Roadway Design and Neighborhood Development

Roadway Design and Neighborhood Development

The reconstruction of public roads would seem to be a public rather than a private concern — except that a vital neighborhood street is a good indicator of community health. Taking It to the Street: How Roadway Design Helped Shape a Neighborhood's Development (52 pages, PDF) tells the story of the redesign of Lake Street, an historic, 1.8-mile corridor in south Minneapolis. While the initial plan for the road's redesign favored cars and traffic flow over wider sidewalks, plantings, and other amenities recommended by the community and local business owners, the project's outcome was changed at the eleventh hour when the Minneapolis-based McKnight Foundation offered to fund a team of consultants which eventually offered county and city planners a fresh perspective. The case study is part of a series on urban revitalization sponsored by McKnight, Payne-Lake Community Partners, and Living Cities: The National Community Development Initiative, a nonprofit public-private partnership that works to improve distressed inner-city neighborhoods.