Joe Urban | Sam Newberg, Urbanist

The Many Perspectives of Affordability

Dateline: 3:31 pm February 22, 2019 Filed under:

I was happy to see the Star Tribune counterpoint this week pushing back against a piece from earlier in February calling for reduced developer fees in order to make housing more affordable. The for-sale housing construction industry has every right to make this issue its priority, but as this week’s piece pointed out, communities need to pay for public amenities like parks and other things. We like nice stuff. I can accept the argument that part of the social contract in the Twin Cities is we have higher expectations for our public realm and developer fees are higher as a…

Time for Downtown Minneapolis to Turn Over a New Leaf

Dateline: 4:04 pm August 13, 2015 Filed under:

I perked up this morning at the Star Tribune headline, “Growing a Greener Downtown Minneapolis,” written by the newspaper’s editorial council. While I applaud plans for more trees and greenery downtown, I must question whether Minneapolis has indeed “turned over a new leaf,” so to speak. While the Pathways to Places remains a plan, the evidence speaks to business as usual. Now comes the hard part of re-allocating resources to pay for, plant and maintain a greener downtown. The editorial contained two glaring problems. The first is the self admission that a greener downtown “will require money that the city doesn’t…

Don’t Overthink Good Urbanism on Nicollet Mall

Dateline: 4:10 pm July 31, 2013 Filed under:

The City of Minneapolis is promising to spend a lot of money on some critical pieces of downtown infrastructure. The new Vikings Stadium and Downtown East area, Peavey Plaza, Nicollet Mall all are being considered for major capital investments. With Nicollet Mall, take one look at the people using the street and you can see that maybe the answer doesn’t lie in fancy infrastructure and world-class designers, perhaps the key is the social realm. What’s more is it’s already happening. We need look no further than food trucks, the farmers market and the Piazza on the Mall for proof. Earlier this week…