Do-It-Yourself Urban Planning

<p>A new urban design center in St. Paul, Minnesota, allows residents to try their hand at city planning in hopes of educating the public about managing growth and development.</p>
December 8, 2006, 5am PST | Christian Madera | @cpmadera
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"On St. Paul's University Avenue, you can order Cambodian noodles, buy a secondhand mannequin and replace the muffler on your old Buick.

And starting today, you can create your own streetscape.

A do-it-yourself urban design center offering equipment, software and technical expertise to the public will open today at 1956 W. University Ave.

The storefront office, called U-Plan Community Planning Studio, is a land-use wonk's dream, but it is already generating some grass-roots interest.

With big-box retailers sniffing around and a light-rail line on the horizon for University Avenue, supporters say it gives the little guy a new weapon in the ongoing battle to reshape the Central Corridor.

In the center's sparse storefront office, interested groups can equip themselves with GIS mapping software, design tools and mega-size printers designed to help them create their own development blueprints along the avenue."

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Published on Wednesday, December 6, 2006 in St. Paul Pioneer Press
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