Monday, April 19, 2010

An Urban People

I didn't expect to find inspiration about Creative Village while reading an article about HBO's new series Treme.  

But the Time magazine article contained this quote, which is really quite powerful, from Treme creator David Simon (who also made HBO's The Wire and is that guy in the picture).  

In response to references to "small town values" at the 2008 Republican Convention, he says, "There is no alternative to salvaging the city.  We are an urban people.  Eighty percent of us live in metro areas. ... What you've got to be interested in is big-city values. New Orleans is as much a dystopia as any place we've ever depicted.  And yet people won't give up on it."

His comment is so interesting to me.  What fosters that passion of never giving up on a city?  After Hurricane Katrina, the Orlando Sentinel published an op-ed I wrote.  The lead was this: "If America can fail New Orleans, it can sure as shoot fail Orlando. Let's be honest: New Orleans has always been a far sight cooler than Orlando."

There may be 1,000 factors that define a city, that create that sense of place and the identity that others recognize, desire and support.  But, first, we have to create that place for ourselves.  Creative Village - with its place-making, emphasis on supporting emerging industry and new model for economic development - is a step in that direction. 

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