Plans for 30 miles of protected bike lanes in downtown Minneapolis put bike plans in your city to shame

A bike lane on the University of Minnesota campus. (Dan Reed via Flickr)

A bike lane on the University of Minnesota campus. (Dan Reed via Flickr)

A plan to add 30.7 miles of protected bike lanes to city streets by 2020 goes before Minneapolis City Council this month, potentially bringing the total of dedicated bikeways to 44 miles over the next five years.

Continue reading after the jump.

Unveiled> Columbus, Ohio redevelops site of dead downtown mall

(NBBJ)

(Courtesy NBBJ)

The future came into focus last week for the site of a defunct mall in downtown Columbus, Ohio. By the time City Center mall closed in 2009, only its parking structure remained a popular destination. Columbus Downtown Development Corporation replaced the dead mall with Columbus Commons, a nine-acre park slated for mixed-use development over the coming years.

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Sprucing up Twin Cities transit stations

Minneapolis Metro Transit Trains at Target Field Station. (Mark Danielson / Flickr)

Minneapolis Metro Transit Trains at Target Field Station. (Mark Danielson / Flickr)

With the Midwest’s winter thaw underway, Minneapolis residents have an eye to the outside. But for the 40 percent of the city’s downtown workers that walk, bike, or ride transit to their jobs throughout the winter, public spaces play a year-round role. Downtown transit stops in particular see tens of thousands of Twin Cities denizens on any given weekday, yet their designs range from utilitarian to downright unwelcoming.

Continue reading after the jump.

New HOK stadium renderings show off St. Louis for restless Rams football franchise

A proposal for a new NFL stadium in downtown St. Louis. (HOK)

A proposal for a new NFL stadium in downtown St. Louis. (HOK)

Missouri’s football fans are savoring plans for a new NFL stadium in downtown St. Louis, but it remains unclear if the HOK-led designs will be enough to keep the Rams from leaving. Read More

Chicago’s Willis Tower reportedly up for sale

Chicago's Willis Tower in 2010. (Monika Thorpe via Flickr)

Chicago’s Willis Tower in 2010. (Monika Thorpe via Flickr)

Chicago’s tallest building may be on the market, and it might even have a buyer. Read More

Twin Cities architects will pay you $5,000 to take this piece of the Minneapolis skyway

This defunct chunk of the minneapolis skyway is currently gathering dust. (citydeskstudio)

This defunct chunk of the minneapolis skyway is currently gathering dust. (citydeskstudio)

Minneapolis architects CityDeskStudio are sitting on an iconic piece of Twin Cities infrastructure. Almost a decade ago they acquired a defunct chunk of the city’s elevated pedestrian network, the Minneapolis Skyway. Years later they’re still wondering what to do with it, which could be to your benefit if you’re in the market for a 140-ton steel box designed by Ed Baker.

You don’t need deep pockets, either. In fact, they’ll pay you $5,000 to haul it away.

Continue reading after the jump.

Video> Shanghai Talks: Toronto city planner James Parakh talks skyscraper design, sustainable urbanism

Last September the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat invited me to serve as the special media correspondent for its Shanghai symposium, entitled “Future Cities: Towards Sustainable Vertical Urbanism.”

I conducted video interviews with dozens of architects, developers, building managers, and others on topics relevant to tall building design and sustainable urbanism. Among the many designers, engineers and other tall building types I interviewed was Toronto City Planner James Parakh.

Watch the video interview after the jump.

Nashville breaks ground on Bridgestone’s 30-story tower in downtown SoBro district

Bridgestone Americas' new headquarters in downtown Nashville is expected to open in 2017. (Perkins + Will)

Bridgestone Americas’ new headquarters in downtown Nashville is expected to open in 2017. (Perkins + Will)

Nashville, long known more as a mecca for Country Music than a development hotspot, is enjoying a downtown resurgence. Projects like Music City Center and the redevelopment of the Tennessee capital’s convention center are forging a new urban character for Nashville.

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Snøhetta continues San Francisco streak with downtown highrise, and the town is talking

(Courtesy Snøhetta/ SCB)

(Courtesy Snøhetta/ SCB)

The momentum continues in San Francisco for the Norwegian firm Snøhetta with a recently-unveiled tower at the corner of the city’s Market Street and Van Ness Avenue. And the project has been garnering some fairly untraditional responses from citizens.

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Chicago’s big building owners embrace the smart grid

Chicago is one of 10 cities targeted by philanthropies for energy efficiency savings. (josh*m via flickr)

Large downtown buildings make up a disproportionate share of the built environment’s energy usage. (josh*m via flickr)

The members of Chicago‘s Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) control nearly 80 percent of downtown Chicago’s rentable building area. That makes them critical to local energy efficiency initiatives that aim to reduce the nearly 40 percent of U.S. energy that is consumed by buildings. Read More

Construction finally underway on Detroit’s 3.3-mile-long M-1 rail line

The 80-foot, 3,000-pound rails that will become the M1 Rail track have begun to arrive in Detroit. (Courtesy image - M1 Rail)

The 80-foot, 3,000-pound rails that will become the M1 Rail track have begun to arrive in Detroit. (Courtesy M1 Rail)

After years of planning, Detroit‘s M-1 Rail Line took an important step into physical reality this week, as piles of 80-foot-long, 3,000-pound rails arrived on construction sites that will build the 3.3 mile streetcar line by the end of 2016. Read More

Work to begin on Cincinnati’s Central Parkway bike path

Chicago's first protected bike lane—photographed at Kinzie and Jefferson streets Monday, July 25, 2011—is cited as a model for Cincinnati's Central Parkway plan.  (E. Jason Wambsgans/ Chicago Tribune)

Chicago’s first protected bike lane—photographed at Kinzie and Jefferson streets Monday, July 25, 2011 for the Chicago Tribune—is cited as a model for Cincinnati’s Central Parkway plan. (Courtesy E. Jason Wambsgans/ Chicago Tribune via City of Cincinnati)

Cyclists in Cincinnati will soon have a separated bike lane along Central Parkway—a major connector between neighborhoods including Downtown, the West End, and Over-the-Rhine—following a narrow City Council vote last week. Read More

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