We’re number 49

I think the gist of recent Star Tribune coverage is that downtown Minneapolis is coming back — from Covid, from crime, from office closures, and so on. One-party Democratic misrule doesn’t factor into the Star Tribune’s equation of municipal challenges, but it should. For context, see Neal St. Anthony’s February 2022 column “St. Anthony: Downtown Minneapolis comeback still iffy proposition but better bet than last month.”

As for the generally optimistic tenor of the paper’s coverage, see the May 2023 Star Tribune editorial “Rebound underway in Minneapolis and St. Paul.” Over on the sports pages last month, see columnist Jim Souhan’s “Downtown Minneapolis is drawing crowds.”

This morning Axios reports on a comparative study of current downtown foot traffic then (March-May 2019) and now (March-May 2023). Axios has converted the data compiled by the School of Cities at the University of Toronto for its downtown recovery study into the chart below (“read more about the methodology here“). The companion Axios story is “How to save America’s downtowns.” Minneapolis ranks number 49 out of the 52 downtowns included on the Axios chart. San Francisco comes in number 52.

The study’s full set of “downtown recovery rankings” is posted here. It looks like European cities are yet to come. With all of the study’s rankings so far included (i.e., including Canadian cities), Minneapolis came in at number 60. San Francisco again brought up the rear, so to speak, at number 63.

The study indicates that it was updated as of July 7, 2023. Neither Axios Twin Cities nor the Star Tribune has gotten around to reporting on this study yet. We will have to stay tuned.

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