Category: Uncategorized

  • Fun urbanism – Spring edition

    Now that it is getting Springy in Northfield, thoughts turn to flowers, getting outside, and enjoying public spaces.  Here’s a way to get it all: I’m thinking they’d look lovely in Bridge Square, along the Cannon River, scattered in parks or even strategically deployed along Division Street (yes, I know these seats do not follow […]

  • What else fits in that parking space?

    This infographic is a visualization of just how much space we devote to cars by showing what else could fit in the same space. Here’s another. My goal is not to make everyone stop driving, but to only stop and think about the cost of the benefit of being able to drive everywhere and have […]

  • College urbanism

    A college is the best thing for a community have in its backyard, noted Carleton College President Steve Poskanzer soon after his arrival in Northfield in 2010. Northfield, of course, has two. The city’s character and development pattern have certainly been shaped by Carleton College on the east side; St Olaf on the west with the historic downtown and […]

  • Interlocking directorates

    I got to know the term interlocking directorates in law school, I think, along with its connotations of trust busting, big business, robber barons, and consolidating power.  Now  I’m actually interlocking a couple of directorates myself, but it’s not quite so dramatic in my case.  I am now a member of both the Northfield Downtown Development […]

  • Urban planning on the BBC

    When I saw Planetizen’s tweet, I had to check to see if this was real: The Planners, a new BBC “eight-part observational documentary series following planning applications and the contentious processes behind them.”  Essentially, the show documents local opposition to various projects which are working their way through the planning system…current and former planning commissioners, […]

  • With sadness and gratitude

    Yesterday, I attended John Bierman’s funeral at All Saints Episcopal Church, sadly, but with much gratitude for John’s gifts to Northfield and to me. Others can tell more about how the Biermans have been part of the bedrock of the Northfield business community for several generations and will be for generations to come. And pillars […]

  • More change at MNDoT

    The new MNDoT boss is a transit guy – Charlie Zelle, CEO of Jefferson Lines, was just appointed by Governor Dayton succeeding Thomas Sorel.  Too soon to say much, but I’m encouraged by MNDoT’s evolution in recent years.  Perhaps, in the not too distant future (in my lifetime?), transportation, land use planning and sustainability will […]

  • So what are you doing for Northfield?

    What are you doing for your city? asks the right question…what’s your answer?  I ran for the Council because I didn’t think I was doing enough as a Planning Commission member.  The City Council can do less than you might think, so I was still thinking I wasn’t doing enough.  Having lost the election, I’m certainly […]

  • The cost of doing business

    In the “try to lure business at all costs” department: Part 1 of the New York Times’ United States of Subsidies series As Companies Seek Tax Deals, Government Pays High Price is another piece to add to my collection of anti-subsidy posts (like this one). Of particular interest: the searchable database of subsidies (Check out MN, for […]

  • Condolences are premature

    Winning is more fun than losing and losing by just a few votes is frustrating, but that’s what the voters said. I’m not dead: I have been getting a steady stream of thoughtful e-mails expressing sorrow that I will not be returning to the Council, but condolences are unnecessary or premature at the very least. […]

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