View of Minneapolis from US Bank Stadium

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The dais of the US Bank Stadium provides a nice view of Commons Park and the Minneapolis skyline. This perspective also offers a way to assess the history and recent development of the area.

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Innovative Housing Facility

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Speculating that Anishinabe Wakiagun provided housing of some sort, I decided to take a picture of it with the Riverside Plaza buildings (which provide housing for many of the city’s immigrants) in the background. When I looked it up, I found that Anishinabe Wakiagun is indeed a housing service, but a very innovative one. The center is a permanent housing facility that caters to homeless people with serious alcohol dependency issues. Interestingly, Anishinabe Wakiagun doesn’t require that residents remain sober, though the hope is that residents eventually reduce their consumption of alcohol. They theorize is that the cost of providing the residents with housing and medical coverage and treating them at the in-house clinic is substantially less expensive than repeatedly admitting them to a shelter, detox unit, or jail.

Biking and Bike Infrastructure

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In this photo, two bikers go past a display that calculates how many people have ridden over this bridge in the past year. You can’t really tell from this photo, but these two are riding on a broad path that is either entirely shielded from the road or has pedestrian supports. These design elements encourage greater use of biking as a means of transportation.

Placemaking in Little Earth

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These poles were located next to a pleasant gathering space at the Minneapolis American Indian Center in Little Earth. Each describes a local Native American tribe with maps of their area, brief summaries of their history, and other interesting information.

Vandalia Tower: Old and New

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The former King Koil mattress factory has been recently redeveloped as Vandalia Tower, a space meant to attract young, educated professionals of the creative class. The building has preserved certain elements of its original design, such as the historic water tower, but mixes them with newer ones, like the modern sculpture, to create an interesting mix meant to attract certain demographics to locate in the building and area.

Transit-Oriented Development?

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2700 University, a new luxury apartment building, purports to be transit-oriented development because it’s located directly on the Green Line but most of its infrastructure involves cars. In addition, the space is very restrictive and doesn’t provide any benefits or even access to passengers who don’t live in the building.

Public? Space

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Three men who appeared to be homeless sat on the bench next to us at Mears Park, prompting me to think about how accessible this so-called public space is. I noticed that each of the benches had a middle arm erected halfway down the length of the bench; this addition would make it hard for homeless people to lay down or sleep there. This public park was designed to encourage some kinds of visitors and discourage others.