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From Intersections to Intersectionality with Lars Christiansen

  • The Vault The Vault at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral 519 Oak Grove St. Minneapolis, Minneapolis (map)

Passion for bicycling can take one on unexpected journeys. What began for Lars as a desire to make it easier to ride bicycles in one's community led to commitments to addressing broader sets of issues and problems through work with Friendly Streets Initiative and the Rondo Land Bridge. From the street in front of your house to communities throughout the Twin Cities, the bicycle is a means of movement, literally and metaphorically. From your riding partners to community partnerships, the bicycle can take you there. Come hear the story of one such journey. In addition to numerous bike-related civic commitments, Lars is chair of the Sociology Department at Augsburg College and has travelled internationally and throughout the U.S. studying urban infrastructure and biking.

Lars was Director of the Friendly Streets Initiative (FSI) since its creation in 2009 to 2016.  FSI began when he and six other residents of Frogtown and Hamline-Midway led an effort to involve the public in the planning process of Charles Avenue. Thanks to a community effort, Charles Avenue is now the most developed bicycle and pedestrian boulevard in Saint Paul (and more remains to be constructed).  Since then FSI has worked with multiple communities in St. Paul to vision and advocate for improvements to public spaces. Currently Lars is working on the Rondo Land Bridge project, which grew out of FSI's "Better Bridges for Stronger Communities" project.  With Mr. Marvin Anderson and Mr. Melvin Giles, he is currently forming ReConnectRondo, an organization whose sole purpose is to see the Rondo Land Bridge become a reality to serve community needs and interests. At Augsburg College Lars is Chair of the Department of Sociology, is a member of Urban Studies faculty, and is Senior Fellow of the Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship.  Lars’ teaching and scholarship focuses on urban resilience and sustainability, urban planning and public engagement, transportation systems, the philosophical tradition of American Pragmatism, innovative and alternative liberal arts education, social movements, and research methods. As a resident of Saint Paul, Lars is a member of the Hamline-Midway Coalition, serving on its Transportation Committee. He serves on the board of directors of Cycles 4 Changeand is a member of the League of American Bicyclists and Adventure Cycling Association.  Lars previously served on the boards of the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA) (2009-2012), Nice Ride Minnesota (2009-2012), Saint Paul Smart Trips (2010-2012), and Transit for Livable Communities (2013-2016). Lars enjoys bicycle touring and mountain centuries, and commutes by bicycle in the Twin Cities year-round. As a former musician and now merely a discerning fan, he can’t seem to get enough of The Bad Plus, Self-Evident, Igor Stravinsky, Bela Bartok, Deftones, Living Colour, Radiohead, John Coltrane, Dave Holland, Ella Fitzgerald, Jane’s Addiction, John Zorn & Electric Masada, Soundgarden, Nirvana, Frank Zappa, Primus, Deftones, System of a Down, Tool, Tortoise, Traindodge, and (the) Melvins

After the talk, join us in The Vault to view our collection and connect with fellow cycling enthusiasts.  The Vault and talks are at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, 519 Oak St., Minneapolis. Enter via the blue “Welcome” awning on the east side of the church. Free parking available by the entrance. Light refreshments will be available after the talk.

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