Bud makes a good observation. City living is not for everyone.
The success that Denver, Seattle and Portland have had is in convincing a share of suburbanites to consider city living because they've made that choice more attractive.
We're probably getting a little downtown heavy here.
We'll try to get to more questions about neighborhoods.
In our preliminary talks with a few mayoral candidates, they have talked a lot about the neighborhoods.
Lee is right that the city needs growth beyond the downtown core.
Most often the candidates are talking about North Mpls, but we're hearing about other neighborhoods as well.
There are too many examples of cities that let their downtowns deteriorate, e.g. Detroit
Frank. If you live in Minneapolis, yes. Commercial property historically has paid a lot of the freight for Minneapolis. Residential property downtown would be a big help to keeping taxes lower in established single family areas.
I'd also argue that in the Midwest, except for Chicago, downtown Mpls has the most potential because of the foundation already established. Been to Milwaukee lately?
We live on the opposite side of downtown, near Nicollet Island. Yes, the perception of crime is far greater than the fact of it. Downtown is extremely safe, despite some very late night stuff happening lately.
Part of the solution is being more of a hub for the creative class jobs and high-tech jobs young people may be attracted to.
We're still an advertising hub, which helps.
Pushing the city's open attitude on social issues is important too. Mayor Rybak did well in his recent trip to Chicago, telling gay couples from Illinois that he would love to perform their marriage ceremonies.
True on the middle class, unfortunately, and we'll be talking about that more in Part III of the series.
The absence here of a middle class of color is our biggest problem. it separates us from successful cities elsewhere.
More people will = more of those amenities, services and retail.
Agree with Faith that lack of retail continues to be a problem for down
Dan is right about hubs. Our furniture district is Southdale area. Many of these themed shopping areas are now in the suburbs, although I notice some interesting furniture stores popping up iin Uptown and a few shops in the North Loop trying to gain a foothold.
I disagree, Charles. Many of America's great cities embrace diversity. If we did have more of of a diverse middle class, I'm wondering if you're opinion would change.
It's inspiring to visit cities like Raleigh-Durham, Santa Fe, San Francisco and New York, places I've been most recently, where you see LOTS of obviously middle class ethnicities, including African Americans. It's the new America and I think it's great.
Wanted to post Dan's comment as a folo to Steve's point.
John, why not do both? Greening is essential if downtown is to grow. I agree that streetcars aren't as high a priority.
But you can't ignore the 10,000 housing units that they help to produce in the Pearl District and in other places on the edge of downtown Portland. Impressive!
You make a good point. When bad things happen, the media tend to describe them as happening in Minneapolis. If something good happens, it often happens to Minnesota. We tend, I believe, to celebrate Minnesota and identify all the bad stuff that happens in the central cities.
We're winding down here. Scott, could you tell us what's next in the series?
Part II, on job growth, will publish on Sunday.