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Cityscape focuses on urban life in our metro area. Topics range from urban design and architecture to transportation, highways, traffic, transit, walking and biking. Cityscape also examines important urban issues — such as real estate development, education, crime, poverty and family life — as well as the arts, sports and entertainment in our community.

Need a new year’s resolution? Try walking. 

A recent study looking at cell-phone data from millions of people around the world found that the U.S. ranks poorly when it comes to everyday walking. The average American takes just about 4,700 steps each day, a count that has surely declined since the pandemic and its work-from-home revolution.

Frogtown neighborhood sidewalk

More housing is the only way to fix our downtowns

“People downtown, their mood is different,” explained Calgar Kisa, working the week before Christmas at his downtown Minneapolis boutique. “It’s depressive. They don’t have a shopping mood; they have a working mood. They’re just busy, and say ‘I need to go home for the kids.’ I feel nobody can survive downtown in the retail business.”

Cedar-Riverside’s windows are getting dressed up

For many East African business owners, “Storefronts are culturally used differently, seen as something different than how we in our western capitalist society typically use them,” said Twin Cities artist and organizer Joan Vorderbruggen, who has spent last six months working with community businesses to improve the old storefronts.