Refresher course: “Let’s become a place where people want to be. And if we achieve that, everything else should follow.”

Just waiting to be proven right. Patience, grasshopper.

At times of exhaustion or dissipation — hell, it’s even been known to happen while sober and well-rested, but why risk it? — there’ll be a merry bout of free association.

Here is mine for Monday, April 24. It begins with yesterday’s post about the attractions of river mud.

Mud-struck New Gahanian anchor seal marketing … and Rhode Island’s disastrous state branding campaign.

This is not a “marketing piece”, a “branding image” – it’s not a progressive symbol, it doesn’t imply a growing and vital city. An anchor? Who designed this?

A reader left this comment.

Ms. Marshall’s article’s most relevant point that applies to New Albany’s effort:

5) Make it sellable in the first place

Finally, the secret sauce to place branding: the place. “If the community doesn’t have infrastructure, doesn’t have enough beds to attract new tourists, or it doesn’t have a qualified workforce to offer, then from a business perspective and marketing perspective, your money should go toward improving the community,” says Pryor.

It ain’t worth advertising if there’s nothing worth selling.

Then there’s this, also from yesterday.

I’ve just finished reading Jaron Lanier’s book, “You Are Not a Gadget.”

Funding a civilization through advertising is like trying to get nutrition by connecting a tube from one’s anus to one’s mouth. The body starts consuming itself. That is what we are doing online.

This brings me to the left hook. The author’s interview with Jeff Speck provides a useful reminder of the point appearing in bold, italic and enlarged font. It’s about becoming a place where people want to be each and every day, not during scattered one-off celebrations. That’s why a two-way street grid matters.

City Hall insists it’s coming. I’ll believe it when the trucks that shouldn’t be on Spring Street in the first place begin traveling in two directions.

Urban designer Jeff Speck on walkable cities and economic development, by Rudolph Bell (Upstate Business Journal)

“Let’s become a place where people want to be. And if we achieve that, everything else should follow.”

Jeff Speck is a city planner, urban designer, author, and lecturer who advocates for more walkable cities. He advises municipalities and real estate developers through Speck & Associates, his consultancy in Brookline, Mass. Speck is the author of “Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time” and was previously director of design at the National Endowment for the Arts.

UBJ interviewed Speck on April 12 while he was in Greenville for a speaking engagement at the downtown offices of Clemson University’s MBA program. The event was sponsored by the Greenville chapter of the American Institute of Architects and 21 other groups.