Image used under Flickr CCLi. Photo by Flickr User mulad.
Minneapolis is famous for its skyways and it is assumed by most that these were created to help pedestrians avoid the cold weather.
However, the designers may have had other reasons for creating the skyways of Minneapolis.
According to tcsidewalks planners in 1940s and 50s saw the skyways as a way of maximizing the use of urban space for both people and automobiles. And, the business owners saw the skyways as an opportunity to double the amount of valuable retail space in their downtown buildings.
Personally I am not a big fan of private commercial spaces masquerading as public ones. The skyways–even though they appear as a public space, are clearly not. Hence, numerous restrictions apply–such as the right to assembly or picket, that would otherwise be available to all in a public space.
See more here on the history of the skyways of Minneapolis.