Sunday, December 4th, 2011

Is the Indianapolis Superbowl Shuffle Video Really That Bad?

The Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association created this parody video of the Chicago Bears “Superbowl Shuffle” to market the city to meeting and event planers. (If the video doesn’t display, click here). It was posted to You Tube though, and ended up provoking a firestorm of reaction locally, as people piled on saying how it was so cheesy and lame that it embarrassed the city. This meme went mini-viral, even earning some national attention, as in this particularly brutal Deadspin post.

Is the video cheesy? Yes. Then again, so was the original Bears video, of which there are tons of similar parodies out there. Watching this, I can’t believe that it was ever anything other than what the ICVA says it was: a piece of industry marketing. The whole thing is about hotel rooms, for goodness sake. On that level, I don’t think it’s that much different from various other types of promotional gimmicks I’ve ever seen. Perhaps the ICVA erred in letting it get out “into the wild,” but I don’t see how anyone could really think this was intended as aimed directly at tourists.

But I think this brings up a couple salient points of relevance to smaller cities. First, this is part of an increasing trend of people in Indy taking extreme exception to what they believe as second rate stuff. I started noticing this a few years ago when the city first proposed an extremely bland generic design for a new convention anchor hotel, and it continues to get stronger ever day, as things like this and the chorus of dissent over the dubious proposal to rename Georgia St show.

I think this is extremely healthy. Like too many cities, Indy has long lacked a strong culture of self-critique. And as is especially true in the Midwest, there’s been an acceptance of mediocrity that wouldn’t be tolerated in other parts of the country. But increasingly locals are saying no more and are aggressively stepping up to demand better for their city. This ability to self-criticize and to have a robust, engaged citizenry that demands excellence can only be a good thing.

Secondly, cities like Indy want to be taken seriously on the national stage. Well, be careful what you wish for. Now you are in the fish bowl. You’ve finally got people to pay attention to you, now they are going to start making judgements. Things you could get away with when you were drifting in obscurity get called out when you try to play in the big leagues. So second tier cities like Indy really need to, as the ICVA might put it themselves, raise their game and get a lot sharper in the face they put forward. All cities cities need to realize that to play at a higher level, they have to bring a new standard to the table in everything that they do. Especially as they aren’t going to be getting any free passes from the folks who are already in the cool kids club.

Again, this isn’t just an Indy thing. It applies to all similar sized cities who want to move up to the next level. You’re playing in a whole new league and the game is a lot tougher than what you’re used to.

So while I think the criticism over the video itself is largely misplaced, I think the overall sentiment behind it is positive. And hopefully this does let the local powers that be know that there’s a new expectation level among their own citizens. People have started to take seriously all that talk about “world class city” and unsurprisingly they are expecting the city to deliver on it. And to operate at the place it wants to, the city has to bring a level of polish and sophistication to its marketing, design, etc. that it has never had to in the past. Because to the extent that you realize your ambition to have a place in a national civic conversation, you’re going to get scrutiny like you’ve never experienced in your life. Game on.

Topics: Civic Branding, Urban Culture
Cities: Indianapolis

35 Responses to “Is the Indianapolis Superbowl Shuffle Video Really That Bad?”

  1. I would take exception to the the description of Indianapolis as a “second tier” city when it comes to hosting major sporting events. I would go so far as to say Indianapolis sets a standard other cities look to emulate when offered the opportunity to play host to events like the Super Bowl.

    Indianapolis has a track record unparalleled in this country when it comes to staging world class sporting events:

    – For a century now Indianapolis has hosted the largest single day sporting event and world’s most famous motorsports event, the Indianapolis 500.

    – NASCAR’s largest spectator attended event and perhaps the second largest single day sporting event, the Brickyard 400.

    – Drag racing’s most prestigious drag racing event, the NHRA U.S. Nationals.

    I would like to note that the above events are accomplished without spending any taxpayer dollars and are held annually. Other motorsports events held here in Indianapolis are international Motor GP series and in the past Formula One races.

    Outside of motorsports, the Indianapolis has a similar track record:

    – The NCAA holds their men’s and women’s basketball championships in Indianapolis (the famed final fours)on a regular basis.

    – Indianapolis is the home for the Big Ten’s basketball championship tournaments (men and women’s) and football championship game.

    – The NFL is no stranger to Indianapolis holding their Draft Combine there each year.

    On occasions so numerous I can no longer remember all of them, Indianapolis has hosted national and international championship events in swimming, diving, skating, rowing, track & field, basketball and more.

    If the above would not be sufficient to make Indianapolis confident in hosting s Super Bowl, the hosting the Pan Am games in 1987 would. Not only were the games successfully presented, they were conducted in a manner and style that set a new standard for this huge international event.

    That hosting of the Pan-Am Games set the bar of excellence that has become expected of Indianapolis and which the city continues to deliver.

    The only tier which makes Indianapolis remarkable in hosting a Super Bowl is geographic in nature. The 2012 Super Bowl is unusual in that it will be held in Northern climes. The NFL has traditionally held the it’s premiere event in warm southern tier sites avoiding northern tier sites in February, excluding northern tier cities like Indianapolis.

    As far as the video goes, it’s fun and I would urge everyone to watch it.

    Thank you.

  2. Jeff, I didn’t mean to imply that it was second tier in sports, but second tier period. I don’t want to restart the perennial tiers of cities debate, but you can argue it’s even lower than that.

  3. Chris Barnett says:

    The video should never have been released to a general audience (i.e. posted to YouTube) since it was intended for convention planners. They’d be the only ones to get it; the rest of us are just mystified at the apparent stupidity and waste of time.

    One commenter captured it: you act silly this way around friends, not around strangers you’re trying to impress.

  4. George Mattei says:

    I wonder if the reaction isn’t partly a sensitivity analysis. If New York had done something like this, I wonder if everyone would take it for what it is-a tongue-in-cheek marketing attempt that is kind of funny.

    Since Indianapolis did it, all of a sudden it’s an issue. Does it show they’re second-tier?

    It’s like a newbie on a sports team. If you’re the rookie, you can’t get away with some of the clowning around that veterans can. You have to prove you belong there first.

  5. Bob Cook says:

    The thing that struck me most about the video — which actually looked much more professional than I would have first thought — was that it was about nothing but hotels. The city has hotels? That serve food? The hell you say! I was expecting something that was talking about things to do while you’re in the city. You can go to Expedia and find out about hotels, without the ersatz sax solo.

    I would agree, Aaron, on your point about the Indianapolis citizenry becoming much more comfortable criticizing what’s going on — and criticizing it in a constructive way. The days of people hoping the city compares well to, say, Cincinnati, are over. There’s a bigger local recognition that Indianapolis is playing in the big leagues, and a bigger local recognition that saying something is bland, dull and unworthy is not in and of itself making your city look bad. That’s a level of sophistication any city — of any size — that aspires to greatness needs.

  6. Wonderful editorial Mr. Renn. Often the meaningful message is a few layers under the obvious. Finding it requires reflection and a design-thinking approach to opportunity finding and problem defining. Right now, most of the big scale civic work is implemented with an eye toward optimizing and protecting the assets of a few.

    I hope people, insider brokers and outsider citizens will appreciate the necessary link between your observations. To connect these dots, we must create a truly participatory process for civic creativity.

    ‘But increasingly locals are saying no more and are aggressively stepping up to demand better for their city. This ability to self-criticize and to have a robust, engaged citizenry that demands excellence can only be a good thing.’
    ‘And to operate at the place it wants to, the city has to bring a level of polish and sophistication to its marketing, design, etc. that it has never had to in the.’ Let’s hope so.

    I would add that particular emphasis needs to be given to ARCHITECTURE + PUBLIC PLACES. What lost opportunities were the Library, Lucas Stadium, Airport, IMA expansion, Convention Center. These are not world class projects. But they carried world class budgets. LOST. And when will Indianapolis have GREEN bonafides like Chicago? Never, unless people DEMAND 21st century ideas and action.

    This is not just a smaller city issue; Does anyone remember that there was no significant architecture built in Manhattan from the time that they razed Penn Station until they built the LVMH Tower, American Folk Art Museum and Hearst Building.
    Can Indianapolis learn from the histories of other places? Are we doomed to repeat the same mistakes (Georgia Street arcade) and build a hick town version of the Walt Disney Times Square / 42nd Street corridor?

    It is time for Capital Improvement Board, ICVA, IDI, Arts Council, the leadership of all the ‘cultural’ districts, the Airport, the IMA, etc to recognize that innovation, design, and quality matter. Real people in Indianapolis’ communities have creative ideas. Often, the gate-keepers of the Indianapolis Power Structure are hostile to new ideas and new voices. Too often, ‘open public processes’ are thin veneers to make pre-determined plans appear to be collaborative.

    The people of Indianapolis deserve better— and best of all— they can deliver better.

  7. John Morris says:

    One can hope this will change, but overall The Superbowl itself seems to be an event for wannabe type cities. Austin is the gold standard city in Texas but Dallas had the superbowl in a stadium that cost over a billion dollars and sits across from a Walmart.

    The whole concept of placing so many eggs in one basket and needing to “be on the world stage” is small time thinking.

    People are there to see the Superbowl, pretty much period.

    The NFL fanbase has lots of character and excitement, but most of that is rung out to create a very generic event.

  8. UrbanJD says:

    Considering it was aimed at hotel and convention scheduling folks – the video really isn’t all that bad or inappropriate. The people watching it at the convention planners event probably thought it was fairly funny as they likely knew many of the people in the video who are with the Indy Convention and Visitors Assn. Overall – probably not a bad thing. It could have been much worse. It got a little bit of local attention in Indy for a day – and is now a thing of the past. I agree its good for people to be critical of bad things being done or planned in the city – and I’m glad people voiced their concerns. It shows people care about what is going on. In this case though, I think there was a little confusion about who the video was aimed at – and what the video was really about.

    To John Morris — I don’t know how accurate it is to be critical of going after this event and saying it is something only done by “wanna-be cities”. New York worked very hard to land its Super Bowl that’ll be happening in a few years; Los Angeles wants to get another one; Miami thinks its a big deal to get one — likewise with Dallas, Houston, San Diego, Tampa, etc. Indy wasn’t any different than those cities – and I don’t think too many people would call New York and Los Angeles “wanna-be” cities. Indy might actually be smarter however – because I don’t think you can say that it is “putting all of its eggs in one basket” by going after the Super Bowl.

    Indy didn’t just build its new stadium for its NFL team and to attract the Super Bowl. It also uses it for numerous other events (besides NFL football) throughout the year.

    These events will continue to happen, whether or not Indy’s hosting of the SB is deemed a huge critical success. Numerous events are lined up at the stadium for the next 5 – 10 years (Final Fours, college and H.S. football championships, other major sporting events, large conventions, huge marching band events (don’t laugh – they bring in tens of thousands of out-of towners for several events, every year), etc.).

    Indy already has developed a strong reputation for hosting major sporting events. This could grow even stronger if everything goes well with the Super Bowl. However, even if things don’t go completely greatly, the reputation has been built up well enough over a long enough period of time that it likely won’t be significantly hurt (barring a complete catastrophe – which I believe is not too likely).

    That is why I don’t think all of Indy’s eggs are being put in the “basket” of hosting the Super Bowl. Its just another in a long string of major events (definitely the biggest so far I’ll admit) that have been hosted in the city. Its not a situation of going out on a limb to risk everything to host this huge event. The city has steadily and logically increased its capacity to host major events, so I do not consider this to be a sudden “flash in the pan” attempt to bring a bunch of new attention to Indy by hosting this one big event. I’m sure officials are already working on future plans to bid to host it again – and to continue to find ways to make sure it is hosted in an even better way in the future. That’s just the way things are done.

  9. Jake formerly of the LP says:

    I agree with Aaron’s point about the acceptance of mediocrity (or lack thereof) being a big factor in how a city approaches itself. I’ve often thought of Indy as a small town that grew up, and now that it’s attracted a lot of college-educated people from other places, these newcomers aren’t going to accept it being a stupid cowtown (they left towns like that for Indy). I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how it handles the Super Bowl, which is a whole ‘nother league vs. a Final 4. I have a feeling it’ll go well- IF Indy tries to be as big as the event, and not be starry-eyed about it.

    By comparison, Milwaukee has a big “acceptance of mediocrity” problem that results in an entrenched oligarchy making all the decisions on what direction for the city to take. As a result, its best and brightest often head to Madison, the Twin Cities and Chicago, where they can have their new ideas get exchanged and put into motion (well, that and Milwaukee’s brutal racism).

    When it comes to cities, I’m of the belief that if you demand more, or if shrug and you accept less, you’ll get what you want.

  10. @George, New York did a video pitch for their 2010 Olympic bid that I really wanted to post in this piece, but I couldn’t find it. I suspect they managed to scrub it from You Tube. It wasn’t a goofy parody but in its own way was just as embarrassing. It was a bunch of celebrities (IIRC) and such talking about dry stats like how many hotel rooms and taxi cabs New York had, as if anyone cared about that stuff. It was equally as bush league and if that was the caliber of their overall bid, I’m not surprised at all that they lost.

  11. John Morris says:

    Yes, various NY politicians have pushed hard for the Superbowl along with a host of new stadiums-many of which, thank god, will not be happening.

    The city is moving along nicely, with a much sounder tax base than most.

    If the Superbowl does happen it will be played in a swamp in New Jersey, across from a half completed shopping mall, Jersey taxpayers have handed hundreds of millions of dollars.

    I will say, however that when that Superbowl happens it will be a potential game changer in that it will be a real winter game played in a non dome stadium.

  12. mmdindy says:

    I don’t think anyone would have noticed if it were 90 seconds or even two minutes. Instead, it’s an intolerably long five minutes.

  13. John Morris says:

    LOL, I couldn’t watch the whole thing.

  14. George Mattei says:

    Well Aaron, there you have it! Indianapolis can now say it’s in the same league as New York with this ad! :)

    I guess even the big boys do bad work sometimes.

  15. John Morris says:

    Actually, very often. The thing is that NYC already gets lots of press and has an established mental brand in most people’s minds.

    Huge events are a dangerous game for smaller cities without a major brand. IMHO, the risk vs reward is not generally favorable.

  16. John Morris says:

    The most extreme example of that might have been the camera pan over The South Bronx over the 1977 world series with Howard Cosell saying, Ladies and gentlemen, the Bronx is burning.

  17. Chris Barnett says:

    John, evidently you’re not a football fan. When it comes to the NFL game, the Colts and Indianapolis are a major brand.

    Indianapolis had (through last year) the winningest team in the NFL since the turn of the millenium. NFL fans around the country know it as a premier NFL city from the Colts’ many appearances on the featured national TV games, and from the team’s record consecutive-appearance streak in the NFL playoffs.

    Hosting an NFL Super Bowl (after the home team appeared in two of the last five) is not really a “huge risk” for Indianapolis, regardless of its rank in the non-sports “league tables”.

  18. John Morris says:

    Every NFL Team thinks they are a huge brand. Peyton and co r or were pretty huge.

    Try to pump fake crowd noise into your fake dome again and watch the Steelers take you apart.

    Anyway you slice it, most of this stuff is very overrated in it’s impact. Detroit has fielded a very large number of competitive teams and hosted a good number of Superbowls with moderate or no impact. If anything the negative rep about violence at Pistons games got a lot of play.

  19. John Morris says:

    Chris, I think you misunderstood my comment. The danger is not only or primarily that your particular team will not do well-(although that adds to stadium risk)Most NFL teams seem to fill the seats pretty well on the few games they play.

    What I am talking about is a place, that is not very well known, fucusing a lot on large and somewhat generic events.

    At best, your city will host a very sucessful event and become known as a good place to do massive things like this. Since, these events are so rare, I’m not exactly sure what the value is there. I mean, you are not going to host every Superbowl or every Final Four. The opportunity cost of the needed parking. peak load infrastructure and the like make this an unlikely good bet.(I will grant in this case that having The Indy 500 there every year does give a solid base to build on.)

    On the negative side, look at all the potential risk if even something moderately wrong should happen. In a city that’s well known, few people will brand the city by that.

    At the most extreme level we have State College, which for years was identified with Joe Paterno and the Penn State brand. Look at it now. Bobby Knight helped Indiana University in a similar way.

    Pittsburgh got a small taste of this with Ben Roethlisberger scandal which thank god didn’t get any worse.
    The almost average trend of very um, human behavior among pro athletes makes this risk pretty high. Add to this the very bad behavior among many fans and the viral power of the internet to blow anything up.

  20. John, Indy actually hosts huge events all the time. It in fact does host the Final Four every five years, plus many other events. So there’s not much infrastructure going to waste specifically for the Super Bowl.

    I agree it’s a big risk. But I think that what Chris was saying was that in the context of football, Indy is not an unknown city with no reputation.

  21. John Morris says:

    The point is the size and impact of this event in relation to the city’s overall brand power.

    Indianapolis as a city is not very well known. If anything bad/ major embarrasing happen it will likely have a big impact on the way the city is seen.

    Given the nature of the internet and the bubble like nature of the media, one can only guess what might be blown up.

  22. Jeff says:


    Thanks for your concern, but I think that we’ll be okay. Despite what you might think, we know a thing or two about putting on a large event. If something goes wrong with the Superbowl (or the Indy 500, the Final Four, or even the State Fair) we’ll get by, believe it or not, and come back stronger than ever. Regardless of what you all on the coasts think that you know (and I’ve lived on both, so I’ve heard it all), life here is pretty good, and we’re gonna keep on keepin’ on.

  23. Chris Barnett says:

    John, the point you don’t seem to get is that hosting major sporting events of all kinds is what we do here, and have done here, for decades now. Risk is low, not like Dallas last year, where actual winter weather in winter was a big surprise.

    Indy didn’t build a stadium (or even a single parking lot) just for the Super Bowl. It just turns out that the city is well-built for one because the downtown sporting investment strategy makes so much of the downtown “NFL-walkable”.

    And that’s why so many of us were dismayed by the video: it was so sub-par for Indy’s already existing event-brand.

  24. John Morris says:

    From taking a google streeview drive around Lucas Oil Stadium, I found it mostly surrounded by vast surface parking lots and trucking terminals.

    Good luck with all this. I will admit that, unlike Pittsburgh, Cleveland, or Cincinnati, Indianapolis does seem to have some romm to play with in terms of land.
    However, from this blog I have also learned that sprawl seems to be an issue, with many people chosing to live in surrounding counties.

    Not surprisingly, Indy also seems to be having trouble developing it’s core downtown neighborhoods since the main investment focus is on occasional visitors and mega events. You tend to get what you design for.

    IMHO. Indy seems not exactly sure that the normal convenience and business value of the city is worthwhile.

    Aaron. even if Indy is hosting the Final Four every 5 years, and a Superbowl perhaps that often, that hardly qualifies of full use of such vast facilities.

  25. Mr. Morris, have yous ever been to Indianapolis? In particular the downtown and surrounding neighborhoods?

    The city you describe is entirely alien to me. Particularly when you start mentioning “core” areas. I would heartily urge to come visit Indianapolis and especially the downtown neighborhoods.

    If I could persuade you to come to see us here, I am sure you would come away with a different appreciation for Indianapolis than has been afforded you via Google Street View.

  26. Peter says:

    I’ve been to Indianapolis on business. It’s not all that exciting. I think this is why they view a superbowl as such a big thing. Most of cities could care less if they hosted a superbowl.

  27. John Morris says:

    Jeff, perhaps you should address some of Aaron’s opinions about Indy’s core central areas as he voiced them in the previous post. He does know Indianapolis.

    I think he suggested that the city needed people to help people see the real unique aspects of the city which get overlooked.

    Some of the downtown and surrounding areas did look pretty interesting. The area closest to Lucas Oil Stadium did not.

    Peter, that’s mostly what I think from a distance-that Indy is doing this cause they think their city is dull and nobody would care to live there or visit if there wasn’t some big game.

  28. Chris Barnett says:

    John, Lucas Oil Stadium was built in a long-developed factory and warehouse area, south of the rail viaduct that separates it from the core of today’s downtown. All those parking lots were already there. (Most of the stadium footprint went on former surface parking.)

    The stadium is actually an addition to the convention center and to the core of downtown. It has only been open since the recession started, and there have been relatively few spinoff effects in the form of new adjacent development.

    Along its entire east boundary is the mid-70’s USPS central post office. With more mail-volume declines this will be redevelopable land, but it’s not yet available.

    To the northeast is the Union Station complex, which houses both the Amtrak and Greyhound stations plus offices and a Crowne Plaza hotel.

    The area to its west and northwest is occupied by old factory-warehouses, many of which have been converted to secure telecom server farms. There is also a legacy steam-power plant (powers the downtown district steam loop, said to be second-largest in the US after NYC’s).

    We didn’t use prime riverfront land for our baseball and football stadiums in Indianapolis, as Pittsburgh did. Plus they are in the downtown core here, rather than across a big river. (The baseball stadium is on an old railyard.)

    Indy is no more or less dull than any similarly sized metro (~2million) between the Appalachians and Rockies. Including Pittsburgh. We have art, culture, and internet connections here too.

  29. John Morris says:

    You say the reason for the lack of “spin off effects” is due to the recession? I think, across the whole country it’s very hard to find sucessfull projects-offices, residential very close to major football stadiums.

    The Walmart across from Cowboy’s Stadium was I think used as a press staging area, which obviously led to a lot of negative press. In the Medowlands the Xanadu Mall project near Met Life Stadium has become a massive money pit.

    Here is a quote from Aaron’s essay in New Geography: Census 2010: Urbanizing Indiana about population loss in the core area that includes the downtown.

    “Those of us who are urban boosters were excited that the Census Bureau estimates showed Center Township’s decades long population slide ending and even hitting an inflection point during the 2000s. Alas, these Census results demolished that notion as Center Township was shown to have lost 24,268 people, falling well short of estimated population in 2009. Like Chicago, the inner city also featured a large black exodus.”

    Aaron’s previous post was about a talk at The Indiana Humanities Council largely dealing with how to attract and develop these core neighborhoods. Ha starts the talk outlining the loss of population near the core.

    Things may be slightly more complicated, although Aaron also mentioned that the downtown area also only acounts for 10% of regional jobs.

    My personal feeling is that there may be some very positive things happening in the core area but that the Stadium is a large negative force.

  30. John Morris says:

    Although, after Heinz Field was built, there was a big jumpin the number of Strip Clubs proposed for the North Shore.

  31. John Morris says:

    Oh, Jerry Jones called and said it was Texas and this was a superwalmart across from Cowboy’s stadium.

  32. MRIndy says:

    I just have to ask the question…why does everyone have so much time on their hands and why do you take life so seriously? Life is just really way too short to take a PARODY video SO seriously. It does not matter that it was posted publicly…you would have to have settings set or searches set to have this video on your radar.

    All of those people who are weighing in on the video clearly have no idea what the nature of the video was, the intention of the video (and even though the convention group has stated the intent, people are doubting it – as if they know and this is their industry).

    In my humble opinion, you have HOOSIERS who are humble and are sick of dealing with being considered the corn belt and then you have the “wanna be up and comers” who want to be the “who’s who” and think that they will always be more than they are…those of us who know what a great thing we have and what a great city we are in and the great people who are here and are not trying to be something we are not, trying to overcome something we used to be and instead just always looking at how do we get better…what you should fully understand is that the Convention, Event and Leisure business is a KEY driver in our progressive growth, development and destination vibrancy. Be critical if you will, but this is the same group that has helped us get out of the corn fields and drives economic impact into our city and not only the 70,000 hospitality workers but all other businesses that are affected by the people who come into our city daily.

    KUDOS to the creativity, fun and teamwork that our team put into this video. And for those who make bad comments…seek first to understand the intention, the audience, etc. and remember, we all make choices that will always have supporters and naysayers…

  33. Chris Barnett says:

    MRIndy, if you don’t understand the power of YouTube plus Facebook plus bloggers, then learn. This stuff gets to a wide audience via channels other than old media (cable TV, AM-FM radio and newspapers).

    I didn’t have to go looking…a friend reposted a link. I spent about a minute on the video, and about a minute commenting…essentially modern-day “water cooler” talk.

    See my comment #3 above.

  34. Daxler_Indy says:

    I for one will be thrilled when the stupidbowl has left town.
    Not being a sports fan, It means nothing but a lot of traffic.

    Why are we so intent on handing out sports welfare to team owners?
    The SB is truly the 1% club’s event, normal folks cannot afford a ticket, the corporate boxes get written off as ‘promotion expenses’ and we little folks pay for it in the products they make.

    I’m not going to pay $1000 to go to a Rolling Stone/Bacardi party either….

    It is good news for hospitality sector employees and owners, so come on over spend your money and go home.

    And don’t forget to whine about what a podunk second tier town we are.

  35. Josh says:

    It was a dumb video for a dumb audience. Go to any trade or industry related get together and everything there will be cringe-inducing. If you don’t rate high on the cheese-o-meter, than you probably won’t fit in at a convention.

The Urban State of Mind: Meditations on the City is the first Urbanophile e-book, featuring provocative essays on the key issues facing our cities, including innovation, talent attraction and brain drain, global soft power, sustainability, economic development, and localism. Included are 28 carefully curated essays out of nearly 1,200 posts in the first seven years of the Urbanophile, plus 9 original pieces. It's great for anyone who cares about our cities.

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