Throughout the past few months, it has been harder than ever to understand ideas and experiences of place, and the forces that contribute to their definition. With the nature of safety, equity, and human behavior in tangible spaces redefining every day, I’ve looked for grounding and meaningful events to offset the undercurrent of uncertainty. After deciding on a final book cover design with our editor yesterday, I have found new inspiration and pride, framing more page-turning in the months ahead.

Sustaining a City’s Culture and Character: Principles and Best Practices, will be released by Rowman and Littlefield by early 2021 (pre-order here). For the book’s cover, we chose a photo of Inverness, Scotland, which I took almost exactly one year ago on a magic week away from life as usual. I intended it to capture the totality of our pending book messages about approaching cities holistically, framed by the old and new, people of many nationalities, green space, clouds, and changes in urban form reflected by new construction and regeneration.

Please stay tuned for more, as the essays and photographs exhibited on this website are a serialized prequel to the book. Readers may recall the excerpt from the book’s Introduction, featured on July 8, as well as a description of the book’s general approach recalled in the Journal of Public Space referenced on May 27.

In the meantime, I’ll be devoted to brainstorming—along with many others—on ways to implement one premise of the book:

Imagine if the city around you disappeared, and everything familiar in your daily life and routine suddenly ceased to exist. Imagine the paths you are so used to vanishing, along with the people and places that are so familiar. How would you recreate this central experience in your life, and how would you help to create your city’s shared essence?

If you wish to share your thoughts on sustaining place today, I’d love to hear more.

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