MinnPost published this article yesterday which grades communities in the Twin Cities based on a list developed by a land use lawyer out of Seattle. MinnPost chose 6 qualities and gave ratings for the Twin Cities as a whole; however, the real question is are these qualities really something we should pay any attention to?
The items highlighted by MinnPost:
- No. 1: Wood-framed storefronts and proud displays.
No. 2: Commercial porches with color and vantage points to the streets.
No. 3: Water features that emulate nature.
No. 4: Spectacular examples of shopping tradition.
No. 5: Culturally indigenous engravings built into the environment.
No. 6: Children in public squares.
A conservative taxpayer may look at this, aside from #6 which is meant to show low perceived crime rates, and say, “absolutely not” while another more liberal spender who is a fan of the arts may jump up and down excitedly like Mayor Elizabeth Kautz after getting a levy increase passed. While there should probably be a mix of both of these attitudes to meet the demands of the general public, most of these items, regardless of MinnPost’s opinion, do not really exist here in any meaningful way but the question is whether they’re really necessary in the first place.
What about you? Do you think these 6 items are at all valuable? Are you concerned about facades, shopping, and water features? Do you let your kids walk to school or go to the park without being in your direct line of sight at all times? Do you think these sorts of ideals are not relevant in 2013 due to the economic realities we face? If we ignore these sorts of cultural and artistic items in our communities will we become a drab and almost communist bloc country in design? Whatever you have to say about this go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.