Parking lot views can build better cities

For most Minnesotans, a trip to the mall means getting in the car, driving through traffic, and navigating a crowded parking lot before even stepping into a store. But for residents who are moving into the new luxury apartments at One Southdale Place, a mall is just a short walk across the parking lot. These structures promote high-density, pedestrian friendly cities that strengthen community development. Continue Reading

Sharing like a capitalist

The sharing economy has received lots of media adoration over the last couple of years. A closer look reveals a more troubling truth. There are various types of companies in this new economy, but the ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft provide a useful example. In a recent article, Avi Asher-Schapiro details the effects of this model on the workers. Continue Reading

Subprime loans: Round two?

The subprime mortgage crisis was a central cause of the recent recession. In short, lenders were providing expensive mortgages to low-income borrowers at an unprecedented rate. Once the housing bubble popped, subprime borrowers defaulted in droves, which helped push the deeply imbricated global financial system to the brink of collapse. Continue Reading

Celebrating progress for Minnesota

Thousands of Minnesotans are getting a long overdue raise as the state’s first minimum wage increase in nine years goes into effect. The state minimum wage for large employers, at $8.00 per hour starting today, will increase to $9.00 in 2015 and $9.50 in 2016 followed by annual cost of living increases. This is great news for workers, for businesses and for our economy. Minnesota 2020 joined members of the Raise the Wage Coalition to celebrate this important step in moving Minnesota forward. Continue Reading

Crowded classrooms: Mapping it out

Minnesota has consistently ranked among the relatively low in terms of pupil-teacher ratios in recent years. However, the pattern shown on the map below reveals that even adjacent school districts can have dramatically different average student-teacher ratios. Thus, it is clear that there is no single cause for the variation in ratios across the state; race, income, and basic population density all come into play. Continue Reading