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The changing profile of urban density in Minneapolis

Hear the voice of a distressed citizen of Marcy-Holmes, an increasingly “nuked” neighborhood.

The high-density high-rises metastasizing throughout the city bring us New Urban Cave Dwellings (NUCD), reminiscent of older cliff dwellings. Those caves had one functional entrance, no windows on top or at sides — just like the vast majority of the dwelling units in these high-rises.

One difference — a true cave combines the “window” and functional entrance, whereas the NUCD splits this into a functional entrance sans window and a window sans functional entrance. Welcome to this futuristic vision of city “living” brought to us by the Lego School of Architecture and its relentless style, Grim Moderne, that stacks high-rises side-by-side to eventually evolve into a canyon-like streetscape. Therein, the denizens enjoy the good life offered by a NUCD. Our 21st-century city will eventually belong substantially to the NUCD heads.

Minneapolis, in 1970, had more than 500,000 people, small-scale affordable housing for the vast majority of them (no high-rise dwellings), along with a thriving school system. All that contrasts dramatically with today. The NUCD heads bring money (therefore developers) and numbers (voters) to eventually drive out all who resist their vision.

People deserve the politicians they elect — the new masters of the “Fauxto Op” and “web bites” styles of politics — who relentlessly seek to carry out this NUCD restructuring of city neighborhoods. At the end of the day, simply count up how many units of affordable housing they have created versus the number of up-market units, and be chagrined that you fell for their spiel. We had the solution to this issue at hand in 1970 and we tossed it overboard. Hear the voice of a distressed citizen of Marcy-Holmes, an increasingly “nuked” neighborhood.

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