There is a small war going on in Americas second-ring suburbs. As many places cautiously emerge out of the housing recession, the uptick in new development has been at odds with concerned citizens, elected officials, developers and long-range plans. The only word that comes to mind: bipolar. To best describe what is going on countrywide, I’m going to use […]Read more "The Impending Decline of Second Ring Suburbs"
Has there ever been a better time to be a nerd? No, probably not. So, I wanted to dive in deeper … My first adventure into ultimately nerdery has left me with one resounding conclusion: if you have never played Dungeons and Dragons, whatever you think you know, forget it. You are wrong. It’s not the broad common […]Read more "A First-Timer Plays Dungeons & Dragons"
Engagement photos are either urban or rural. They are either a former factory or a leafy meadow, the brick wall of a forgotten factory or an empty beach. Never the subdivision. Never the cul-de-sac. We wanted to capture the ambiance of the American subdivision. *Real engagement photos coming soon.Read more "A Suburban Engagement (Photoshoot)"
Dear Katherine, Please stop writing the same article over and over and over and over and over and over again. Being polite Minnesotans, with exceptions being granted to those commenting anonymously on the Star Tribune’s website, we have tried rather unwillingly to disregard your repetitive assertions that our regional government agency is akin to George Orwell’s 1984. The assertions in your most […]Read more "An Open Letter to Katherine Kersten"
The Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Council is gambling $8.7 million on a project to alleviate congestion that might exist in 5 to 10 years if we’re somehow able to build two additional light rail lines and they are operating at full capacity for 10 days a year. Why do smart people make bad decisions? The below $8.7 million piece of public infrastructure […]Read more "The Irrationality of Infrastructure"
Here is the size of the site: Here is Mankato West and East both fitting inside the site (including their playing fields). Here is 85% of the Minnesota State University – Mankato Campus fitting inside the site (with some room left over): Here is Target Field four times over … Now – Here are some […]Read more "Mankato’s New School: A Visualization"
We need to stop building bad places. We don’t need to build Rome or Paris. We just need to stop building Houston. The following eight rules apply to every major and mid-sized American and Canadian city with no exceptions. If your leaders don’t do these, somebody else’s will. And, you’ll have people asking in 10 years […]Read more "Urbanist Manifesto: 8 Simple Things To Improve Your City"
When what we’ve been doing clearly isn’t working, counter-intuitive might be your best option. And that option is making our spaces unsafe so we can make them safe.Read more "So American"
The annual Congress for the New Urbanism is like a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster; the effects of which are similar to “having your brains smashed in by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick” [find out more]. It’s a shock to your system: refreshing, educating, exhilarating, and completely exhausting. Bittersweet, has been my only experience […]Read more "How to Walk to Canada"
We need an entirely different approach to where we locate schools and how we build them. Our current model – notably in small and mid-sized towns – is that of the destruction of our neighborhood schools in favor of the suburban campus model. The campus model is a burden on our system: built on an inhuman scale, unwalkable by design, with […]Read more "The Death of Neighborhood Schools?"