University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

The City, the River, the Bridge: Thursday, October 9 and Friday, October 10, 2008

October 9, 2008IASEvents, Video and Audio0

Cosponsored by the Institute on the Environment, the University Metropolitan Consortium, and the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost

The rebuilt I-35W/St. Anthony Falls bridge was completed just a couple of weeks ago, but the tasks of rebuilding after the disaster of August 1, 2007 are not complete. News reports indicate continued debate over issues associated with public infrastructure. Victims and their families continue to deal with the aftermath. Businesses in that area of town continue to adjust to new traffic patterns. Recreational users of the riverfront continue to have to work around the crash site, as trails and parkways are not yet stitched together.

As planners, politicians, and the public begin to envision life after the new bridge, it is an appropriate time for the University of Minnesota to convene a public discussion on that aftermath: What lessons have been learned from the disaster and the response? What policy and planning changes have occurred, or are likely to occur? What are likely to be the long-term consequences for the City? For its relationship with the Mississippi River? In ten years, what will we see as opportunities from this effort that we’re glad we took, or, alternately, that we’ll wish we’d taken?


Thursday, October 9

4:00-5:00 p.m. “Memory, Place, Identity: Conversation Arising from the Bridge Collapse” – Opening discussion with Yasmeen Arif and Brian Horrigan
125 Nolte Center
Thursdays at Four presentation

7:30 p.m.: “Life on the Upper Mississippi” – Patricia Hampl and Dan Chouinard
Ted Mann Auditorium

Friday, October 10

1-108 Hanson Hall (General Mills classroom)

8:15-8:30 a.m. Welcome – E. Thomas Sullivan

8:30-10 a.m. “Rethinking the City” – Judith Martin, Roger Miller and Tom Fisher; comment by Steve Berg

Question and Answer

10:15-11:45 a.m. “The River” – John Anfinson, Pat Nunnally, and Deb Swackhamer; comment by Paul Labovitz

Question and Answer

Lunch – please register at 626-5054 or
12-1:15 p.m. “Rebuilding Urban Places After Disaster” – Eugenie Birch
Lunch presentation is in the Carlson Dining Center, L-150 Carlson School of Management (lower level)

1:30-3 p.m. “Civil Society” – Heather Dorsey, Cathy French, Andrew Furco, and Mark Pedelty; comment by Annette Atkins

3-3:15 p.m. Capstone Comment by Robert Bruininks

Symposium Participants

John Anfinson is Historian and Cultural Resources Specialist, for the National Park Service, Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. Previously he was District Historian for the St. Paul District of the Army Corps of Engineers.

Yasmeen Arif will be in residence at the IAS in Spring of 2009 in the spring semester as a Quadrant Fellow with the Global Cultures Group to work on her project, “Afterlife: Recovering Life After Catastrophe.” She is currently a visiting lecturer in the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change.

Annette Atkins is a professor of history at St. Benedict’s College of St. John’s University. She is recently the author of Creating Minnesota: A History from the Inside Out (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2007), is a new history of the state as well as a rethinking of what state history is and ought to be.

Steve Berg writes Cityscape for He sharpened his interest in urban design and metropolitan affairs as an editorial writer for the Star Tribune. His 31 years at the paper also included more than a decade covering politics from its Washington Bureau and five years as the newspaper’s National Correspondent.

Eugenie Birch is co-director of the Penn Institute for Urban Research and Lawrence C. Nussdorf Professor of Urban Research and Education at the University of Pennsylvania.

Robert Bruininks is President of the University of Minnesota.

Dan Chouinard, a Minneapolis native, is a pianist, accordionist and occasional storyteller. He regularly creates special programs for Minnesota Public Radio which blend storytelling, interview and music. He is also called on to work the occasional “A Prairie Home Companion” show with Garrison Keillor.

Heather Dorsey is a professor in the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning in College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota.

Tom Fisher is Dean of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota.

Catherine French is a professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Minnesota.

Andrew Furco is Associate Vice President for Public Engagement at the University of Minnesota.

Patricia Hampl is Regents Professor and McKnight Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Minnesota. Her fiction, poems, reviews, essays and travel pieces have appeared in many publications, including The New YorkerParis ReviewThe New York TimesThe Los Angeles Times, Best American Short Storiesand Best American Essays.

Brian Horrigan is an author and exhibit curator at the Minnesota Historical Society and an instructor for the Department of History at Hamline University.

Paul Labovitz is the superintendent of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, established by Congress in 1988 as a 72-mile stretch of Mississippi River from Ramsey and Dayton in the north to just south of Hastings.

Judith Martin is a professor of Geography, director of the Urban Studies program, and co-director of the University Metropolitan Consortium at the University of Minnesota.

Roger Miller is a professor of Geography at the University of Minnesota.

Pat Nunnally directs the Telling River Stories Collaborative and coordinates the River Life Program at the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota.

Mark Pedelty is a professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Minnesota.

E. Thomas Sullivan is Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost of the University of Minnesota.

Deb Swackhamer is co-Director of the Water Resources Center and professor of Environmental Chemistry at the University of Minnesota.

Anfinson, Nunnally, and Swackhamer have also been interviewed by the Bat of Minerva.

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