15 to Watch in 2015

I got a great shout out from the Tampa Bay Times as someone making things happen in the Tampa Bay region for 2015.  For the full list click Read more

Do You Love Your City?

What makes cities lovable? Why do we connect emotionally with some places and not others? And why does that matter? Author and consultant Peter Kageyama loves cities.  Big cities, small cities, villages and small towns.  He thinks he has Read more

Workshop with City of St. Petersburg Leadership

Posted on by admin in Engagements | Leave a comment

On Wednesday, June 15th, it was my honor to present to the leaders of the City of St. Petersburg at their monthly learning session. The meeting brings together over 100 of the city’s department and divisional leaders for opportunities to learn and connect with each other. I was there at the invitation of St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster, who has become a fan of the book and big supporter of the ideas.

The group was very eager to hear about ways they can engage with their citizens without having to spend resources they no longer have. We workshopped several ideas including the very popular “what is your city t-shirt” exercise that got everyone very engaged. Thanks again to Mayor Foster and City Administrator Tish Elston for the invitation.

With St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster

Surprising Life in America’s “Dying” Cities

Posted on by admin in Lovable Cities, Love Notes, Publications | Leave a comment

Here is the piece I wrote for Infrastructurist.com which challenges the way we think about statistics.  In cities that Newsweek magazine declared to be “dying” we have seen amazing amounts of life and activity.  Recall the recent post that showed New Orleans was the “coolest city for startups”; on Newsweek’s list, New Orleans was the #1 dying city.

Check out the piece which includes the amazing Grand Rapids Lip Dub – if you have not seen the video yet, you must check out the incredible response that Grand Rapids came up with to being declared a dying city.

TEDx Tampa Bay Presentation

Posted on by admin in Ideas Worth Spreading, Publications | Leave a comment

It was my honor to be part of TEDx Tampa Bay for the second year in a row.  As part of the team that produces the event, I have been able to work with people who are passionate about the community and the spirit of ideas and engagement represented by TED.  This year I was also privileged to be one of the speakers at the event.

I have spoken around the world but I will say that TEDx was one the most pressure packed presentations I have ever given.  The tight format is part of it but mostly it is the pressure of knowing you are part of the global TED community.  The global audience for these talks is an amazing array of people who are also doing extraordinary things.  This is a group that you want to impress and I hope the ideas contained in it are worthy to be part of that global conversation!

Coverage in St. Petersburg Times

Posted on by admin in Lovable Cities | Leave a comment

It is often hard to get coverage, let alone love from your local newspaper.  But that changed last week when the Business Editor for the Times, Bob Trigaux and I got together for an in depth interview and discussion about our cities.

St. Petersburg Times – 4/19/2011

“Imported from Detroit”

Posted on by admin in Lovable Cities | Leave a comment

Watching the Super Bowl yesterday I was really struck by one ad in particular. It was officially for Chrysler Motors but if you saw it, it was actually more an ad for the City of Detroit and I think, by extension an ad for the American spirit.

The ad features Detroit native Eminem and Chrysler’s latest luxury car. The voice over speaks of the past generations and of community identity: “That’s who we are. That’s our story. Now its probably not the one you’ve been reading in the papers, the one being written by folks who have never even been here and don’t know what we’re capable of.” The add goes on to say “We’re from America. But this is not New York City. Or the Windy City or Sin City. And we’re certainly no one’s Emerald City.” Then in dramatic fashion Eminem turns to the camera and says “This is the Motor City and this is what we do.” Powerful stuff.

This is about re-inventing our narrative. The media, particularly traditional media is obsessed with loss: murder, death, crime, scandal, the latest crisis and another thing for us to fear. Negativity sells. Detroit has been caught up in that negative narrative. That is not to say that the there are not deep and significant problems in Detroit – clearly there are. But there is something else going on there too.

Out of this crisis is a toughness, resiliency and a sense of opportunity that I have come to know through my friends and colleagues in Detroit. That story needs to told and it needs to be heard by the whole country. If Detroit can embrace its identity – the good, the bad and the ugly of it and build upon that authenticity, then that becomes an example for every community that is trying to figure out its place and its purpose in the 21st century.

Cities like Detroit define us a nation. As much as New York City or Los Angeles may dominate our perceptions of culture and identity, at our hearts we are a middle class nation that believes in making things.  Detroit epitomizes that identity and their success or failure is all of our success or failure.  We are all Detroiters.