Aug 8, 2023 - Development

What Minneapolis gets right and wrong, according to urban critic

Downtown Minneapolis skyline

Photo: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Popular YouTube urban critic CityNerd came to Minneapolis and assessed the city's transit, bikeways, streets, and parks.

What he's saying: "The Park Board made all of the lake frontage in the city publicly accessible, which you just don't see in a lot of municipal park systems," said CityNerd Ray Delahanty.

State of play: Delahanty's reviews of cities' urban infrastructure get hundreds of thousands of views. The Minneapolis video, posted last Wednesday, had 137,000 as of Monday afternoon.

  • With an urban planning lens, he tries to identify what a city does better than anywhere else in the U.S. — as well as what it is doing wrong.

Between the lines: He liked the city's parks the most but also had positive things to say about the Midtown Greenway and surrounding development.

  • Like some local urbanists, he had mixed feelings about the skyway system, identifying it as an important feature in a cold city, but also one that steals from street-level vibrancy.

What he didn't like: Wide streets in downtown and Uptown, where there are often four or five lanes of traffic and parking.

  • He also didn't like how the downtowns of St. Paul and Minneapolis are surrounded by freeways, creating a moat effect.

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