Minneapolis Population Growth - Onward to 500k!

Parks, Minneapolis Public Schools, Density, Zoning, etc.
Didier
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Re: Minneapolis Density and Population Growth (500k, etc)

Postby Didier » July 2nd, 2019, 9:25 pm

A big reason Cleveland and Cincinnati have better visibility than Columbus is because the Indians, Red, Browns and Bengals. The baseball teams have been around basically as long as the sport has, and the Browns pre-date the Super Bowl.

Columbus, from afar, is easy to mistake for a peer to cities like Madison or Ann Arbor — a bigger college town but not a big city. Though in recent years Columbus seems to be gaining more visibility as a "major league" city among the likes of Kansas City, Milwaukee, Austin, Salt Lake City, etc. Although, honestly, part of the reason I even know that is because of the occasional Columbus connections to this forum.

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Re: Minneapolis Density and Population Growth (500k, etc)

Postby Multimodal » July 2nd, 2019, 11:05 pm

seamonster wrote:
July 2nd, 2019, 3:51 am
This quote: "With a population density of 3,914 people per square mile, Columbus dwarves cities like Anchorage and Jacksonville."
BTW: Minneapolis population density is approx 7,000 people per square mile.
4,000 people per square mile is about the average density of a first ring suburb here.

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Nick
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Re: Minneapolis Density and Population Growth (500k, etc)

Postby Nick » July 3rd, 2019, 1:43 pm

Can’t seem to find the comment now, but something that was weirdly singed into my brain five or six years ago was someone commenting on one of my streets.mn posts where I referred to us as a “medium-sized” metro area. The name on the comment was something like “mpls/stp 16th biggest” and the comment was taking issue with me saying we’re medium-sized because we’re the 16th biggest, and then a “check your facts” for good measure.

I like being higher up on lists too, but this type of thing attracts a weird person.

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Re: Minneapolis Density and Population Growth (500k, etc)

Postby PLGTMD » July 4th, 2019, 9:04 am

It's very easy to get caught up in the numbers, but at the end of the day, Minneapolis just isn't a very large city, and that's okay.
People like to mention that MSP is the 16th largest metro area in the country, but this doesn't seem like much of a bragging point to me. How many people can name the 16th largest metro area in China? It's bigger than Minneapolis, but most people outside of China probably haven't heard of it. How about the 10th largest in India, or the 5th largest in Russia? I'd be hard pressed to find an American -- or somebody from virtually anywhere in the world -- who has anything to say about Nizhny Novgorod (although granted, it's smaller than Minneapolis).

Having brought friends from Boston (where I currently live) and San Francisco to Minneapolis, they were flabbergasted at how a place with such little street life and so much empty space could be considered a major city. And the thing is, Boston and San Francisco aren't even that big. I've met people from New York City, Mexico City, London, and various parts of Asia who regard Boston as essentially a large village.
The truth is something more like that Minneapolis is a big city by midwestern standards (yes, it's notably larger than Milwaukee or Columbus, but that's not saying much), a medium-sized city by national standards, and a small city by global standards.

That doesn't mean that it's bad or that it doesn't matter. It's just that if we're going to brag about something, let's make it something that Minneapolis actually excels at, like its parks, lakes, rivers, biking, and some of the art, music, and architecture, rather than presenting obvious insecurities about size and relevance.
Plus, even if Minneapolis isn't that big in the grand scheme of things, part of the joy of following development in Minneapolis is that it's on its way to become something much more resembling a major city. Maybe in 50 years it'll be more comparable in terms of density and "city-ness" to some of the cities on the coasts now, and we get to see that process unfold in front of us.

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Re: Minneapolis Density and Population Growth (500k, etc)

Postby mulad » July 4th, 2019, 7:36 pm

These days, I prefer to use the Census Bureau's "urban area" populations when comparing different large regions, since that's based on more fine-grained data that's more consistently filtered, while MSAs use county boundaries that include a lot more exurban sprawl and cause more variation due to the ways old political boundaries were drawn.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U ... rban_areas

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Re: Minneapolis Density and Population Growth (500k, etc)

Postby karlshea » July 4th, 2019, 11:09 pm

Great link, that's good to know!

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Re: Minneapolis Density and Population Growth (500k, etc)

Postby Didier » July 5th, 2019, 10:50 am

The population comparisons from PLGTMD are interesting, though I think focusing on total population numbers kind of misses the essence of the discussion being had here. The metropolitan area surrounding Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo has roughly 4x more population than the Twin Cities metro, according to Wikipedia, but there's no real point in comparing Kinshasa vs Minneapolis.

The China comparison is also a bit cherry picked. It's true, not many Americans could point out Dongguan on a map, even though it'd be the fourth biggest city in the U.S. (It's No. 8 in China.) But if you use Europe as the sample instead, the cities that rank comparably to the Twin Cities include places like Munich, Budapest, Lisbon and Brussels. I don't think many people here would thumb their nose at being the Munich of the United States.

What PLGTMD seems to be getting at more broadly is the "feel" of cities. Boston, in addition to being bigger than Minneapolis, definitely "feels" a lot bigger, too, due to the population density. At the same time, I would have thought Calgary was similar in size to Minneapolis based on feel, but it's actually more like 1/3 the population. That's the case with a lot of European cities, too. They are more urban in nature, and thus feel more cosmopolitan and "big."

Minneapolis has a few bigger drawbacks in urbanity. One is that our downtown can feel too much like a moonscape. But I'd say an even bigger problem is that downtown is poorly connected to the surrounding neighborhoods, specifically the Uptown area and to an extent even the U. It's almost incomprehensible to think of some tourist coming to Minneapolis, staying at the downtown Hilton, and spending a day exploring by foot and ending up at Bde Maka Ska. That kind of walk day would be totally reasonable in a place like Boston, San Francisco, etc. Minneapolis you'd either have to cross major roads on foot, figure out local bus routes or make a pretty deliberate bike ride. So in this regard, it makes sense that someone from a bigger city might come here and think it feels kind of small.

That said, Minneapolis is undoubtedly a major city, with a respectable if not massive population to go with a business and creative community that punches above its weight. Our downtown, also, while not extraordinarily vibrant on the street level is very impressive, and connections between downtown and NE Minneapolis continue to improve. Plus, our parkland is as good as anywhere in the country. And this is what I think gets to the essence of the Columbus discussion. Cities like Columbus, Milwaukee, Kansas City are fine, but Minneapolis is clearly a step above. And then Seattle is a step above us, and several other U.S. cities are a step above Seattle.

So I don't think we have anything to apologize for. Nobody is suggesting Minneapolis is New York City, nor that it's Kinshasa. The point is more than we're a very respectable mid-size big city, and all things considered I think Minneapolis has a lot of advantages over our peer cities in this country.

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Re: Minneapolis Density and Population Growth (500k, etc)

Postby QuietBlue » July 5th, 2019, 2:17 pm

PLGTMD wrote:
July 4th, 2019, 9:04 am
Having brought friends from Boston (where I currently live) and San Francisco to Minneapolis, they were flabbergasted at how a place with such little street life and so much empty space could be considered a major city. And the thing is, Boston and San Francisco aren't even that big.
San Francisco is a good example of this when you compare it to San Jose (which has more people, but definitely has less of a big-city feel).

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Re: Minneapolis Density and Population Growth (500k, etc)

Postby amiller92 » July 8th, 2019, 10:09 am

This city "feel" we're talking about is largely whether the city was mostly already developed before the arrival of cars or not. Cities that feel "big" aren't built around cars scales. Parts of Minneapolis weren't, but we did a whole lot to retrofit them into car scales.

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Re: Minneapolis Density and Population Growth (500k, etc)

Postby trkaiser » July 8th, 2019, 1:42 pm

QuietBlue wrote:
July 5th, 2019, 2:17 pm
PLGTMD wrote:
July 4th, 2019, 9:04 am
Having brought friends from Boston (where I currently live) and San Francisco to Minneapolis, they were flabbergasted at how a place with such little street life and so much empty space could be considered a major city. And the thing is, Boston and San Francisco aren't even that big.
San Francisco is a good example of this when you compare it to San Jose (which has more people, but definitely has less of a big-city feel).
After only a quick visit a decade ago, I was just in San Francisco for a week. I was so taken aback by how big it felt -- when I stepped out of the cab downtown I kinda had a similar feeling to my first time in New York. So many midrises in all directions. I was in Portland the week before, and was surprised how small that city felt -- but still delightful. My god the trains...

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Re: Minneapolis City Planning Commission

Postby Silophant » December 10th, 2019, 2:40 pm

Gonna be nuts to see how much Ward 3 shrinks in physical area after the next round of redistricting.

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Re: Minneapolis City Planning Commission

Postby twincitizen » December 10th, 2019, 3:56 pm

If the official Census population approaches 440k , each ward will hold around 33,800 residents (+/- 5%). That's up from the 29,429 that the current wards were drawn at (based on the 2010 Census), so each ward will have to hold an additional 4,371 people (technically ~3,000-6,000 using the extremes of the 5% tolerance permitted, but it'll be closer to the middle).

I heard that the City Charter specifically says ward boundaries are to be drawn from the corners inward, so that would seem to explain why Wards 2, 3, 6 & 7 look the way they do. Point being that if you were trying to specifically draw one "central downtown" ward or one "greater university" ward, that may not be possible. Wards 2, 3, 6, and 7 will all definitely see some pretty significant shifting around where their borders meet. Despite the massive growth along the Greenway and Lyndale, I could see Ward 10's shape not changing a whole lot, just shedding its southern bits (East Harriet neighborhood) to Wards 8 and/or 13. Ward 4 (far north) hasn't increased population at all and will need to expand southward, pushing Ward 5 further south, likely pulling Bryn Mawr and/or a bit of the North Loop into it.

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Re: Minneapolis City Planning Commission

Postby EOst » December 10th, 2019, 4:58 pm

twincitizen wrote:
December 10th, 2019, 3:56 pm
I heard that the City Charter specifically says ward boundaries are to be drawn from the corners inward
I don't see this in the charter:

https://library.municode.com/mn/minneap ... IBO_S2.2WA

Wards must "consist of a compact, contiguous area, not longer than twice its width, whose boundaries lie wherever possible along the centerline of public ways and, as far as practicable, run due north-south or east-west. A lake, waterway, or other body of water within a ward does not affect these characteristics." Redistricting must "minimize change in existing boundaries, except as necessary in order to effect" the other criteria specified.

That said, if the Charter ever did require that method of drawing, these rules would certainly help preserve the shapes that process created.

Don't forget the importance of creating ward boundaries that can plausibly elect candidates of minority populations. Ward 6 in particular was drawn with that in mind.

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Re: Minneapolis City Planning Commission

Postby talindsay » December 11th, 2019, 10:15 am

So I haven't read the charter in years and am apparently too lazy to look. Given the huge population increase that's happened since 2000, is there a mechanism to consider adding an altogether new ward, rather than allowing the number of people per councilmember to rise so substantially?

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Re: Minneapolis Density and Population Growth (500k, etc)

Postby CalMcKenney » February 5th, 2020, 9:17 am

When do they usually report population figures? Always excited to see what sort of growth we've experienced over the past year.

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Re: Minneapolis City Planning Commission

Postby alexschief » February 5th, 2020, 11:10 am

I spotted this Streetsblog article the other day out of Boston with comparable numbers from their planning commission equivalent. Folks, it is wild. Boston has about 200k more people than Minneapolis but a nearly identical amount of land. It's a high demand, high cost city, with a powerful knowledge economy. Boston also has a robust (if creaky) three-line heavy rail system, an extensive subway surface network, a number of commuter rail lines with urban stops, and colonial-era streets that makes driving a nightmare.

And yet(!) Boston permitted more parking spaces than homes in 2019. Unbelievably this was the case even in projects with close proximity to rapid transit. As I shared earlier in the thread, Minneapolis has permitted far more homes than parking spaces, with a transit system that got its first high-capacity rail line 107 years after Boston, and probably with lower market demand. All told, Minneapolis permitted 33% more homes than Boston in 2019 and just 4% more parking spaces. Local government matters.

Just to tie a bow on it, Boston recorded 2,993 housing starts in 2019. Minneapolis recorded 4,813. Given that lower supply and the trend of a higher rate of parking per unit, it's not hard to determine when the former is so much more expensive than the latter.

[mod note: I moved this over from the Planning Commission thread, as it fits better here. The Planning Commission thread is meant for specific agenda items, meetings, members, etc. I edited the title to clarify.]

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Re: Minneapolis Population Growth - Onward to 500k!

Postby KML_1981 » February 12th, 2020, 1:15 pm

Minneapolis dt population hits 51,000. 60% growth since 2006

https://twitter.com/motarola123/status/ ... 92576?s=20

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Re: Minneapolis Population Growth - Onward to 500k!

Postby Ohiosotan » February 14th, 2020, 12:26 pm

Originally hailing from Columbus myself it's pretty insane to even consider a downtown population of 50k in a mid-size Midwestern city. Columbus is a city of 900k which is struggling to attain a downtown population of 10k as of this year. Proposals for any residential building 20 stories or taller have sat around gathering dust much like the city's master bikeways plan which has barely been acted upon (I think they're done). Only one pair of protected bike lanes were installed on 4th and 3rd/Summit between Downtown and the University District and the city quietly announced it will be building no more protected bike lanes (their current bicycle projects page only lists this project which was done years ago and no others at all, protected lanes or not). There are only two (nearly) completely intact blocks in all of downtown with storefronts on both sides of the street (Gay St east of High St) and nothing newly built has replicated this kind of environment. The city has zero rail transit, only one aBRT line has been built (C-MAX) and it stops twice as often as the A Line: no further lines are planned.

Like Indianapolis, Kansas City, and Austin, Columbus is really a much smaller city that merely counts lots of annexed suburban areas as city population, even though it's anything but "city", just strip malls, a few Chili's, and car oriented apartment complexes. Another common characteristic is that the traditional grid pattern is far smaller than the rest of the city. If you count up the population here it's probably more around the 200k range without the bloated suburbia tacked on. On top of that you have maybe only a handful of urban neighborhoods outside of downtown worth your time, as most are blighted.

Minneapolis, on the other hand, is light years ahead whether it's downtown, neighborhood revitalization, mass transit, bikeways, etc. We have more than some of these cities combined. We can and should, however, do a whole lot more, like getting the E and B Lines up and running ASAP and make these areas more accessible to residents and visitors while attracting new residents. We've got it pretty good up here, it could be worse.

https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/ne ... tores.html

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Nick
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Re: Minneapolis Population Growth - Onward to 500k!

Postby Nick » February 14th, 2020, 12:38 pm

I believe the correct plural of Chili’s is Chili.

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Re: Minneapolis Population Growth - Onward to 500k!

Postby jtoemke » February 14th, 2020, 3:46 pm

Ohiosotan wrote:
February 14th, 2020, 12:26 pm
Originally hailing from Columbus myself it's pretty insane to even consider a downtown population of 50k in a mid-size Midwestern city. Columbus is a city of 900k which is struggling to attain a downtown population of 10k as of this year. Proposals for any residential building 20 stories or taller have sat around gathering dust much like the city's master bikeways plan which has barely been acted upon (I think they're done). Only one pair of protected bike lanes were installed on 4th and 3rd/Summit between Downtown and the University District and the city quietly announced it will be building no more protected bike lanes (their current bicycle projects page only lists this project which was done years ago and no others at all, protected lanes or not). There are only two (nearly) completely intact blocks in all of downtown with storefronts on both sides of the street (Gay St east of High St) and nothing newly built has replicated this kind of environment. The city has zero rail transit, only one aBRT line has been built (C-MAX) and it stops twice as often as the A Line: no further lines are planned.

Like Indianapolis, Kansas City, and Austin, Columbus is really a much smaller city that merely counts lots of annexed suburban areas as city population, even though it's anything but "city", just strip malls, a few Chili's, and car oriented apartment complexes. Another common characteristic is that the traditional grid pattern is far smaller than the rest of the city. If you count up the population here it's probably more around the 200k range without the bloated suburbia tacked on. On top of that you have maybe only a handful of urban neighborhoods outside of downtown worth your time, as most are blighted.

Minneapolis, on the other hand, is light years ahead whether it's downtown, neighborhood revitalization, mass transit, bikeways, etc. We have more than some of these cities combined. We can and should, however, do a whole lot more, like getting the E and B Lines up and running ASAP and make these areas more accessible to residents and visitors while attracting new residents. We've got it pretty good up here, it could be worse.

https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/ne ... tores.html

A little harsh... ex Minneapolitan, now Columbusian - I would argue Short North is more vibrant and walkable than Uptown, North Loop, or NE.

Yes they lack the fancy stuff (trains and bike lanes) but the city is rapidly urbanizing. I would say its about 15 years behind Minneapolis in amenities. They haven't had to face being a city yet so they are warming up to it. It is also a metro area that is half the size of the Twin Cities but predicted to add another million people in the next 20 years. If we can keep 300k of that in the city center, thats an entirely new story.


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