What have you learned about the CityMaking process that you would like to pass on? We asked individuals with knowledge of North Minneapolis and urban planning to share their viewpoints. We will be collecting responses here.
Do you have something to contribute? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As long as I’ve been working and writing about city planning, a problem keeps coming up in my mind. Things I often consider to be improvements — a new transit project, investing in a beautiful streetscape, replacing a parking lot with a new apartment building –are sometimes greeted with frustration or anger by people in a neighborhood.
For several decades, cities have been designed around the car, not the person, and definitely not the person without a car. At the same time, the aesthetic and sensory experience of moving around a city, including our interaction with buildings and public space, has been dismissed as unimportant, as we have focused on the city as a place for big business.
As I begin to reflect on all that I have learned and experienced over the last year, I am reminded how grateful and fortunate I am to have been selected, along with my collaborators Wing and Jim, for this amazing journey. We have witnessed micro-transformation that we can hope will have a beautiful butterfly effect on the planning process.
So what if you merged the individual artistic process (perceived as subjective, qualitative, serendipitous, playful, emotional, and intuitive), with the urban planning process (perceived as bureaucratic, political, technical, quantitative, and driven by engineering specificity)? As in all stereotypes there is just enough truth to make it a lie.
I think one of the main things I have learned is there is value in taking approaches to planning outside of the standard operating procedures. When we walked up and down Penn Avenue and talked to the people we met we obtained a perspective about the wants and needs of the neighborhood that was different than would be found at a typical community planning engagement meeting. (Click the title to read more!)