“You’d never expect to find a leafy arboretum in a high-density, high-diversity, high-traffic neighborhood,” says MinnPost writer Jay Walljasper. “But that’s exactly what Augsburg College is planning for its unmistakably urban campus in the heart of Minneapolis, which borders Fairview Riverside Medical complex, the high-rise Riverside Plaza towers, two freeways, two light rail lines, busy shopping districts on Franklin Avenue and Cedar Avenues, plus one of the largest Somali communities outside of Africa.”
Walljasper, a senior fellow for the Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship, described Augsburg’s ambitious plan to transform its campus into a living laboratory in a recent article on the history of the urban college, its intent to plant native Minnesota species, and its brainstorming and decision-making processes for the landscape design project.
Read: “Augsburg College looks to transform its campus into an urban arboretum” on the MinnPost site.
Associate Professor Lars Christiansen teaches courses in Augsburg’s Department of Sociology and Urban Studies Program. Christiansen puts his scholarship into practice as director of the Friendly Streets Initiative, a St. Paul-based organization that facilitates community organizing through creative public engagement events. The group aims to help communities envision positive change to public spaces, collect and analyze data, and assist neighbors in navigating city planning processes.
Christiansen described the successes of the Friendly Streets Initiative to author Jay Walljasper for a chapter of the new book, “America’s Walking Renaissance: How cities, suburbs, and towns are getting back on their feet.” Walljasper serves as a senior fellow in Augsburg’s Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship, and his writing explores how new ideas in urban planning, tourism, community development, sustainability, politics and culture can improve citizens’ lives.
An excerpt from “America’s Walking Renaissance” was published by MinnPost and included a photo of Darius Gray ’15, a community organizer with FSI.
Read, “Friendly Streets: Bottom-up St. Paul project changes the way people look at their city” on the MinnPost site.
In a recent special report examining the prospects and challenges for non-metro counties in Minnesota, Augsburg College alumnus Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin ’03 discussed economic shifts and new opportunities for agriculture in southeastern Minnesota.
In the report, which was commissioned by The McKnight Foundation and republished by MinnPost, Haslett-Marroquin explained the ways in which Latino immigrant families are reinventing the notion of the family farm in Rice and Dakota counties.
Haslett-Marroquin co-founded the successful Peace Coffee company and today leads the Main Street Project, an initiative seeking to develop “a prototype for agriculture that will chart a course toward prosperity for Latino immigrant families, boost local economies and provide healthier, tastier food that people of all incomes can afford,” according to the article Reinvigorating the agricultural economy in Southeast Minnesota.