« 99% Invisible

428- Beneath the Skyway

2021-01-26 | 🔗

Cities around the world have distinctive modes of transportation -- the canals of Venice, the double-decker busses of London, and the Twin Cities (of Minneapolis and St. Paul) have skyways. In both downtowns, there are vast networks of climate-controlled pedestrian bridges that reach over the streets and connect adjacent buildings. They were long viewed as modern marvels, but a lot of residents and urban planners want them gone. For critics, skyways are problematic because of who gets to enjoy them and who does not as well as their impact on street activity below.

Beneath the Skyway

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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Well, I'm talking to you the sleeper Apple Watch helps me establish a bedtime routine, oh, so it food aid needs to be made screens whence I fall asleep attacks my heart rate and her drugs. How long I've been sleeping have to to his sleep, Appalache haystacks, the future of her his arrest, I phone sex ass later required. This is ninety nine percent, invisible, I'm roman, Mars Every city in the world has something that makes its special, but the one That really capture my imagination, other cities, with distinctive forms of transportation, Venice habits, Canals London, its bright red, double decker buses and the twin cities. Minneapolis and Saint Paul have
guy ways in both cities. Downtowns there are about ass networks of climate, controlled pedestrian bridges that reach over the streets and connect to building to building on the second for years. Minnesota. Senator Amy closure describes them. The sky ways, of course, are the glass inclosed above ground tunnels that connect our buildings does. If you go outside what are you will die? That's right there, like human habit, trail habit. True, is the brand name of literal hamster tubes and that's a pretty good description. That's what and many apples, liver, Katy, Thornton, fuck alone, almost any downtown street in the twin cities and you'll, see a series of these enclosed glass bridges tied together, huge office buildings and shopping centres. Thanks to the skyways, you can parka heated garage go into work run some errands maybe go to the gym, all in short, sleeves on a minus twenty degree.
day people legitimately brag about how many weeks they can go without stepping foot outside don't how many others have the oldest enlarges contiguous skyways network in the world. There are nearly and miles of totally enclosed climate control, pedestrian bridges and downtown Saint Paul has its own massive system. Discoveries are in a girl to the twin cities, sense of self Amy, Clear Bashar was made Miss sky way. Of March nineteen, eighty eight for which, is awarded a free months worth of jazz size classes and an eight by ten color portrait from a sky way accessible, photography studio. There is also the I'm. The Saint Paul Skyways system was turned into a mountain bike racecourse, but one mile chorus, through narrow corridor, sound staircases, around hairpins turns, and you can see, participants didn't maggot, ok, we're told right away and then
many Minnesota's of a certain generation will remind you, there's the nineteen. Ninety two children's hockey movie masterpiece, the mighty, does There's this one of its seen in particular, where coach, Emilio Ecevit and has ragtag team of kids meet downtown to train on rollerblades. Also, I'm in a soda invention. The kids fly through the busy skyways struggling to stay upright on their Blake. Well, well, dressed shoppers with arms, full of gift, trapped packages, leap out of the way, after all, who in a ten year old, wouldn't want a whiz through a glittering metropolis, and this guy, I think an initial love that comes from. Carries a wonderment people, look at them and think why this is so special they'll, Linda he is an urban geographer and writer in the twin cities, though, gives architectural tourism skyways and he says,
Visitors on his tours are justifiably impressed the whole sky lay system comes ass, a grand civic achievement there. something marvellous and futuristic about the best parts. The skyways. Where are you really feel like we as a society of transcended, something, and especially in your time that feels marvellous and triumphant, futuristic triumphant zone. It's almost utopian a cosy micro city within the city or you who another twin citizens can look down at the icy street beneath you smog in your shirt, sleeves and collectively laugh in the face of winter there's, just one problem, at least from those perspective. While I hate them, I think that they make downtown most on redeemable and I really wish that we could start taking them down one by one. A lot of people love this guy works, but others want them gone invoked over the years or
Texan urban planners from all over the world have said that the twin cities me to tear the sky ways down bill and other sky antagonists have plenty of reasons behind our opposition for them it has to do with who gets to be in the sky ways and who doesn't and also what the sky was have done to harm the street allow? The skyways haven't always attracted this kind of criticism in the beginning. Long before people like Linda Key turned against them. They were heralded as the salvation of a struggling downtown and nineteen fifties. Minneapolis, like many said, across the country, was trying to stay, lively or even occupied in the Post war era of white flight downtime shops. effort, as city residents began, moving to the quiet expanse of the birds, but on top these national trend away from Downtowns Minneapolis retailers based another challenge in ninety Fifty six,
fancy new suburb, seven miles South west of Downtown Minneapolis. Something happened but changed. Everything about how people shocked me today, the twin cities? We are literally the birthplace of the enclosed Mall, Alison Kaplan is a retailer porter and the editor in chief of twin cities, business magazine- and she says the work first indoor climate, controlled shopping mall, any Dinah Minnesota took not just the twin cities, but the world by storm. It was called South Dale Centre. Let's be honest, we all know it gets cold in Minnesota, and so was about creating this amazing experience where you could park go inside and Spain two hours Self Dale heads only four stores across three stories: plastic foliage promised greenery in all four seasons. There was a centre plaza.
the garden court, a perpetual spring featuring a twenty one, foot vertical bird cage. The place even had its own Christmas Dingle was something of business. Thing? Is they ve boys at south? There there's something we shall fail was an instant hit with consumers in the Eu said followed. A ring of indoor malls would come to surround Minneapolis and Saint Paul there all the dales, so you have Ridge, Dale South Deal Brook deal, there's probably more Does it not remembering over the deck It's more and more. Shoppers and businesses would decamped from the city to the bourbon oasis? What, in the late nineteenth fifties a loose alliance of Minneapolis.
believers, business owners and city officials began formulating plans to lure people back to downtown. So they can a true lots of things at the wall to see what sticks. And they came up with a bunch of ambitious and sometimes wacky ideas, most of which never happened- one proposal would have installed a bunch of pedestrian underpasses so that shoppers wouldn't have to contend with or contribute to downtowns horrible traffic problem, while an opposite proposal envisioned sinking all the thoroughfares below the ground level, so that the surface streets would be just for pedestrians. But the idea that ended up sticking was arguable. the most ambitious and wacky of them all, and it was the brainchild of a far sighted Minnesota and named Leslie Park. Part to me. Minimizes the wars be business type that Minneapolis was famous for park, was one of the city's largest property holders and a strict religious conservative. For example. He owned
thousand restaurants, but he would set aside all the income that he got from liquor sales and put them in a separate fund and give to charity. Now it is immoral to profit offers vice. It also appears that he didn't like the kinds of things that cities were associated with, like smells and crowds and street level chance encounters so park Turkey directly from the family, friendly suburbs, in their clean indoor malls and added a twist in architecture, all innovation that were allowed, don't counteroffers to stroll from building to building without ever hitting the payment. He got the city to grant him air rights, not just for the building he was constructing, but for the street in front of it and once the building. finished like a lot of other places downtown it had a handful of stores on the first floor, but also has an almost eighteenth century parisian, arcade style second floor, except with silvery, glass and steel,
feelings and walls and jumping out of the second floor shopping area was a big glass enclosed climate control to bridge the first. Sky way a sky way that conveniently led to the second floor of another building that Leslie Park owned and so but had been the second floor. The least valuable part of the building is now more retail I'll corridors that people can walk through and becomes much more valuable than it used to be, and that transformation of the second floor into space pedestrians and workers would itself end up. Transforming the twin cities. It took a few years for everyone to catch on, but Leslie Park. Skyways eventually prove to be a win win. Consumer is discovered that it provided the indoor shopping experience they were clamouring for, while developers realised that potentially double the amount
space buildings could devote to retail in the following decade. Downtown building owners started making agreements with their neighbours across the street to build their own skyways, a process that only accelerated in nineteen. Seventy two I like to think of it as the most, where the skyways system became sentient, where it achieved its on critical mass that year, the idea centre opened in downtown Minneapolis, designed by full of Johnson. It was the tallest building in the state and soon radiating out in all border reactions from its beautiful glass, walled central shopping in dining court or skyways. They quickly became the city central hub. That was
for the moment that there was hope that ok, the entire skyways system is gonna, come together, so that you're not just going to one shopping area. You could go to you. No five blocks worth of shopping destinations without ever going outside. The suburbs can't compete with that in Minneapolis, Skyways became a given in any new construction and impressed by the new indoor development in their sister city, Saint Paul officials started developing their own city run skyways system. Everyone wanted to be on the second floor, even classic. downtown mom and pop shops and shoe shines moved to the sky way level and customers followed within a few years. The average downtown worker in Minneapolis and Saint Paul was spending twice as much money as their counterparts in other cities during lunch break in the sky, ways so easy to buy things uninterrupted, you could walk to the food court
relaunch, get your shoeshine along the way, pick up a gift or a new watch all without stopping for traffic or putting on your coat. The cities have gone upstairs but the skyways offered more than just a hypnotic ability to make workers spend more money. Everything that you would have on the ground floor was scattered, throw down town at the sky. We level as well, which is awesome. James Garret Junior is an architect and downtown Saint Paul. He lives and works in buildings connected by the skyways and as a kid in the nineteen eightys, the skyways were his happy place or as James would say his awesome place. When I was growing up, there was a movie theatre on the sky way, which is awesome. There was a park connected to the sky way with indoor plants and trees, and you could walk around and go up is rampant in a music, a waterfall there, and it was also in the skyways James would go to restaurants and pool holes
record stores, even a mini golf course, and beyond just the shops and parks. James is teenage architect. Brain was taken with the physical structures themselves, so, after all, the stores in restaurants had closed for the evening. He and his friends would meet up to explore every nook and cranny. Finding the dead ends and transfer points and were walked round were seen how far we can go before it ends them you now. Can you get up and these doors open. How do you know you're just figure out system even today, this guy ways can be hard to navigate but Jane The other kids knew this system better than anyone. So when James was fifteen, they were actually hired by the director of the sky way. Why am I here in the summer and on weekends. James and his friends would approach confused, looking visitors with maps and pens and help them out. They had a booth. They even served as couriers running packages across downtown through the skyways, with no street lights or icy sidewalks trip them up. There's while tunnel
another after american kid couple: white, kids from West seventh street, three or four long kids and I was like the best job ever many weren't working are catching a movie. They found secret skyways spots where they could watch the buses command from all different directions and that come in handy not just in the winter, but whenever they dressed up to go out for a party during the hot. muggy knights of summer. You ve got your brand shirt on. He got a little gold here: bone shame with your name on it and it got your feelings, sneakers or whatever, and you know you're doing a thing you don't want to be sweaty in excess of when you get to the party. She knew that if you get in the building, he got up into the sky way it's climb controlled in there and when the bosses who were trying to get, I was close enough, then you can on down the escalator in get outside in and get on the bus in time? James
His friends always showed up two parties looking on seasonably sharp, and it was all thanks to the Skyways James Apt for college in ninety ninety, and he says he honestly didn't give this guy ways too much that while he was away after all, it wasn't like they were going anywhere by. I started notice that by the time I came back in writing, 5fr graduated, I moved back home that you know I would go downtown or whatever to get in the skyway and it was a different vibe and there was just fewer people. There's a lot fewer people, and you know was free dead. James noticed there were a lot more white collar workers than there were kids from nearby neighborhoods. There is also an increased police and security presents to the point where the skyways stopped being fun or even comfortable, especially for young black men like James It was more. You know everybody's canal, watching their back and no looking.
Side by side and gadgets it. It was pretty clear that it was a site, We have to make the skyways feel safe for suburban people, because that's what ultimately, it was four and, of course, its true. That was what the skyways had always pen for away for property owners to lower people back from the suburbs by replicating what was working in suburban malls like south they'll, be back in the era of white fly when the skyways were bill, those suburban malls had been for just anyone. Suburbs would have de facto covenants that make it almost impossible for a person coloured by home and so that we have set the tone for how suburbs grew in the twin cities in the suburbs of Dinah the very same place where the self them all was located. There were people who boasted as late the nineteenth sixties that the town
I have a single black resident, but as the twin cities grew more diverse, James says this skyways we're still trying to serve their original white, suburban demographic. It was really, I think, in the nineties, the crackdown sort of half- maybe the mid nineties, where it was made clear to us by the way that we were pleased and by the way that the security followed us around in front of you know, profiled alot of us that we weren't supposed to be. There wasn't really for us, even in a Croton quote good year, As James says, he and his friends were sometimes followed in stores, question by security guards even shouted at over loudspeakers, and so there was this tension between knowing that we were really wanted. But then you know sort of given. finger to that and saying well I'm to be here anyway, because I can be in from the skyways inception well before James and his friends started, feeling unwelcome the skyways had been keeping out a long list of other
who didn't fit the White Collar Suburban mauled. There used to be a really big skid row, in downtown Minneapolis. That was located right by the public library building. Dickie says that skid row was just one part of a historic downtown. That's now been largely forgotten popular with itinerant workers coming in from surrounding areas, it featured roominghouse, is powers and a large public park, but between nineteen fifty eight nineteen sixty five, the same period when Leslie Park was building the first sky way. Just a few blocks away. The city of The ATLAS use federal money earmarked for urban renewal to get rid of skid row. The soda gateway urban renewal project basically levelled all of the buildings from First Street to six or eight blocks to the east and deception. Every historic building in that area got got torn down in the end one. Third,
of downtown Minneapolis was demolished, including the bark and replaced with more office buildings. Nothing was replaced with was lots and lots of parking. So if you look at fault- from this period, you'll see one or two modern office buildings and then you'll see blocks and blocks of service parking lots next door and a lot of these parking lots were connected to the office buildings by skyways, meaning can There is never needed to set foot Nero Rowdy bar or a panhandler if they didn't want to so the skyways were a place to escape the whether they also placed escape the old, life of Downtime Minneapolis, once it was assumed that new buildings would be connected on the second floor, architects and planners big,
along tramp of designing away from parks and outdoor areas and torn indoor spaces, they turn their back on the street. Instead of facing the sidewalk shops in new skyscrapers opened up on the inside, I got a mall, and since the Minneapolis Skyways were privately owned, the developers had no obligation to be welcoming the entrances to the system. More often obfuscate it in high and hotel. or expensive street level stores people complained all the time about how is hard to get in and out. But this was seen as a feature not a bug by many people in every system, because it also kept out folks
you baby didn't want to have in your office buildings or in your department stores. Every now and then architectural consultants hired by one of the city's would suggest ways to improve skyward access, but some property owners said easier. Entrances would bring the so called wrong element into the skyways. Others said: they're, just wasn't enough money in their multiple sketches through the years of you know, steer cases coming, onto the street from the sky ways that just never materialised? If you went into downtown Minneapolis, you could see people walking directly above you, but often have no clue how to get up there, and even if did make it into the sky wise on. In your way, around could be an off putting experience. If you want a sky way person, it could be a maze and if you didn't know how to get from the interior of one building, stores to another, you know you could be walking around and that means for hours and theirs.
almost nowhere to stop or pause arrest is very few benches and there's unwritten rules to the sky, As a result, even today, stopping at the sky way to look out the window or get your bearings can result in the people behind you walking right into you, because you aren't really supposed to stop, or else they might give. You will look at if you're not supposed to be there in Minneapolis. This guy ways have always been privately owned, and agreement between two buildings landlords, so lingering too long in the passageway can get you cited for trespassing on private property. Saint Paul system is technically public, but they they'll mostly connect privately owned office buildings and shopping centres and are monitored by both private security and police. So in practice
the two cities systems have both groaned. I feel like restricted spaces than aren't particularly welcoming to anyone. Besides the downtowns, mostly white, mostly white, collar commuters, in one infamous incident from recent years, the same police stopped and he's a black man Picking up has to children from their sky way connected day care for sitting on a bench in the lobby of an office building. You know they literally like followed him and chased him down through like two different skyways, and he wasn't doing anything and that's the fundamental problem. I want the skyways. Are they for everyone, or are they just for certain people in the city and that fundamental problem hasn't just impacted? The people being kept out because time, as the skyways grew less appealing to anyone who didn't work there. Anyone who didn't work there stop going. in the early nineties, fewer people began, you
in the sky ways to do. We can shopping or enjoy nighttime entertainment, just as building honours became less inclined to attract non workday crowds. So James back from college on school breaks watched as most of the evening oriented attractions that he and his friends had left began to disappear. The many Gough place closed. The pool hall that used to play: cool music that place closed. Then the movie theater shuddered thinks, me. That was just the one ass. If I may, I can't Ozma fear. What can't do that oh and remember that indoor park, the one with the waterfall I also went there. I remember it. Finally, it's now abandoned and the the glass ceiling is leaking. there's a sign. It says no trespass egg and they ve sealed it off with a couple of cones. So it's it's all gone
today, the skyways most they cater to the ninety. Five crowd was shops that close by sex in restaurants that serve only lunch in many up most of the sky, always themselves close by early evening. As for life upon the first four, why slept on the street love? You have your parking ramps smokers bust ups, not much else. To be honest, this might be the ultimate irony of the sky ways. They were never intended to be equitable spaces, but developers had intended for them to save downtown retail. Only the revitalization,
four materialised, because if this guy where's weren't popular enough to keep people down town in the evenings, they were popular enough to keep them away from street level businesses during the day even on Sundays, hundreds of thousands of people would stay inside the skyways and, as more business has moved to the second floor, the streets below through eerily still but the maid nineteen eighties. Ninety percent of Saint Paul Retail, was on the second story, leaving the first floor of the city. Got it and then the Mall of America opened if South Dale Centre was a disaster for the downtowns, the opening of them of America in ninety. Ninety two was like Armageddon. It was one of the largest malls in the world, as of today is the largest in North America, and that attracted consumers and record numbers this time, even Minneapolis is most beloved of fictional care.
is abandoned. The skyways when the muddy ducks too came out the new for featured a scene of the team roller bleeding not through the skyways, but through the mall of Amerika? in front of them all is very own. Indoor rollercoaster between I'm all of America and the moribund streets. A lot of the high and shops in downtown Minneapolis couldn't hold on, and the downtown closures have continued through the nineties. The early two thousands and up to the present Brayton Barrel and pull Ralph Lauren and Sacks Fifth Avenue and Niemann Marcus and they're all gone there all gone. The most recent beg one came in twenties contain one downtown Minneapolis, as last Classic Department Store, Macy's, also close down, which is really a blow
have a downtown without a department store right, you're. Just like one of those oh pillars of a city losing Macy's wasn't especially hard hit because it was housed in the building that had once been Minneapolis Premier Homegrown Department Store Dayton's the store anchored downtown shopping since the early nineteenth hundreds Alice, was so upset by the stores closure that she actually tried to save it. She publicly asked her friend Eric date, whose family had owned the original store if they would buy back the building and turn it into a modern mix of retail and restaurants and Eric Tee Spawn did on Twitter said I will buy the building alley. If you tear down the sky way, tearing down the skyways, isn't something else I can do technically it's up
all the individual property owners who have skyways connecting their buildings in Minneapolis in Saint Paul, it's up to the city government, but in both city the process would be long, hard and bureaucratic, but try telling that to Berlin Dickie we could flood them onto the video aquariums thou the interesting, though things said, unless they removed the twin cities, skyways will continue to wreak havoc on their downtowns I think the skyways harm the most appealing thing about it: downtown, which is its densities, diversity, its connectivity and dear that you can go there and discovered something new and its summit, harder to do any of that with skyways system in place. Meanwhile, there are plenty of bustling neighbourhoods and the twin cities known for their culture, traction and treat life even in winter, proving that medicines will spend time outside in the cold weather is given a chance. They might even so
that time outside. In short, those people are crazy, but for now people like Bill who months it's hair down the sky way system face a steep uphill battle because for all their faults, the skyways remain popular. Very few people agree: me about this. You talk to people who work or live downtown. Minneapolis are just visit from time to time, and everyone loves the skyways, the lonely life a bill indicating have been tried to talk about it for years and years and years and haven't gotten very far with convincing people that their bad for the city. So I not super optimistic about it, I'm very proud, to call, and so my first thought was, I mean, that's not gonna happen. Alison Kaplan doesn't see this guy way being torn down any time soon, but shells
doesn't personally want to see them go? She does have critiques, but, like the overwhelming majority of folks who worked downtown Alison, isn't ready to give up the perennial ease of the sky. Racist let's be honest through the sky way. I can get to my closest coffee place in like two seconds. If I had to go to under the street level. That would take longer. So we just becomes a convenience that people I understand in the bigger picture overall isn't serving as well, but to give up that convenience. Nobody wants to do that, and for some it's not just about can the union's for those with limited mobility. It can be a lot easier to walk in the sky ways than on the icy sidewalks in the winter time. So many people with a disability community advocate more and better access to the skyways instead of tearing them down. But perhaps this go away. Most surprising defender is an architect Saint Paul zone. James Carrot, juice on one hand, there is the issue
let's rule on urban design. Trained architects I d me- that's, I guess technically we're not supposed to like the skyways and technically yes, they syphon activity in life off the street in blah blah blah. But I think there is a ton of potential James knows the skyways, maybe better than anyone he's lived and worked in sky way connected buildings for years. So he knows, are not perfect. He's had a white folks, stop his sons and ask what they're doing there, but, unfortunately he says that's not approve. one, that's limited to the skyways, I mean there could be. We can be in any park and barbecue and have someone do the same thing or I mean it could be anything in this country. In this moment with does. Why James believes that any solution to downtowns problems should involve the sky way system, not get rid of it I would love fur for someone to fill those fill. Those bab was up with with activity
with people with senior citizens were teenagers and rethinking re. Imagine them so. Yes, they might not be the world's best thought out piece of urban planning, but as someone who grew up with the sky, and whose raised kids had been in the sky having their strollers being pushed the skyway or racing each other. Do the skyway literally their entire lives, and they don't know any different. I see what the potential could be, and you know I think the skyways are deserving of love, some love and a second chance due to the awesome again, so whether were stuck with the skyways or some day somehow they come down. It looks like will only benefit if we try some, we ve never really done before design The city for is a city in all its vibrancy variety and splendor.
when we come back from the break, we'll talk about how the segregated or picture of the skyways fits into our present moment of reckoning with police violence and racial injustice stay with us,
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it has a long history of police killings in my home city. So before these recent murders and corresponding uprisings and us Actually, after I wanted to look at how divisive urban designs like the skyways intersect with policing in the twin cities, so I talked to D a bullock. He is a filmmaker and a storyteller community activist and he's a police abolitionist and, HE to Minneapolis ten years ago, and you know I didn't know a lot about Minneapolis prior to a mere visitin once in another prince, but there was a light out like a depth of now it's about Minneapolis and the twin cities in general and equip most people know about the twin That raises is prince, and maybe this guy ways if, if my email and boxes is any indication and in a prince, was part of this
massively influential Minneapolis Sound movement, which was led by a ton of different black musicians, which not everybody talks about as much a lot of people think that the twin cities are really white and homogenous, but that not true Andy. I saw that right away when he moved here. So what struck me first was the. There was great diversity amongst the people, but I didn't see that reflected in the down How are you didn't see the multiple somali restaurants of the multiple among restaurants and those kind of things a touch stones we use when we think about culture, but the lack of diversity and vibrant downtown also has to do with security and policing and not just in the skylight. The problems totally extend to the streets as well so DNA, and I talked about how there's this sort of bogeyman of downtown crime like in a lot of The matter areas, imagination, downtown us a particularly dangerous place to be just walking around and then your politically the dust
always one of the red meat talking points is our down. town, I save, even though the data really does it doesn't backed up at all, like it's been the safest that its ever ban and it's been declining for years and so every instance to their their treating as as norm is really. The exception is the case for a lot of american Citys May stats, don't support the idea of cities and towns being particularly dangerous places at all. Yet absolutely- and I do think, is important to acknowledge that there has been a recent uptake and crime here in the past year, just as we spend a lot of cities and I dont want to minimize the crime that does take place, but up until relatively rich We crime had been on a steady decline for years and years in the twin cities like in twenty eighteen, many types of crime, or at a thirty year low in Minneapolis. It's what you ve been good. People continue to brew
that these are particularly dangerous places. I think it's largely because of how the streets are policed. So that same year that a lot of crime was that a thirty year low, Minneapolis Police Department started cracking down on things like loitering and spitting like loud music and low level, jug possessions, like things that happen all the time that can be very selectively enforced, Right like like a speed trap like they could point to citations and arrests and fines of minor offences and inclined to create this narrative downtown, was unsafe and that these acts We are making it safer right exactly, even though, in the first place there wasn't really a problem that they were trying to dress so sort of in the same way that the debunked idea of broken away
those policing in places like New York City opened the door for really discriminatory, stop and fresh policies. Something similar happened in Minneapolis. So, for example, when this crackdown started, they did a series of almost like stay. To bust people for low level, marijuana possession and forty six out of the forty seven people arrested were black. Oh, my god, I would say that unbelievable buddy is totally believed to me here. I mean that's the painful thing about it. When you had those possession arrest downtown, not only did it give a false impression that crime was rising at the time. It also gave the impression that the people responsible for the supposed runaway crime- where people of color and black folks in particular, are you so four hundred this guy whispered into this picture of how downtown is placed on Indue? Do we see that this guy
something extension of what's happening on the surface streets, we yes, but I also think that the skyways add to the fantasy and fear of imagined, downtown crime because if someone is already afraid of the streets, they can avoid them and they don't have to. Walk on the sidewalks, where they might have conversations and get to know people and have their real life? Experience proves the races, fantasy. Otherwise, and people are worried that they're gonna get mugged on the streets and that's ironic, because one of the things that people in the skyways say is that the streets are to empty to feel safe and it's like well, yes in part, because the skyways have made them that way. So I think never going down to the street reinforces this cycle of honour
the fear which has an even made worse by biased and violent policing. Yes, always like this vicious cycle between the built environment and policing, they make up ass if you pack loop that no one can break out of yeah or like a negative feedback loop like we These segregation, ingrained in our built environment by things like the skyways, as well as things like the red lining that we mentioned in the story and when police forces have been charged in part with safeguarding infrastructure and private pro, pretty. That means there safeguarding that structural racism and that sort of cooperation between urban planning and policing also plays out in another problem with downtown and Minneapolis as urban planning. It's something that day- and I talked about the fact that for dna and his neighbours it still really hard to even get downtown so dear. lives in North Minneapolis, which is where a lot of Minneapolis his black community lives geographically north me
others in downtown Minneapolis are extremely clubs within walking biking, distance close right. So that's one thing that really makes the other thing stand out, which is how difficult it actually is to get downtown ten times more difficult than the actual geographic space. So, like enough, out of other large, like neighborhoods. In the U S, the north side has been cut off from downtown by physical barriers and also really highly polluting barriers like an inner states and an impound lot and a trash incinerator victorious. I didn't really close there. There, no straight shot downtown from the north side, is divided by something exactly these big piece of infrastructure, in my conversation Medea we also talked about something hopeful, which is that people still do It will make their way to downtown Minneapolis because, even though it might be pretty sleepy, people want to be in a downtown
yeah. I remember Jameson something similar like back in the eighties, like his friends as well. To be downtown, no matter how difficult somebody made it. You know they were gonna, be downtown absence Andy AC is the same thing happening today, especially with youth and younger people. I mean you think about it. When you are young, you still found awaited. Do what you wanted to do live if all the action was happening somewhere else, you found a way to get there, and I think is still like that. Of the city's design is. How do we deal with these? Young people? Are these houseless people and in all these kind of things They don't necessarily say explicitly, because often those people are predominantly people of color. So you mentioned that the day is for abolishing the police in Minneapolis, but where does he really land when it causes skyways like an easy like Jane?
Virginia where he thinks that can be reformed or or with built when Turkey, where he thinks they should be filled with water. Internet vulgarians mean that. Does he think that we should be abolished too. You know he didn't have any hard takes on the aquarium, question about the age. Generally speaking is more with bill on this one. He thinks that there are some skyways like in hospitals that could stay up, but he finds arrest troubling, not just from planning perspective, but from symbolic perspective because money came her ten years ago. Another thing you noticed right away was the sky ways, and this is what he had to say about them just physically is such a intimidating. This invitation, like you immediately look up over your head and you see people literally walking above you, that's not just a matter for it s like a real that seems into your psyche of who belongs there and who does it
both the symbolism for almost the entire story. In a nutshell, Leah totally. That is like the whole thesis. So thank you dear. We'll gave me this has been really. I opening thank you so much for bringing us the story, and particularly thank you. you can learn more about Katy Thorntons work, including her original long form, essay about the history of skyways, on Instagram at its Katy Thornton or our webs its Katy Thornton dot com. So we sharing there's an stories of specific skyways, including many apples, is only used sky way which got move. from its original location. To its present a one in a ninety anyone parade led by a vintage rolls Royce, with a jazz ban, plain top them moving structure seriously, you cannot make stuff up Ninety nine percent, invisible was police this week by Katy Thornton edited
I Joe Rosenberg, mixed by Bryson Barnes Music. By showing Rio doing here is our senior preacher, calls that is the digital director. Routine is Emmett Fitzgerald, Katy, mingle, Christopher Johnson, Abbe, modern crisper, Ruby, Vivian, lay Sophia Glasgow and me roman Mars: we are product of many point seven K, L W in San Francisco and produced Radio row which exists all around with America right now, but in its hard will always be in beautiful, downtown oakland. California, we are a part of radio, from Pierre acts of collective of the best most innovative shows in all upon casting discover some and support them all at Radio Tokyo. Not. I am You can find a show in joint discussions about the show on Facebook and Twitter me at Roman Mars and the show at nine IP org on Instagram
two, we are pictures of skyways clips of the mighty ducks and the replacements. I know about the robot one song you can hold onto that. He now I know all about it. It's all and money p, I gotta work
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Transcript generated on 2021-03-17.