the fairgrounds, and here are […]

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For Urban Vehicles, Let’s Use the Right Tool For the Job

At streets.mn, contributors talk a lot about how to create cities where personal automobiles take on a less primary presence, and the needs of other street uses – pedestrians, cyclists, and transit-users – can rise to the forefront. However, today I’d like to take an opportunity to discuss the vehicles that we do have, and […]

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Are Cities Really Growing Faster Than Suburbs?

For those of us that are dedicated urbanists, it is something of an article of faith that density is good. Is it good? How do you measure ‘good’, anyways? One way to measure ‘good’ is to see if people want it. Are people moving to cities? Are denser areas growing as fast as less dense […]

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