Minneapolis' New Urbanism Success Story

A case study in how New Urbanist principles helped transform the neighborhood around the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

2 minute read

April 8, 2015, 9:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Minneapolis Green Line University of Minnesota

Michale Hicks / Flickr

Chris Iverson begins a post describing the success of New Urbanism in Minneapolis by noting auto-oriented state of the neighborhoods around the University of Minnesota in 2006, when he first visited the area and noted the ability to drive through campus in a rental car while some 100 students waited to cross the street.

Iverson writes, however, of a new dynamic:

"Oh, how the times have changed for the better, especially around Minnesota’s Big Ten college. And even more specifically, how they have changed for Stadium Village & the Washington Avenue strip, a previously vehicle-torched, heavily overlooked faux-entertainment district into the poster child of New Urbanist principles within the entire state of Minnesota."

The article breaks down the evolution into periods of time, starting before 2009 with investments in retail offerings along Washington Avenue and the planning process for the Central Corridor (Green Line) light rail line to campus. Next, Iverson describes "the boom" of 2009-2014, when TCF Bank Stadium opened, mixed-use student housing opened at a brisk pace, and construction began on the Green Line. Iverson describes 2014-present as "New Urbanism Realized," with pedestrian, bike, and transit modes now safe and popular options and light rail ridership exceeding expectations.

The article concludes with a plea for more partnerships between the private, public, and institutional sectors to effect more changes such as those illustrated in the article in other parts of the city and state. 

Monday, April 6, 2015 in Streets.MN

Aerial view of snowy single-family homes in suburban Long Island, New York

New York Governor Advances Housing Plan Amid Stiff Suburban Opposition

Governor Kathy Hochul’s ambitious proposal to create more housing has once again run into a brick wall of opposition in New York’s enormous suburbs, especially on Long Island. This year, however, the wall may have some cracks.

March 20, 2023 - Mark H. McNulty

Yellow on black "Expect Delays" traffic sign

A Serious Critique of Congestion Costs and Induced Vehicle Travel Impacts

Some highway advocates continue to claim that roadway expansions are justified to reduce traffic congestion. That's not what the research shows. It's time to stop obsessing over congestion and instead strive for efficient accessibility.

March 14, 2023 - Todd Litman

Empty parking garage at night with yellow lines marking spots and fluorescent lighting

Rethinking the Role of Parking in the American City

In cities big and small, the tide is turning against sprawling parking lots, car-centric development, and minimum parking mandates.

March 16, 2023 - The New York Times


Mapping Sidewalks for Improved Connectivity

A new tool uses aerial image recognition to map a city’s sidewalks and crosswalks. Its developers hope it will aid in creating a more comprehensive understanding of pedestrian networks and where improvements are needed.

4 hours ago - MIT News

A light rail train waits at the Downtown Long Beach station with a sign that reads “Long Beach” to declare its route to riders.

Long Beach Residents Oppose Proposed Homeless Services Hub Near Rail Terminus

L.A. Metro’s “end-of-the-line” policy forces people experiencing homeless off transit every night at the same time and location. A proposed hub would provide services a few stops before the end of the line in Long Beach.

5 hours ago - Long Beach Post

A hypothetical map of the state of Idaho, expanded by annexing a large portion fo Oregon. The map is emblazoned with the words “Greater Idaho.”

The Nation's Most Advanced Secessionist Movement

Legislation supporting the Greater Idaho Movement, which would annex over half of neighboring Oregon, has advanced in the Idaho legislature.

6 hours ago - FOX News

Planner II

City of Greenville

Planner I

City of Greenville

Rural Projects Coordinator (RARE AmeriCorps Member)

Resource Assistance for Rural Environments (RARE) AmeriCorps Program

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

HUD’s 2023 Innovative Housing Showcase

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.