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

Water Slide in Bristol, UK

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A giant water slide in the heart of Bristol, England is the brain child of artist Luke Jerram, previously known for his street pianos project. Some may recall that Grand Rapids, Michigan did a similar project in 2010 spearheaded by Rob Bliss, who went on to produce the famous Grand Rapids Lip Dub in 2011.

Bristol Story: http://www.citylab.com/design/2014/05/plan-turn-steep-street-giant-water-slide-was-huge-success/9039/

DIY Traffic Calming

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Here’s an example of taking matters into your own hands. DIY city making continues to expand as people become emboldened to make necessary changes in their own communities. Hopefully the official city makers take note that change can and will happen even without their support and permission. Cheers to those that break/bend the rules in order to get our communities to the place we actually want to be.

Story here: http://www.citylab.com/commute/2014/03/heres-diy-approach-slowing-citys-cars/8661/

From Wichita With Love

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Here is a project that was born in the workshop we did in Wichita in April. They just recently launched it and the website. Well done Wichita!


Grande Prairie, Alberta – $500 Project Launches

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One of the $500 prize winners from my Grande Prairie, Alberta workshop made their project happen. Congratulations!


Love Muskegon

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We had a great time in Muskegon, Michigan in early June. Fantastic to return to a city we visited a year ago and see all the amazing things they have done, including this Love Muskegon campaign. More later!

High Line Park – Part Two

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One of my favorite “love notes” is High Line Park. I describe it in the book from when I visited there in late 2009. This week heralds the opening of the second phase of the park just in time for summer. The park has created an enormous buzz around it, acting like an amplifier for property values and development. They say that this type of boom is usually only seen when a new subway or train station is opened.

Check out the coverage from the NY Times.

Group Hug St. Louis

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The owners of STL Style, Jeff & Randy Vines, whom I profile in the book, have come up with an ingenious idea to spread the love in their hometown. The are sponsoring “Group Hug St. Louis” which invites people from all over the area to take a picture of themselves hugging something they love about the city. Could be a building, a piece of public art, a sign or even a person.

I love the simplicity and genuine heart that this idea shows.  Way to go guys!

TEDx Tampa Bay Presentation

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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!

St. Louis Group Hug!

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My friends Jeff & Randy Vines, the owners of STL Style House in St. Louis whom I profile in the book, have come up with a brilliant idea to spread the love for their city.  They have created a project call the St. Louis Group Hug.  Over the next few weeks they are encouraging local citizens to  “scour the city for your favorite people, places, and objects—ones that define our city and/or help to explain why you love St. Louis—and HUG these subjects for the camera. Get a friend to snap a photograph of you with your arms wrapped around your favorite St. Louis building, business, monument, person, etc.”

On June 2nd they are hosting a party at their store for a viewing party of the photo submissions.  They will gather other lovers of the city and who knows what other ideas, projects and actions may result.   I am sure beer will also be involved.

These guys are total lovers of their city – in what they do both personally and professionally.  Their enthusiasm for the city is infectious and I can’t wait to see the results of this event.  Small things like this that engage people, invite them to contribute and make them smile create an enormous amount of emotional capital for places.

Check them out here.

Akron – A Lovable City

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I was interviewed by my hometown newspaper, the Akron Beacon Journal, about the book and of course whether I thought Akron was a lovable city.  Of course I am biased but I do believe that Akron (and other mid-sized Rust Belt cities like it) have a particular charm that makes them endearing.  At their heart, they are hard working, middle class cities that exemplify our concepts of working hard, building things and seeing the results of our efforts.

Cities like Akron feel fair in the sense that they give most (if not all) of us a chance to make something.  As much as we love superstar cities like New York or San Francisco, they often don’t feel very fair because of their high costs and perceived barriers to entry.

For the article, they photographed me in front of Luigi’s in downtown Akron. Luigi’s is a long-standing institution in Akron (since 1949 in the same family). I love their pizza! The restaurant is not the newest, most fashionable or trendiest, but there is something endearing about it that keeps people lined up out the door on weekends. Every city has a Luigi’s and every city can build on those elements that people respond to – history, tradition, community and fun.

Check out the full story here.