Top Eleven Planning Lessons from Lisbon, Portugal


Below are my top eleven (11) planning lessons from a delightful week-long trip to Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal in late September. Many more could be added this list, but for brevity’s sake we’ll stay with these eleven (11) for now. They are not presented in any order of importance other than the first lesson listed. Obrigado!

  • Outstanding urban design can take place after a cataclysmic disaster and also serve to lift a city’s collective psyche and self worth.
  • Sidewalks inlaid with artistic patterns are very inspirational and a terrific placemaking feature.
  • Contrasting urban forms within the same city can work very well in unison.
  • When pedestrians are treated like royalty, cities teem with life.
  • A complex multi-modal and interconnected transportation system can be both efficient and effective.
  • Narrower streets are safer streets.
  • A glorious topographic setting is hard to beat.
  • Maintaining classic forms of transit such as trams, urban elevators, and funiculars offers a rich variety of transportation options, as well as greater public sentimentality and support.
  • Diversity and inclusiveness are the secret sauces that allows innovation to flourish.
  • Cuisine/food is an art form that can symbolize a city or country just as much as the visual or performing arts.
  • Lisbon is living proof that the historic and the modern can coexist in harmony without the modern overpowering the historic.
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Posted in Active transportation, adaptive reuse, architecture, art, cities, civics, civility, Cuisine, culture, diversity, downtown, entertainment, entrepreneurship, environment, Europe, Food, fun, geography, Geology, historic preservation, history, humanity, inclusiveness, land use, music, nature, pictures, placemaking, planning, Portugal, revitalization, spatial design, topography, tourism, transit, transportation, Travel, urban planning, zoning | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Beauty of the Contrasting-Chaotic City Form


Lisbon’s Praca do Comercio from the Tejo (Tagus) River

As urban planners we have a tendency to emphasize the importance and efficiency of the traditional grid street pattern. Compared to the disconnected neighborhoods and subdivisions constructed over the past 75 years, the traditional street grid is far and away the most effective and efficient form of city layout, allowing traffic to be dispersed more uniformly and quickly, while also providing non-motorized refuges from congestion and clutter. But, in our adoption of the grid pattern and the choice du jour, are we overly restricting ourselves in an all-or-nothing quest for an efficient form? And in doing so, are we relegating the modern city to a boring and uninspiring future?

I wish to make the argument that the traditional urban grid pattern alone may not be the best city form, but instead a hybridized design incorporating the regimented grid and a whimsical and/or chaotic intersecting street pattern is a better form. In making this assertion, I would like to point to two (2) classic cities who have successfully developed in such a contrasting manner – Lisbon, Portugal and Edinburgh, Scotland.

Lisbon (Lisboa):

For Lisbon, Portugal it was a cataclysmic natural disaster that led to its hybridized street pattern. In 1755, an estimated 8.5-9.5 earthquake shattered the city on November 1st (All Saints Day). The date is significant because many residents were in church at the time and there were candles lit throughout – the earthquake led to many fires throughout the damaged or destroyed many parts of the city. If these two (2) disasters weren’t enough, they were followed by a tsunami which inundated and devastated many of the lower-lying portions of Lisbon. Only the hilly neighborhoods, like the Alfama and Bairro Alta, with their winding, narrow streets, were left largely unscathed by the tsunami. The staggering estimates of casualties in Lisbon range from 10,000 to 90,000 dead.

Centro Lisboa’s varied topography – Source: lisboa.topographia.jpg

Following this triple catastrophe, the lower-lying areas of the central city situated between the hills were rebuilt in a grid pattern. Today, the mix of old and new urban patterns is simply breathtaking. One cannot adequately describe the sense of awe instilled by Lisbon when visiting the city, as I did late last month. As an urban planner, I have never been more impressed by a city and among those key features that impressed me most were the contrasting city forms found between the lower city and hilly districts.

Santos’ Pombaline Plan for Centro Lisbon, Portugal – Source: commons.wikimedia.org

Neighborhoods felt like real neighborhoods, where each has its own unique flavor, identity, and composition. The pedestrian is paramount, as the narrow, hilly, and winding streets of the old city naturally slow vehicles down. Stairways, elevators, electric trams, and funiculars enhance the sense of a place for people. You see people chatting, socializing, or just going about their daily business throughout.

National Theater in the Baixa district’s Rossio Square

Even in the busy central business district and along commercial corridors, the pedestrian is treated with respect, as a number of streets/lanes are vehicle-free, filled with shops, outdoor restaurants, and performing artists. The patterned ceramic and intricately stone-laid sidewalks are wide, busy, and jaw-dropping. For vehicular traffic, the speed limits are kept low, while the varied mix of vehicles contributes to the lower speeds.

Tram 28 winding through Lisbon’s Alfama district

Furthermore, the chaotic street pattern of the old districts creates unique and unparalleled vistas, fun and whimsical building designs, shaded courtyards, hidden gardens, and a true sense of place on the micro-level. The more regimented pattern of the post-1755 Lisbon city design found in the Centro district of Baixa (Lower Town) and parts of Chiado not only allows for commerce, but also great placemaking on a grandiose scale with plazas, squares, patterned pavements, boulevards, monuments, public edifices, elegant Pombaline-style architecture, and other public gathering spaces.

The magnificent Elevador de Santa Justa (1902)

Knitting together the chaotic contrasting forms of Lisbon is an amazing array of public and private transit options, including its underground Metro subway, commuter rail, electric trams, buses, taxis, tuk-tuks, bike-sharing, stairways, ferries, funiculars, and outdoor urban elevators. And it all works!

Edinburgh:

In Edinburgh, the mix of city forms didn’t arise from a disaster, but from the desire to relieve overcrowding in Old Town and to modernize the city. As a result, when you visit Edinburgh, as I did in 2009, you soon become aware of the differences between Old Town and New Town. One would not think they would compliment each other, but the dichotomy works, and works well – so well, in fact that New Town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.

While Edinburgh doesn’t have quite the variety of public/private transportation options that Lisbon enjoys, the contrast between the efficient grid pattern of New Town and the intersecting and interconnecting chaos of Old Town creates many of the same benefits for residents and visitors alike. Here again, the pedestrian is treated as royalty rather than a nuisance.

Central Edinburgh, Scotland – Source: en.wikipedia.org

Elsewhere:

There are certainly other examples of cities around the world with contrasting forms that mix chaos with regimentation. Here in the United States, probably the closest example for a large city is Pittsburgh. Other cities here contain aspects of chaos, but not enough to instill the sense of wonder and awe shared by Lisbon and Edinburgh.

1859 map of Pittsburgh – Source: mapsofpa.com

One recommendation I would like to emphasize is if your city is fortunate enough to have an area, neighborhood, or district that is laid out in an intersecting, yet whimsical or seemingly chaotic manner, preserve it at all cost. This area, neighborhood, or district can be the focal point of great urban planning, as its uniqueness can serve as the vanguard of great things to come.

Ralston’s Plan for Indianapolis – Source: historicindianapolis.com

My birthplace of Indianapolis had a certain amount chaotic whimsy when Alexander Ralston laid out the diagonal streets in the original Mile Square. Sadly, one (1) of these four (4) street corridors has been largely lost by mega-projects (Lucas Oil Stadium and the Convention Center). But, the other three (3) corridors that largely remain intact with Massachusetts Avenue (Mass Ave) and Virginia Avenue seeing some of the best and brightest revitalization efforts in the city.

Woodward’s 1807 Plan for Detroit – Source: detroiturbanism.blogspot.com

One reason I love Woodward’s inspired plan for downtown Detroit is the arcing/radiating streets that allow today’s remnants to provide unique opportunities for vistas and building designs. Similar to Lisbon, the plan resulted from a disaster – the 1805 Fire. Likewise, but on a smaller scale, the chaotic placement of Monroe Street and Lewis Street at a 45 degree angle to much of the city’s street overall pattern makes downtown Grand Rapids so much more fun than 90 degree angles every at block.

Conclusion:

Too often when I look at maps of modern North American cities, they are simply a surveyor’s dream of Utopia, with nothing but square blocks for as far as the eye can see. Phoenix, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, and Oklahoma City are all fine examples. But where’s the whimsy in that? Where’s the fun? The inspiration? The desire to create a human-friendly land form?

The gridiron city form of Phoenix – Source: amazon.com

That’s why I strongly believe that a contrasting-chaotic city land form is the best compromise between free-form (chaos) and function (regimentation). The era of the cul-de-sac, the gated community, and disconnected neighborhoods should be put to rest, hopefully never to be revived. But, that does not mean cities must be strictly regimented into straight lines and 90 degree angles. The whimsy, fun, and inspiration contained in a chaotic, yet intersecting street pattern lends itself to good urban planning. Mixing these in a contrast of styles and purpose allows a city to grow in a manner that both benefits the needs of the people and those of commerce, without sacrificing one for the other. Far too often in today’s North America, the car is king, when it is the pedestrian who bring life to the city and who should be treated as royalty.

As noted earlier, if your city is fortunate enough to have an area, neighborhood, or district that contains a whimsical or chaotic urban form, preserve it and enhance it at all cost. With nurturing and protection, this can become a focal point for great placemaking; for artistic inspiration; and for enhancing community identification and pride.

Sources:

Posted in books, Cars, Cities, culture, density, downtown, Europe, geography, government, health, historic preservation, history, infrastructure, land use, Maps, North America, pictures, placemaking, planning, Portugal, spatial design, sprawl, topography, tourism, traffic, transit, transportation, Travel, urban planning, zoning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lisboa, Glorious Lisboa


Posted in air travel, architecture, art, bridges, Cities, commerce, culture, downtown, entertainment, Europe, fun, geography, historic preservation, history, humanity, inclusiveness, infrastructure, land use, landscape architecture, pictures, placemaking, planning, Portugal, rail, sailing, skylines, spatial design, topography, tourism, transit, Transportation, Travel, Uncategorized, urban planning, walking | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Images of Art Prize 2018 in Grand Rapids


Some of the approximately 1,200 works of art currently on display in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Posted in art, Cities, Communications, culture, diversity, downtown, entertainment, fun, inclusiveness, Music, pictures, placemaking, planning, tourism, Travel | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Thank you, METRIC for a Rock n’ Roll Masterpiece


Source: stereogum.com

Every once in a while you hear an album that completely knocks your socks off the very first time your listen to it. Today was one of those days.

NPR was kind enough to provide a “First Listen” to METRIC’s seventh album entitled Art of Doubt on its website. I ordered the album several weeks ago and have been eagerly anticipating its arrival.

Source: ilovemetric.com

First of all, thank you to both METRIC and NPR for providing this sneak peek into the new album that’s being formally released on September 21st. Second – thank you METRIC for sharing 12 top-notch songs – a full album like the days of yore (the 1970s). There’s no filler whatsoever in this album – it will knock your socks off from the first note until the last. If fact, the album gets stronger with each tune. Art of Doubt is outstanding – and if it doesn’t win Album of the Year, I will forever refuse watch the Grammy’s!

Source: dosd.com

METRIC had already released three (3) of the songs from Art of Doubt as singles and all three (Dark Saturday; Dressed to Suppress; and Now or Never Now) hinted at the greatest to come, but nothing prepared me for how breathtakingly gorgeous and fulfilling this album would be. It instantly became my favorite METRIC album to date and far surpasses anything else released by any other artist this year.

My personal favorite songs on the album after a few listens are the following tunes (listed in alphabetical order):

  • Anticipate – Emily’s gorgeous voice is in full command
  • Art of Doubt – reminds one of the band’s early music
  • Dark Saturday – check out their fun acoustic in park performance of this
  • Die Happy – in this dystopia…
  • Dressed to Suppress – one awesome song and video
  • Holding Out – hypnotic guitars, drums, and vocals
  • No Lights on the Horizon – what a terrific concluding track!
  • Now or Never Now – so heartfelt and introspective
  • Risk
  • Seven Rules – a beautiful song
  • Underline the Black – Jimmy and Joules are rock’n the house

I first became a fan of METRIC when I heard Gold Guns Girls being played on MSU’s student radio station. Since then, they have consistently moved up my personal favorite musician(s) chart to become #1, particularly after seeing them rock the Fillmore in Detroit back in 2012. The band has been together now for 20 years, providing some of the best guitar-oriented rock n’ roll on the planet, mixed with thought-provoking lyrics, mesmerizing vocals, riveting bass, superior keyboards, and head-banging percussion – exactly what ever rock n’ roll lover craves. But, Art of Doubt goes well beyond that, it literally delves into your heart, your mind, and your soul and touches each of them in a way that few albums do – the music becomes symbiotic with the listener.

Source: ilovemetric.com

I also want to thank Canada for sharing METRIC with us – thank you for METRIC’s endearing gift, from our loving northern neighbor. My sincerest apologies for the orange moron residing in DC – he doesn’t speak for the majority of us, as we love Canada dearly.

Lastly, I want to express my thanks individually to Emily, James (Jimmy), Joshua, and Joules for the magic each of you bring to music and for sharing it with the world. Now, if the National Cherry Festival or the Interlochen Center for the Arts would please bring you to Traverse City for a concert, then Feng shui and Karma would be properly aligned.

Peace and love from Michigan.

Posted in art, Canada, Communications, culture, entertainment, Love, music, pictures, Radio, video, Women | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sunday Regatta


Few things more beautiful than sailboats in full regalia. Here are some photos from today’s regatta on Lake Wawasee, Indiana involving E-Scows and Lightnings.

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Celebrating 100 Years of Airmail Service – The Transcontinental Airfields


Transcontinental Airmail Route – Source: flyelkonevada.com

As a follow up to the first post depicting the airfields that served the New York City to Washington, DC flight corridor, this blogpost celebrates the series or airfields that served as the backbone of early airmail service across the continental United States. It’s amazing how this air corridor essential follows the same path as Interstate 80, which was built 30-40 years later.

While some of these airfields have faded into development oblivion, others still serve as the primary air transportation hub of the community. Here’s the list presented geographically from east to west:

New York City, NY

Hadley Field at night – Source: time.com

Bellefonte, PA

Bellefonte Air Field I at night – Source: bellefontearts.org

  • Bellefonte Air Mail Field I (see photo above) – from December 18, 1918 to 1925. Now the site of Bellefonte High School.
  • Bellefonte Air Mail Field II – from 1925 to September 1, 1927. Now farmland.

Cleveland, OH

  • Woodland Hills Park – from 1918 to 1920.
  • Glenn L. Martin Field (see photo below) – from September 8, 1920 to 1925. Later became Great Lakes Aircraft Corporation Field. Closed in 1937.
  • Hopkins Airport – from 1925 to September 1, 1927. Still in operation as Hopkins International Airport.

Glenn Martin Field – Source: dmairfield.com

Bryan, OH

Bryan’s Air Mail Field Marker – Source: hmgb.org

  • Air Mail Field I (see photos above and below) – from July 1, 1919 to July 1, 1924.  Situated on the 150 acre Willett Farm.  Remains a field today, but not for air service. The hanger remained for many years, but sadly has since been demolished instead of restored. Would have been an awesome place for a museum – instead it will be located to the Southwest in Fort Wayne, IN.
  • Air Mail Field II – from July 1, 1924 to May 1926. Located 1.5 miles north of the first site. Served as an emergency stop until September 1, 1927.

Bryan Air Mail Field I – Source: hmdb.org.

Chicago, IL

  • Grant Park – from 1919 to 1920. Moved inland for better flying conditions.
  • Checkerboard Field (Maywood, IL) – from 1920 to 1923. Operations moved across the street to Maywood Field.
  • Maywood Field (Maywood, IL) – from 1923 to September 1, 1927. Served as the primary maintenance facility too. Eventually was renamed Hines Field for the adjacent VA Hospital and closed sometime between 1937 and 1942. Now the site of Miller Meadows.

Map showing Checkerboard and Maywood Air Fields – Source: amazonaws.com

Iowa City, IA

Iowa City (Smith airfield) at night – Source: historyicpl.org

  • Smith Airfield (see photo above) – from January 8, 1920 to July 1, 1927. Airmail service between San Francisco and Chicago was taken over by privately operated Boeing Air Transport. Opened in 1918 and is the oldest municipal airport west of the Mississippi River. The airport remains in operation today as Iowa City Municipal Airport.

Omaha, NE

Omaha/Ak-Sar-Ben Field – Source: airfields-freeman.com

  • Ak-Sar-Ben Field (see photo above) – from May 15, 1920 to June 22, 1924. Wasn’t suitable for night flying. Site was destroyed by a tornado 10 days prior to moving to Fort Crook. Eventually absorbed by the adjacent race track. Today, neither the airfield nor the race track exist.
  • Offutt Airfield – from July 1, 1924 to July 1, 1927. Now Offutt Air Force Base.

North Platte, NE

North Platte Field – Source: airmailfield.com

  • North Platte Field (see photo above) – from 1921 – July 1, 1927. Constructed with private funds in 1921 to serve the Air Mail Service and bought by the city in 1929. Still in operation today as North Platte Regional Airport. In February 1923, the airport became the first electrically lighted airport in the United States.

Cheyenne, WY

Cheyenne Airfield in the 1920s – Source: findery.com

  • Cheyenne Airfield (see photo above) – from September 8, 1920 to July 1, 1927. Now serves as Cheyenne Regional Airport.

Rock Springs, WY

Rock Springs Airport – Source: flickr.com

  • Rock Springs Municipal Airport (see photo above) – from September 8, 1920 to July 1, 1927. Opened in September 1920 – closed in 1942 after a new airport was built. It became the site of the Sweetwater County Fairgrounds.

Salt Lake City, UT

  • Buena Vista Field – from September 8, 1920 to December 20, 1920.
  • Woodward Field (see photo below) – from December 21, 1920 to July 1, 1927. Originally 106 acres in size. Now Salt Lake City International Airport.

Woodward Field – Source: archives.sltrib.com

Elko, NV

  • Elko Airport(see photo below) – from September 8, 1920 to July 1, 1927. Begun on a open patch at the Elko Stockyards. Still in operation as Elko Regional Airport.

Elko Airport – Source: airspacemag.com

Reno, NV

  • Reno Air Mail Field (see photo below) – from September 8, 1921 to July 1, 1927. Renamed Blanch Field in 1924 in honor of a dead pilot. Replaced by Hubbard Field to the east, which is now Reno-Sparks International Airport. Blanch Field closed in the early 1930s and became part of Washoe County Golf Course in 1935.

Reno Air Mail Field – Source: airfields-freeman.com

San Francisco, CA

Source: airfields-freeman.com

  • Marina Air Field (see photo above) – from September 9, 1920 to February 1921. Located just east of Crissy Field. Now an urban greenspace/helicopter landing area known as Marina Green.
  • Crissy Field (see photo below) – from February 1921 to July 1, 1927. Was used as an intelligence language school during WWII. The site is now part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Crissy Field in 1921 (Marina Air Field is visible on the left edge of the photo) – Source: en.wikipedia.org

If this topic fascinates you as much as it does me, here are visual links to a couple of books about the dawn of airmail service that are available on Amazon*.

           

* A small commission is earned by us from purchases that are made using this visual link to Amazon.

Sources: 

Posted in aerospace, air travel, airport planning, airports, aviation, cities, commerce, Communications, economic development, geography, historic preservation, history, land use, logistics, Maps, placemaking, planning, transportation, Travel | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Front Grills That Can Kill


Source: carid.com

A sadly growing trend in American transportation has been an increase in pedestrian and bicyclist deaths. There are several reasons for this, but one that is not mentioned as often as it should be is the increased size and altered shape of passenger vehicles on the road, whether they be SUVs or pickup trucks. Instead of a lower-profile front grill and bumper extending out at the bottom, many of high-profile vehicles now feature a flat, boxy front.

“A new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that between 2009 and 2016, pedestrian fatalities increased in nearly every circumstance examined. But among all types of vehicles, SUVs had the biggest spike in single-vehicle fatal pedestrian crashes [+81 percent], and crashes were increasingly likely to involve high-horsepower vehicles.”

SOURCE: https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/05/14/611116451/fatal-pedestrian-crashes-increasingly-involve-suvs-study-finds

Source: americantrucks.com

With a higher profile, SUVs and pickup trucks strike a pedestrian or cyclist at a higher point on their body than past vehicles did. Plus, research has found that the flatter front end design of such vehicles pushes the victim underneath rather than over the top of the hood. Instead of being hit in the legs or waist, a high front profile truck or SUV now hits people between the chest neck level and it is more likely to run over them after they’ve been shoved beneath it. This is much more dangerous and deadly to a pedestrian or cyclist. Add on rugged grill guards, oversized tires, or similar aftermarket features and the risk of death or serious injury is to a pedestrian or cyclist compounded.

Source: bumper only.com

Ford recently announced that it was phasing out all sedans and solely focusing on pickup trucks, SUVs, and the Mustang. Furthermore, the Trump Administration has announced plans to roll-back fuel-efficiency standards.  Both these actions will likely lead to more high profile, less fuel efficient vehicles on the road. An obvious result, as noted above and below, will be more fatalities and serious injuries when these road bullies collide with pedestrians and bicyclists.

“In 2015, researchers at the University of Michigan determined that pedestrians are more than three times as likely to be killed when struck by an SUV than when struck by a regular passenger vehicle. The critical design factor is the high, blocky front end, which pushes people below the wheels instead of over the hood.”

SOURCE: https://usa.streetsblog.org/2017/10/19/we-know-suv-design-kills-pedestrians-but-we-still-let-carmakers-sell-them/

If super-sizing vehicles is going to be the norm ( Trucks and SUVs now make up 67 percent of the U.S. auto market, according to Automobile magazine.), then planners, engineers, politicos, and safety experts better start contemplating better ways to make those of us who walk or bike safer, whether it be protected bike lanes, slower speed limits in urban environments (see the benefits in the chart below), more sidewalks and signalized crosswalks, or applying a greater legal burden and media pressure on drivers and vehicle manufacturers. Increasing carnage on the roads is not an acceptable scenario!

Here’s a visual link to a book about SUVs that available on Amazon*.

* A small commission is earned by us from purchases that are made using this visual link to Amazon.
Posted in Active transportation, Advocacy, Alternative transportation, bicycling, Biking, cities, civics, consumerism, deregulation, government, health, Health care, hiking, history, human rights, humanity, planning, politics, recreation, Statistics, transportation, walking | Tagged | Leave a comment

Celebrating 100 Years of Airmail Service – The First Airfields


In 1918 the Post Office Department (now United States Postal Service) initiated airmail service between Washington, DC and New York City with a stop in Philadelphia – Service began on May 15, 1918 using Army pilots, but was fully taken over by the Post Office with its own pilots on August 12, 1918.

This effort was begun to demonstrate the viability of such a service to potential private operators. Despite the inherent dangers of early aviation, many brave and heroic pilots took up the challenge, first along this East Coast Route, then from New York City to Chicago in September 1918, and two years later across the full width of the nation to/from San Francisco. The plan eventually succeeded, as private contractors began flying airmail in 1926 and fully took over the service in September of 1927.

In celebration of this anniversary and in honor of those folks who both risked and lost their lives during the formative stages of airmail service in the United States, this blogpost provides information on the first airfields that were used at the dawn of airmail service. As can be seen, several are hardly what one would consider an airfield – a polo ground and a horse racing track.

A followup post will provide data on the airfields used for the transcontinental airmail service that began shortly afterwards. Peace!

Washington, DC

Airmail flight landing at Potomac Polo Grounds – Source: historynet.com

Philadelphia, PA

Source: 1stairmail.com

  • Bustleton Field – Served the Airmail Service from May 15, 1918 to May 31, 1921 – 130 acres. Renamed William Penn Field in 1928 and was only 80 acres then. Renamed Boulevard Airport in 1934 and closed on October 4, 1951.

Source: nephillyhistory.com

New York City, NY/NJ

Airmail flight at Belmont Park – Source: mavericksofthesky.com

  • Belmont Park Racetrack – Served the Airmail Service from May 15, 1918 to December 1919.
  • Hazelhurst Field – Mineola, New York – Served the Airmail Service from December 19191 to December 24, 1924. Renamed Curtiss Field in 1920 and later merged into Roosevelt Field in 1929, which eventually closed on May 31, 1951.

Source: enwikipedia.org

If this topic fascinates you as much as it does me, here’s a visual link to my personal favorite book on the airmail service that’s available on Amazon* – “Mavericks of the Sky.”

* A small commission is earned by us from purchases that are made using this visual link to Amazon.

SOURCES:

Posted in aerospace, air travel, airport planning, airports, aviation, cities, commerce, Communications, economic development, geography, historic preservation, history, infrastructure, Maps, planning, politics, transportation | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ten Best and Worst City/Town Slogans


Source: kygl.com

Here’s a fun list of the ten (10) best and ten (10) worst city or town slogans from across the United States. If you think there are better or worse ones, please send them along and we will judge them against these current leaders.

Ten Best

  1. Texarkana, TX/AR – “Twice as Nice”  – Short, memorable, and to the point considering it’s a twin city split by a state line
  2. Metter, GA – “Everything’s Better in Metter” – Very catchy
  3. Knox, IN – “Where opportunity knocks” – Punny and perfect for economic development
  4. Dubuque, IA – “Masterpiece on the Mississippi” – Also memorable
  5. Loveland, OH – “Sweetheart of Ohio”  – Good play on Ohio being the heart of it all
  6. Hershey, PA – “The Sweetest Place on Earth” – Self-explanatory, tho may be getting a tad dated
  7. Talent, OR – “Our Name Speaks For Itself” – Logical and cute
  8. Gas, KS  – “Don’t pass Gas, stop and enjoy it” – Very cute and funny
  9. Ault, CO – “A Unique Little Town” – Innovative
  10. Glendive, MT – “Good People Surrounded by Badlands” – Nice contrast

Source: yelp.com

 Ten Worst
  1. Fruita, CO – “Home of Mike the Headless Chicken” – yuck!
  2. Nederland, CO – “Home of the Frozen Dead Guy” – double yuck!
  3. Algona, IA – “Home of the World’s Largest Cheeto” – We thought Trump was from New York City?
  4. Beaver, OK – “Cow Chip Capital of the World” – Did we say yuck already?
  5. Cedar Bluff, AL – “The Crappie Capital of the World.” – Kinda says it all and yes we know its spelled differently.
  6. Fernandina Beach, FL and Venice, FL – Shark’s Tooth Capital of the World – a) both can’t be, and b) provided it’s not stuck in your leg.
  7. Bellingham, WA – “City of Subdued Excitement” – Well, ain’t that just blah.
  8. Anniston, AL – “The Model City” – Is this to honor Jennifer Anniston for having the same name?
  9. Cuba City, WI – “The City of Presidents” – Huh? Not a single President is from here.
  10. Mt. Horeb, WI – “The Troll Capital” – Not the best nickname for the internet age.

Sources: 

Posted in branding, business, cities, civics, Communications, fun, history, marketing, place names, placemaking, psychology, Social media, tourism, Travel, Welcome | Tagged | Leave a comment