Category Archives: topography

“Bu-tte-ful” Town Names


Below is a list of cities, towns, villages, hamlets, and census-designated places in the United States and Canada that are named for one of my favorite geographic/geologic landforms – the butte  (okay, quit snickering). The photo above aptly shows the … Continue reading

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Should Struggling Cities Be Renamed?


Everyone loves a good comeback story like is currently happening in Detroit. However,there are some cities that have languished in a depressed economic state for so long (some for 100 years), that their very name can evoke a negative impression. … Continue reading

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Ten+ Planning Lessons from Page, Arizona


Some might be wondering where the heck Page, Arizona is located and secondly, how could a town founded in 1957 offer up any planning advice. Well, Page sits close to the Arizona-Utah border where the Glen Canyon Dam was constructed … Continue reading

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Cities and Towns that Get the Point!


The following city and town names include the word “point.” Sometimes this term refers to a point of land extending into a body of water. Other times it may refer to a craggy hill or prominent point of land. Still, … Continue reading

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Ten Planning Lessons from Flagstaff, Arizona


Following our recent trip to the beautiful Southwestern United States, here are some thoughts on planning lessons one can learn from impressive and beautiful Flagstaff, Arizona. You can have a physically active and exciting city in a colder-weather, high-altitude environment. … Continue reading

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America’s First Great Town Planners…


…were not William Penn (Philadelphia), Pierre Charles L’Enfant (Washington, DC), James Oglethorpe (Savannah), nor other post-Columbian examples. No, America’s first great town planners were the Native American Indians. Whether they were the builders of magnificent cliff dwellings and mesa-topped pueblos … Continue reading

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An Impressive Park Memorializes When Quilts Saved a Town


Frontier Towns, Part 7: Panguitch, Utah In city planning, as well as park and recreation circles, one of the most successful trends of the past decade or two has been the creation of pocket parks. These small oases help provide … Continue reading

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The First Great Hub of the Northern Plains


Frontier Towns, Part 6: Fort Laramie, Wyoming Don’t confuse Fort Laramie with the much larger university city of Laramie – they are 105 miles and world’s apart. Fort Laramie is a small Northern Plains town of approximately 230 residents located … Continue reading

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The Old West Personified in a Town’s Iconic Name


Frontier Towns, Chapter 2: Pecos, Texas Few names portray a better image of the Old West than “Pecos.” The Pecos River is the natural dividing line between central and western Texas, as to the west of this iconic river the … Continue reading

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The Town That Was Moved Four Times!


The first of our new “Frontier Towns” series is about the historic Great Plains town of Julesburg, Colorado. At the crossroads of multiple important and historic transcontinental routes lies the quaint Great Plains town of Julesburg, Colorado. This classic western … Continue reading

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