city branding

“Art-Culture-Life”: So beckoned the humble sign. Being a fan of all three, I made my way inside. Art came first in a portico lined with rich, Dalí-esque landscapes; in the craft shop, stocked with mottled straw purses and hand-carved bowls; on restaurant walls, splashed with multihued graffiti. There was culture, yes, in the form of eclectic sounds: a D.J. spinning house music and an open-mic session showcasing poets and singers from Africa to America.

This month TPR sat down with Stephen Cheung, the Mayor of Los Angeles’ first Director of International Trade, to discuss the purview and capacity of the new position, which coordinates between the Port of Los Angeles, LAX, and City Hall. With trade being a central component of the LA regional economy, and with the infrastructure of trade constantly evolving, Cheung works for goods movement, logistics, storage, and transportation to operate as smoothly as possible to retain customers doing business in and through LA.

August 10, 2013

Before I get to the end of this post, I'll explain why the image you see here is not how the people of Holland, Michigan, would like their town to be understood. Yet it's part of a whimsical downtown series of public-art posters in which familiar paintings are given an a la Hollandaise touch. You'll see another below -- the first one obviously after Grant Wood, the second Manet. The fact that a city of some 35,000 people has a downtown commercially and culturally vibrant enough to support this sort of display is part of the story that seems worth figuring out and trying to tell.

August 9, 2013

Earning the title ‘City of the Year 2012′ the capital of Antioquia has been and praised for having implemented innovative and sustainable measures for improving the quality of life for its close to 2 million inhabitants. As Colombia’s second largest city and one of the vital engines of economic growth in country, Medellín has always taken pride in being a key hub for banking and mining companies as well as an attractive place to do business, given an ideal location close to the coffee axis and the coasts of both the Pacific and Caribbean.

Past prominence of course does not guarantee continued success. Metro areas as diverse as Detroit, Manchester, and Rome have all become less globalized compared to their previous peak. Equally, others are proving that it is never too late to take advantage of changing dynamics. Metro areas that seize the historical moment can achieve lasting benefits. Toronto is an example of a metro that responded purposefully to a convergence of unique circumstances between 1945 and 1970.

Two years from Wednesday, more than 7,000 world-class athletes and 500,000 spectators will descend on Los Angeles for the biggest sporting event in the region since the 1984 Summer Olympic Games...Mayor Eric Garcetti said it is an honor for L.A. to again serve as host city, after also holding the games in 1972. "Los Angles is the city of hope, opportunity and inclusion, and these games are the embodiment of our spirit," Garcetti said. "This unique event will foster greater understanding and respect for all the world's people."

The contrast between LA and another great city, Seoul, is remarkable. I have been going to Seoul for about 20 years now, and I just brought a group of USC students there for a comparative international development class. Back in 1992, when I first visited Seoul, it was an emerging city of considerable promise, but also with considerable poverty. It has since become one of the world’s rich cities.

The XXXII Olympic Summer Games in 2020 will be hosted by one of three candidate cities: Madrid, Istanbul, or Tokyo, following the 2016 games in Rio De Janeiro. The three candidates were selected by the International Olympic Committee out of a group that also included non-selected applicant cities Baku, Doha, and Rome (which withdrew its bid shortly before the applicant files were due). The International Olympic Committee will elect the host city on 7 September 2013. Here is a look at the logos of each of the hopefuls (and not so hopefuls).

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