Exclusionary Land Use Regulations and Income Segregation

Advocates for fair housing policies received a boost recently, thanks to a UCLA study which demonstrates a link between restrictive land use policies and income segregation within cities. Instead of focusing on the issue of “concentration of poverty,” the study identifies the primary problem as a geographic concentration of affluence brought about by overly restrictive, […]

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Map Monday: Duluth c. 1887

Here’s a map of Duluth, via the great Perfect Duluth Day site, showing the city in 1887: For Minnesota, Duluth is a really old city with Native American, fur trading, and lots of industrial history. By the 1880s, the recession of the 1870s was over and the city was booming again. According to Wikipedia: In […]

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Sunday Summary – January 24, 2016

Headline news The Star Tribune’s January 19, 2016 story “Bicycle lobby to seek lower speed limit for cities in Minnesota” (and others with similar titles on other media outlets) predictably provoked the usual anti-bike backlash without really explaining the issue. Julie Kosbab provides a valuable public service in the latest “We Read the Comments” installment We Read the […]

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Hidden, but Not Really

June 26, 2015 19.96 miles (but I’m saying 20 miles) Macalester-Groveland, Summit-University, St. Anthony Park, Hamline-Midway When you mention Summit Avenue, most people think of the eastern part of the Avenue, home to the mansions built for industrialists like the Hills, Weyerhaeusers, and Ordways. Summit became the place favored to live by Saint Paul’s most […]

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Chart of the Day: Golf Course Opportunity Costs

Via Strong Towns, here’s a very simple chart showing the potential revenue vs. actual revenue of a golf course in Madison, Wisconsin. In one column you have the potential tax revenue if you had developed a 42-acre golf course to the average of its surrounding neighborhood. In the other you have the payment in lieu […]

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The Downtown Home-free Zone

As any local resident knows, “what’s wrong with downtown retail” is perennial topic of conversation that seems like it started with the opening of the first of our beautiful suburban malls. Even worse, everyone has an opinion. Unluckily for you, I have the keys to this blog, which means I get to share mine (and […]

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Metro Area Fortune 500 Company Profits, 2015

Charts of the Day: Downtown East Commons Fundraising Shortfall vs. Local Fortune 500 Company Profits, 2015

That planned park across from the new Vikings stadium in Minneapolis’ Downtown East neighborhood won’t have firepits–darn. Also, the fundraising effort for it is short by about $10 million dollars, out of about $22 million dollars that the Downtown Council and others have been looking for to fund this here park: Yesterday, the Star Tribune reported that […]

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What Is City Pride Worth?

This past week, the National Football League approved the request of the St. Louis Rams to relocate to Los Angeles. This, despite an aggressive push by St. Louis and Missouri political and business leaders to keep the team through the partial public financing of a brand new stadium along the Mississippi riverfront. This news story […]

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Chart of the Day: Twin Cities Rents, January 2016

Via ABODO, an apartment hunting service, here’s a chart/map thing showing changes in rent prices from different US cities. Minneapolis and Saint Paul are both in the list of leading decliners: It’s a “small sample size” to be sure, but here’s what the ABODO blog has to say: Two questions facing the rental industry are – […]

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Fire and Ice in Prospect Park North

There was a fire on Sunday night (January 17, 2016) at the Harris Machinery warehouse in the “Prospect North” neighborhood. In an area full of potential and challenge for redevelopment, the Harris building was one of the few old buildings with realistic prospects of re-use. Built in the 1880s the building was rare for surviving […]

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Map Monday: The Twin Cities’ Urban Heat Island

With this cold snap bringing temps into –15º territory, I was reminded that a few weeks back I posted Minnesota’s Carbon Donut, a map showing which parts of the state of Minnesota have households contributing a larger carbon footprint. With current temps it is probably worth a map on the urban heat island of the Twin Cities. In September, 2015, The Journal of Applied […]

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Suburban Annexation is a Bailout

This story is not unique: a mid-sized Midwestern town is preparing to adopt a 50-year-old neighborhood. If you read between the lines, news of annexation often times read as case studies against low-density suburban development. This article from Mankato demonstrates (unintentionally) why these types of subdivisions can be so problematic. All quotes related to the annexation were taken from the […]

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