Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing Shortage Rooted in Downzoning of 1970s

Efforts are underway to preserve existing “naturally occurring affordable housing” (NOAH) in Minneapolis. A $25 million loan program created by the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund (GMHF) will provide non-profit housing organizations with low-interest loans in order to purchase and preserve existing NOAH properties. What is a NOAH property? The GMHF site puts it this way: […]

Lost Right-Of-Way Fee Found at Ford

In August 2016, the city of Saint Paul lost a court case in the Minnesota Supreme Court.  It was about right-of-way fees, a primary funding source for the city’s roads.  To make a long story short, the court found that the fee was not a fee but a tax, meaning that every non-profit and government property […]

Neighbors Embrace New Oil Refinery for Ford Site

St. Paul, Minnesota — residents of the Highland Park neighborhood have been struggling for months against an outrageous proposal to redevelop the Ford Site with business, homes, and public green space. Today, Neighbors for a Livable St. Paul announced the results of their successful campaign to preserve neighborhood character. Instead of unsightly urban apartment homes, the industrial legacy […]

Five Reasons to Love Saint Paul’s Ford Site Plans

When you teach urban geography, you inevitably come across the concept of “post-Fordism.” The term refers to the shifting economic and geographic arrangements that followed in the wake of globalization, automation, and technological revolutions. The concept is best illustrated by the  transformation of the auto industry in places like Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, and elsewhere in […]

Transit Potential: Arsenal vs. Ford Plant

The Ford Plant and the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant (the Arsenal) offer rare opportunities to design new neighborhoods from the ground up. Both will feature a mix of commercial and residential, will be pedestrian friendly, and will incorporate public transit. In terms of transit potential, however, the two could hardly be more different. Transit to […]

Minneapolis’ Zoning Code Continues to Make Housing Unaffordable

There’s an Ethiopian proverb that goes something like, “When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.” When it comes to housing, Minneapolitans may have it better than those in Seattle, San Francisco, D.C., and Brooklyn, but a larger and wider slice of Minneapolis is feeling the pinch of fast-rising rents. For some, this even means […]

Improvements for Cyclists on Ford Parkway and Montreal Avenue

Newly painted (and completely reconstructed) Montreal Avenue and Ford Parkway are now open. Both roads incorporate ways to keep the roads more safe, and inviting, especially to our neighbors who are outside of a car. There were a few improvements to be desired, but I must commend the City of Saint Paul and Ramsey County […]