Archive | Urbanism

The City That Made Me an Urbanist

A few years ago, like many other young Americans, I ventured to Europe for a study abroad experience. In my case, I spent half a year in the city of York, England. What I saw in York thrilled me: a city that was actually a place for people rather than cars. What an idea! I […]

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Bauhaus Design and The Sidewalk Ballet: Two Conflicting Views of “Neighborhood Character”

It is with great joy that I have seen some of the authors here at streets.mn start to open up discussion on the meaning of “neighborhood character.”  Answering the question about neighborhood character is difficult to do quantitatively, as it is hard to measure what culture is and how it is changing. That said, the […]

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Victoria Park: A Short History of Intentions

The vigorous and spirited debate about the future of the Ford Plant site in Highland Park got me thinking about another large, polluted, previously industrial site in Saint Paul. The history of development of Victoria Park, which is bounded by West 7th Street, Otto Avenue, and Shepard Road, offers a lesson in plans changing over […]

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“Street Fight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution”

Janette Sadik-Khan served as transportation commissioner for the city of New York during Michael Bloomberg’s tenure as mayor. She was in charge of most of the streets, roads, bridges, tunnels, and ferries responsible for moving a population of over eight million people. As such, she was responsible for the maintenance and programming of more infrastructure […]

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Local Business is a Two-Way Street (with Bike Lanes)

The experience of living in a city is all about learning to share a small space with a lot of people. Nobody gets exactly the city they would prefer. The very nature of diversity means that everyone’s perfect city would be a little different than their neighbor’s perfect city. So instead we compromise. Much of […]

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My Top Five Twin Cities Walking Streets and Why

Once you get bitten by the urbanist bug, it’s impossible to stop looking at streets with a critical eye. Wherever I go now, I end up noticing things like curb cuts, corner radii, storefront design, and lane width. I’m always stopping to take pictures. It’s a bit of an addiction. These are things that, once […]

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Map Monday: Twin Cities Walkable Grocery Store Density

(Yes, I know it’s Tuesday… but you know, three day weekends and all that.) Here’s a map from a recent article by David Levinson, former streets.mn board chair and Engineering professor at the University of Minnesota. The article examines the interesting intersection of walkability and continuity, how walkable urban nodes seem disconnected from each other in many cities. […]

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Chart of the Day: Walkable Urbanism vs Social Equity

Here’s a chart from a recent Citylab article called “In the U.S., Walkability is a Premium Good“, using a new analysis of the amount of “walkable urbanism”  in different US cities. (Or, as I think of it, the “sidewalk factor.”) The article goes over a number of different variables correlated with walkability, including GDP, but the chart […]

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Community of Hope

Recently, I walked past a home in southwest Minneapolis with the word “HOPE” in all caps affixed to the exterior. I’ve recently been playing with the idea of pairing photos I snap on my walks with songs. Kind of a twist on The Current’s Coffee Break, one of my favorite segments on Oake & Riley […]

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Field Report from YIMBYtown 2016

This weekend I attended the first ever YIMBY conference in Boulder, Colorado. The YIMBY movement (that’s “Yes In My Back Yard!”) is an effort to make housing more affordable in cities across the United States and around the globe. Many people are struggling to pay rising housing costs and are being displaced due to ongoing […]

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