Like many urban and rural places, Minneapolis and St. Paul each have plenty of underutilized land area.
One of Minneapolis’ most striking examples is the Washington Avenue “trench,” a 1960s-era highway that today splits the Seven Corners area, the University of Minnesota’s West Bank, and the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. Current plans call for construction of light rail transit service through the middle of the trench, a station beneath the 19th Avenue bridge, and a pedestrian/transit mall on Washington Avenue just across the river. In tandem, these plans translate to an opportunity for fundamental rethinking of how the trench inhibits the health of the places around it.
I have posted a piece about these issues at the Star Tribune (link to that post), and I have included here at the Cents of Place, additional images created by University of Minnesota graduate students of architecture working with adjunct professor Mic Johnson, also of Ellerbe Becket. My thanks to Mic for his permission to include these images.