February 25 2013

Bridging Diversity: Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Twin Cities prides itself on its diversity. Unbeknownst to many, it is home to the largest Somali population in the U.S. In addition, it has the largest Hmong population outside Laos, the second-largest Vietnamese and Ethiopian populations, and one of the fastest-growing Latino/Hispanic populations in the country. The different cultures have helped shape the city over decades and helped create some of most distinctive neighborhoods, which offer unique architecture, places to eat, and cultural activities across the two cities.

Midtown Global MarketOne of these historically significant and distinctive neighborhoods is along a major east-west thoroughfare known as Lake Street in South Minneapolis. This part of the city has attracted various groups of immigrants over the course of its history, which can be reflected in its streetscape lined with mom and pop stores, international grocers, and unique businesses. It is home to a contemporary structure known as the Midtown Exchange, a former Sears building which once served as the second largest commercial building in Minnesota. Following its closure in 1994, the site was eventually redeveloped in 2006 into a mixed-use building containing 300 residential units, as well as office and retail space. In addition to housing Allina Hospital & Clinic headquarters, the Chicago Lofts, and the Midtown Exchange Apartments, the structure is also home to the Midtown Global Market.

The Midtown Global Market in itself is home to a variety of small independently owned restaurants, cafes, and specialty grocers from around the world. The space is also used as a community-gathering place for music, dance, children’s activities, and arts & craft fairs. A Sheraton Hotel was built in the former Sears parking lot with direct access to the Midtown Greenway. Since its opening, the Midtown Global Market has attracted visitors from the greater Minneapolis/St. Paul area, who can access the Market via biking tours along the Midtown Greenway.

International Market Midtown Global Market

The opportunity to showcase different cultures that have made this city into what it is today has generated interest and an economic boost that has revived this unique and historically significant neighborhood, which had previously been on the decline.

How can our cities better incorporate cultural diversity when redeveloping?

Credits: Images by Jasna Hadzic. Data linked to sources.

Jasna Hadzic

Born and raised in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but having spent most of her adult life in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A.; Jasna Hadzic has been greatly influenced by both cultures, most specifically in terms of architecture, planning, and design. The transition of living in a small European pedestrian-oriented city to a large and vehicle-oriented American city greatly influenced her interest in the field of planning. She came to appreciate the vibrant, culturally diverse and faster-pace of life, while also looking toward her native city as a paradigm of sustainable living with traditional architecture, multi-modal transportation systems, and pedestrian-friendly spaces and streets. A recent Master’s graduate in Community and Regional Planning and G.I.S from Iowa State University, Jasna’s Thesis focused on the analysis of the built environment and demographic factors that influence physical activity, while examining street connectivity and infrastructure. In addition, Jasna holds a B.E.D. in Environmental Design, with a minor in Urban Studies, from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. Her most recent work experience as a Planning Research Assistant at the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board, as well as volunteer work with the Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity has exposed her to new city projects, as well as community engagement. Her career goal is to not only work directly on sustainable urban design projects, but to also ensure equitable and sustainable planning practices.

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This entry was posted on Monday, February 25th, 2013 at 9:53 am and is filed under Architecture, Community/Economic Development, History/Preservation, Social/Demographics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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2 Responses to “Bridging Diversity: Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis, Minnesota”

  1. The Revival of the Streetcar System in Minneapolis, Minnesota | The GRID | Global Site Plans Says:

    [...] Current urban planning efforts include the Nicollet – Central Transit Alternatives Study, which will determine the benefits, costs, and impacts of implementing a variety of transit modes and service types, including streetcar and enhanced bus options or Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), in order to identify a locally preferred alternative for the Metropolitan Council’s 2030 Transportation Policy Plan. The Midtown Corridor Alternatives Analysis will also determine benefits, costs and impacts of implementing light rail, streetcar, busway, or BRT along two major city arterials near the Midtown Global Market. [...]

  2. Farewell From Jasna Hadzic and Minneapolis, Minnesota | The GRID | Global Site Plans Says:

    […] and cities in a comprehensive way by examining the different facets of transportation, land use, economic development, sustainability, et cetera, and through the application of old values that were once written about. […]

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