Last week, I hosted a series of walking tours in Edina, MN, which were recorded via Facebook live-stream. You can watch the first and second videos here.

The part of my Edina tour that I was not prepared for was the Grandview area. This was a suburban retrofit with all of the challenges and struggles other cities are facing.

Everyone was thoughtful and friendly, but that didn't keep us -- perhaps just me -- from starting out on the wrong intellectual foot. I might have been too hung up on the have-site-need-use mentality in my reaction. I was perhaps unable to see their vision, but as the tour moved on I started to see why the place was worthy of our time. They helped me to see the potential.

That isn't to say this stuff will be easy, even for an affluent suburb like Edina. What the happy renderings don't often express is that suburban retrofit is hard work. It's not just changing a place physically, it's changing a mentality. That's scary for people and so it takes real leadership to even start the conversation. If anyone can do it, these people can.

I really like the way this one ended, so stick with it.

(Top image from City of Edina)

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