Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Rebuilding Place writing trip to the UK/Go Fund Me campaign

I have launched a Go Fund me campaign to raise money for a trip to Liverpool and London. Below is the text from the campaign webpage.

I'd appreciate your help and if you think it's appropriate, sending the link to others who may be interested.

Me riding a Bixi bike share bike in Montreal in 2010.  I went as a vacation after my bike planning job ended in Baltimore County, but I ended up writing a bunch of articles about Montreal, including "Is Montreal the number one city for bicycling in North America?."

I write the Rebuilding Place in the Urban Place blog on urban revitalization, which has been picked as a top 100 (or better) urban planning blog by a number of sites.

Based in DC, I do write about other places and I always write about the places I visit. I've been blogging regularly since 2005 and have published more than 10,000 articles totaling millions of words on all kinds of issues and concerns.

A few years ago I wrote a series of articles about culture based revitalization in eight European cities for a EU National Institutes of Culture Washington Chapter project here, and among the places I wrote about was Liverpool.

Lime Street Train Station, Liverpool.

I get a lot of e-letters and one is from the Place Brand Observer . They are holding a conference on city branding, called the International Place Branding Event in Liverpool and offered some free registrations to people who made a good case.

As a lark, I submitted my Liverpool article and said it would be great to see in reality what I wrote about from afar without ever seeing it in person. And they picked me.

The conference is May 31st and June 1st.

But being underemployed, I don't really have the money to go. I've organized a trip to Liverpool and London and in return for financial support, I promise to write a number of articles in my blog on what I see and learn and specific items that I plan to follow up on that I've already written about. Topics will include:

-- City branding, which is the focus of the conference, and a subject of one of my earliest blog posts in 2005
-- Liverpool waterfront revitalization
-- culture based revitalization in Liverpool in the face of severe cuts in local government funding by the national government
-- the bike hub at Heathrow Airport and other bike hubs at railway stations in England
-- London Cyclist Campaign
-- railway stations in London and Liverpool
-- transit in London and Liverpool including wayfinding and design
-- especially the use of double deck buses which I think we should use in the US to rebrand transit
-- London Transport Museum
-- Museum of the City of London
-- retail in neighborhood commercial districts (High Streets)
-- the Idea Store Libraries in Tower Hamlets Borough (I want to try to interview someone there)
-- an interview hopefully with a former product design manager at Transport for London
-- and undoubtedly many more topics.

I didn't plan out everything before I made the plane reservations unfortunately, and I might need to change my flight back in order to be able to try to check out bike hubs at train stations such as Cambridge, which has free bike parking spaces for 3,000 bikes (but I might not be able to get to it if I can't raise enough money).

The expenses include airplane, rail trip to Liverpool from London and back, transit, lodging, food, a transit pass, temporary International phone coverage, entry fees to some museums, etc.

Besides the conference and travel, the idea is to spend 2.5 days each in Liverpool and London. I know that's not enough time, but it's enough time to learn a lot with plenty of things to write about.

I know that many people read my blog and apply ideas to their own situations. In recognition of my "giving back" I hope people will see fit to help.

ALSO, if you have suggestions for things I should try to see and articles I should then write about, please let me know.

Thank you.


At 6:35 PM, Anonymous charlie said...

did you get plane tickets yet?

At 8:08 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

Yep. I am definitely going. But I could be hitching and eating bread and water otherwise.

At 8:04 PM, Anonymous charlie said...

I think the DC term is cat food and ramen, but could be wrong.

glad you are going. These funding things are a pain but lets see if it works.

SAS is doing very cheap fares to Copenhagen for the fall as well. Plane tickets always cheaper when you buy ahead of time.

At 9:05 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

I actually got the ticket right around when I got notice they picked me for a free registration. Still it wasn't cheap, but under $700 including baggage.

There was a great article somewhere about "the hacks" people use for flying on Wow and similar airlines, wearing 7 layers of clothes, etc.

At 5:15 PM, Anonymous h st ll said...

Wish you were going to Portugal instead! Southern Europe is way better than Northern Europe, just like California is way better than the NE

At 10:42 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

what do you like about Portugal? I know that every time I see photos of historic Lisbon I swoon. The tiled squares, the crazy streetcars on hills, etc.

I can't remember what they call the system of independent lodgings across the country, usually in distinctive, historic properties. Pousadas..., I guess the state privatized them. I've read about them and they sound really cool.


... I know blog commenter charlie really likes Barcelona, albeit it's Southern Europe but not close to Portugal.

At 10:54 PM, Anonymous h st ll said...

The weather of course. And the vibe is real laid back compared to Northern Europe. Still great transit (local and intercity) but way more chill. The best quality fresh ingredients I've ever had (and I've been to five different continents). Paris also good ingredients but not as good imo (and the UK is eh). The vibe in Paris is just more stressful and angry too. And yes of course the beauty you described.

Plus Portugal is way cheaper than Northern Europe. And way better spot than Spain too imo. Def gonna move there at some point

At 7:05 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...


Just this, when I first saw it as a photo, was enough for me:

Oh, and I like port...

At 5:13 PM, Anonymous h st ll said...

Nice photos! Their wine is better than ports tho!


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