Friday, April 5, 2013

 Debt is cheap in post-recession America, now is the time to have people lend you money. Apparently in Minneapolis the housing developers have jumped into the party. I recently spent an afternoon pedaling through the city looking for cranes. The tall metal ones that allow builder to add height to their projects. I counted more then half a dozen in use throughout the city. Three of them were along the Midtown Greenway bike path, one was in Loring Park, another at the Walker Art Museum, two were downtown against Nicollet Avenue and also abreast of Hennepin Avenue, and more then three along parts of the "North Loop" of downtown.

Who will fill these buildings? How long will these monuments to cheap debt stand, are they made to last hundreds of years? Will they perhaps be a symbol of an over zealous era where the recent past seemed so bleak that future could only get better, why not build for it..
Minneapolis hit it's population height in the 1950 census at 521,718. This is around 130,00 more then the amount of people in Minneapolis as of the 2010 census. I am wondering with the current decline in birth rates, if most urban cities have seen their peak populations already? Granted the metropolitan area itself is home to more people today then ever before, but these buildings will be homes for who? Will third tier suburbs shrink and populations drift to the middle? Perhaps the trend in local lifestyle will just place populations near employment, as the death bell of the daily driving commute sounds and turns into a bike/bus ride or perhaps a walk to work. Nobody knows the future, but we do know the future of Minneapolis will be a taller one. 

A lot of growth around the Twins Stadium in the background.