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Does Your City Have Ambitions?

8:23 AM PDT on March 15, 2010

4060014192_d62dd55deb.jpgCities are launching pads for all sorts of human aspirations. (Photo: Gold41 via Flickr)

Yesterday, at The Urbanophile,
Aaron Renn posted a thoughtful essay about the idea of the "city as
platform." He looks at all the different meanings of the word platform and muses about how they apply in the urban context.

To me, the most intriguing idea in Renn’s post is the vision of "the city as a manifesto":

The political platform version wasn’t something thatoriginally came to my mind when thinking of this, but it too hasapplicability. What is your city all “about”? What does it stand for?What is its ambition?…

Think about the great cities of America, and they all seem to havesomething of a point of view on the world and what it should be like,even if it isn’t totally clear. Especially for those cities where thecivic ambition and POV is murky, a process of reflection on this isclearly warranted. Going back to the notion of a stage, since noteveryplace can be New York or London, the question might be how you cancreate a premier stage or environment in which to attract notice for afocused set of activities or ambitions.

What about it, folks? What are the ambitions of your city, if you
live in one? How could they be different? Does your city need to aim
higher? Let us know in the comments.

More from around the network: EcoVelo, home of some of the most beautiful bicycle pictures on the Internet, shares some photographic tips. Biking in Dallas wonders about the possibility of a Ciclovía in that Texas city. And FABB Blog has the scoop on a car-free challenge from The Bike Lane.

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