"Most successful downtowns (Seattle, Denver, Chicago, etc.) have forged public/private districts to enhance public spaces. In Minneapolis, it's a piece of a wider transformation. The city is trying to shake loose from its 1960s model (drive to your office in the morning, have lunch in the skyways, avoid the sidewalks, drive home at night) to a new-century model that emphasizes transit, walking, biking and experiencing the city at sidewalk level. With a recession stalling new condo and office development, the DID is seen as an important table-setter for future growth when building eventually resumes."
Though the DID has made improvements to Downtown Minneapolis, writer Steve Berg argues that there's more work to be done, and the DID can't do it alone.