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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

City Pride in Everyday Places

"St. Louis: the Greatest City in America"

How would that tagline look plastered all across the city, on billboards, city vehicles, and benches?

The City of Baltimore's ubiquitous benches indeed feature this tagline. The benches are located all across the city, at bus stops and in business districts. I can't stress enough the importance of a little civic confidence--even cockiness, as Baltimore is displaying here. We can change attitudes about our city if we start by changing our own.

Come to think of it, the City of St. Louis's government vehicles do have license plates that read "St. Louis: The Place to Be". But I think we need to aim higher, like Baltimore. I think uplifting civic messages like this, on everyday objects, subtly transmit happiness and civic pride. What do you think? If you agree with me, what similar text would you put on a St. Louis bench?

UPDATE (2:10PM): How about this tagline? (Photograph is courtesy of Flickr user Pruitt-Igoe).

St. Louis: The City of a Thousand Sights. I like that.


Chris said...

Baltimore is addicted to meaningless, feel-good campaigns like the one on the bench. Whether it's "Believe" or "Charm City," Baltimore needs to address real quality of life issues and not waste money on slogans. Baltimore's government does nothing to make the city "the greatest city in America."

Matt M. said...

Surely a program like this can't cost too much money and can be done concurrently with concrete, effective quality of life improvements.

Plus it doesn't need to be city-driven, per se. A vigilante citizens' group that would fashion such a slogan would be just as beneficial to the city's confidence, if not more so.

Painter in St. Louis said...

St. Louis "The Benefit City"

STLgasm said...

I like the feel-good campaign that appeared in transit ads about seven years ago. Here's one of them:

Alex Ihnen said...

Why do people (Chris) believe that St. Louis must fix all social and economic issues beyond any other place in American before we can have pride in where we live?!?! If we're to wait until the murder rate is 0 and every St. Louis City public school student can get accepted to Harvard then we should all just say fuck it and move to Fenton or Chesterfield or Portland or wherever your own personal utopia exists.

Daron said...

come on, Salvatos had the 'Greatest Sandwich in the World.' We've got dozens of organizations and things claiming to be best in the world at something.

I don't see a problem with coming up with an endless stream of nicknames and memes though. let's just keep throwing them out there and see if any good ones can stick.

i put together a wikipedia article called, 'iconography of st. louis, missouri' and it still needs work, but it is all about our sense of identity, so I'd encourage everyone to contribute a paragraph or so.

I'd like to add in the Lewis and Clark statue by the river, our little river guage. Clark and the Dog are now under water. We're getting up to Hat Level.

Anonymous said...

I have a different outlook on pride and St. Louis. I think St Louisans have to be directly challenged. An onus has to be placed on them to become the next great generation in St. Louis.

A collage of words come to mind when I see "St Louis" or "St Louisan" : Responsibility, Care, Citizen, Pride, Respect, Honor, Love, Participant, Leader, Innovation, Future, Past, Yours, Mine, Ours, Opportunity, Muse, River, Ideas.

I see these words in a picture rising like buildings on the skyline behind the Arch.

I think blogs such as your own and countless others point us in the right direction, but ultimately the people, in mass, are going to have to begin to act. I'm confident we'll get there. You can look back on the past decade or so of revitalization and be proud and you can look to the future with wide-eyed anticipation.

People need to act with St Louis in mind. Whether is volunteering, voting or turning in a census. A collective spirit of action is needed. I truly believe we're on a new frontier in St Louis' history.

*places Cardinal Hat on head and puts on stl-style t-shirt*

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