Envisioning a More Connected Twin Cities

Lake Street, a major east-west thoroughfare in Minneapolis, Minnesota might be most well known nationally as a central site of unrest following the murder of George Floyd in 2020. Locally, the corridor is known for its connectivity to a number of innovative projects designed to further racial equity, preserve cultural identity, and generate local economic growth. One such project is the ten-acre New Nicollet Redevelopment site located in South Minneapolis which has the potential to link an underserved area to proximate amenities such as the Midtown Greenway, new Bus Rapid Transit lines, and the successful Eat Street project. 

The 2024 American Planning Association’s Annual Student Planning and Design Competition sought proposals for the New Nicollet Redevelopment site, building upon data from the City of Minneapolis’ planning studies and objectives to envision a holistic, realizable site plan. In March 2024, three graduate student teams, including an MIT team, were selected as finalists in the competition. The MIT team’s proposal, enTwine, is inspired by the interconnectivity of the Twin Cities and advocates for a space that connects multimodal mobility networks, re-introduces nature to a primarily hardscape environment, and centers organic cross-community building through design.

“Our team is proud to represent MIT at the APA’s National Planning Conference as we advance a proposal that leverages the site’s assets to prioritize housing affordability, community wealth building, and street vitality in a transit-oriented district,” says Mikel Berra Sandin, a master of city planning student at DUSP and member of the finalist team. “Our team of designers, policymakers, and planners worked together to envision a people-centered development framework that aims to better connect the site to nature, transportation, and a vibrant future while combating displacement pressures in the broader community.”

In addition to Berra Sandin, team members include Sofia Chiappero, Zak Davidson, Hannah Leung, and Cale Wagner. They will present their proposal on April 15 at the 2024 National Planning Conference (NPC24) in Minneapolis, MN.


Learn more about the competition 

Review the enTwine proposal