An international brand resource for neighbourhoods, towns, cities, regions and economic clusters.


How "Smart" is your city?

The messaging and positioning experts at SmartCity Consulting – a Memphis, TN-based communications and branding firm – have come up with a comprehensive and provocative list called “Smart City Diagnostics.” Simply put, these are the 36 points that make a city dynamic, appealing and sustainable – that is, “Smart.”

Famous in song and story III

As I was trolling the Internet researching this week’s blogs on places made famous by songs or expressions, I found a chat board where someone asked “Is Timbuktu a real place?” Heavens – you didn’t think Dr Seuss would write about somewhere imaginary did you? (see Hop on Pop).

Famous in song and story II

From Peoria we turn to Tipperary, made famous in the World War I song “It’s a Long, Long Way to Tipperary.” In fact, it wasn’t originally a war song – it was written before the war, in 1912, and sung first in music halls. One of the composers had Irish grandparents, and that's where the reference to Tipperary came from. Alas, nobody really had a true love living there.

Famous in song and story

We’ve probably all heard the expression “But will it play in Peoria?” at one time or another. So, where the heck is Peoria, and why do we care if things will play there?

Listing to the trivial side

It’s almost the weekend and lists are fun, so here are a few of my favourites from the Maclean’s Book of Lists:

Canada’s best places to find a job: Strathcona County, AB; Red Deer, AB; St. Albert, AB; Calgary, AB; Edmonton, AB; Regina, SK; Lethbridge, AB; Burlington, ON; Canmore, AB; Grande Prairie, AB.

Well, it’s good to know that job prospects are nicely spread out across the country …

THAT got first place?

Writing the blog about contests got me thinking about lists – lists of the best, the prettiest, the most precious … is there anything that can get us more irrationally irate than a list of superlatives as defined by somebody else? Let’s see how spitting mad these ones get you:


Canada's Most Interesting Towns

There’s a great contest currently running over at Reader’s Digest, which is searching for Canada’s "Most Interesting Towns." Contestants are given a maximum of 250 words to describe in English or French why their town is the best tourist destination, the greenest, the healthiest, the most artistic, the most entrepreneurial, has the best cuisine or the most community spirit.

Urban planning the Olympic way

For better or for worse, removing old landmarks changes a city irrevocably. And the Olympic Games, beloved as they are, can be blamed for many questionable urban planning choices.

When a tree falls ...

What happens when a major landmark is not a building or a statue or some other human-made structure, but a piece of nature? Trees, stone arches, volcanoes, lakes, caves and any number of other natural features are considered landmarks around the world. But nature is not built to last forever.

The buildings we love

This week, the small northern BC town of Dawson Creek is contemplating life without one of its major landmarks: the historic Alaska Hotel (pictured), which burnt to the ground during the evening of September 14. Built to accommodate the US Army when it came to the area to build the Alaska Highway, the hotel actually pre-dated the formation of the town.

2012 Global Green Economy Index

Dual Citizen Inc. has released the third edition of its 2012 Global Green Economy Index on its website. It ranks green leadership, policies, cleantech investment and sustainable tourism in 27 nations and cities.

IKEA town

Is there anyone out there who hasn’t owned a Billy bookcase from IKEA? Despite having to travel miles to find a store and the hassle of putting the furniture together themselves, consumers have had an ongoing love affair with the Swedish home décor giant for decades now. But would you want to live in an IKEA town?


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