Planning Director - Minneapolis

Sam Newberg - Joe Urban's picture
Mayor R.T. Rybak
City Hall, Room 331
350 South Fifth Street
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Dear Mayor Rybak,  
With the departure of Barb Sporlein, Minneapolis is at a crossroads. We know your passion for quality urban planning, and it is particularly important at this time to elevate urban design and placemaking as fundamental City goals, and to foster economic development that best exemplifies these goals. Minneapolis must hire a visionary planning director who will focus on urban design that will create a high-quality public realm as a catalyst for high-quality private development.
The Congress for the New Urbanism’s (CNU) Minnesota Chapter Organizing Committee, which consists of urban designers, planners, real estate consultants, and developers, believes the challenges the City has seen to high-quality urban design can be addressed by hiring a visionary planning director who is able to articulate the benefits of good urbanism to the Planning Commission, City Council, residents and business owners. We believe the right candidate will promote LEED-ND and transit-oriented development, utilizing tools such as charrettes, form based zoning, and the ITE manual. The results will be evident not just in high-profile projects, but more importantly in the everyday placemaking decisions in our neighborhoods.
We consulted John Norquist, former mayor Milwaukee and current President/CEO of CNU, and with his help have already identified potential candidates from a nationwide network of new urbanists. We are willing to help you in whatever way possible to ensure the best candidate is selected.
Continued “good” urban planning is not good enough. Minneapolis must raise its game to “great.” In a globalized world where the most talented residents and workers can choose a more attractive city in which to settle and invest, urban design matters. Minneapolis can do better.
The world is paying attention, and this is the opportunity for Minneapolis to shine. Please don’t let this moment pass.
The Congress for the New Urbanism’s Minnesota Chapter Organizing Committee
Faith Cable
Ryan Kelley
Bob Kost
Michael Lander
Peter Musty
Sam Newberg
Lucy Thompson
Cc: Minneapolis City Council Members


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