My sincere thanks to Kristi Jensen at the University of Minnesota Libraries, for her interest, optimism, and encouragement, and for taking a 100-page rough draft written in eight weeks and making it into a terrific looking book in just six.
Thanks also to Carissa Slotterback, Associate Dean of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, for indulging me by allowing me to teach a new course on the subject of the urban public realm. I also want to thank the thirteen students who were brave enough to sign up for the class the first year that I taught it, in 2018. It was a grand experiment and I think we all agreed in the end that it was both fun and worthwhile. My sincere thanks to Todd Austin, Mary Cutrufello, Katherine Dekrey, Muna El-Taha, Lusine Ghushchyan, PeggySue Imihy, Kowsar Mohamed, Katriona Molasky, Megan Reineccius, Kathleen Russell, Leoma Van Dort, Aaron Westling, and Ally de Alcuaz. I dedicate this book to them, and to all of my future students, who I hope will read it.
Last but not least, I want to thank Minneapolis City Council Member Lisa Goodman for introducing me to Chuck Lutz, the Deputy Director of the Minneapolis Department of Community Planning and Economic Development. Chuck hired me to work on the revitalization of Peavey Plaza in 2011 and that project led to many other great opportunities to help rebuild the urban public realm in Downtown Minneapolis. This book would not have been possible without that first opportunity and all of the projects and learning that flowed from it.