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The story behind the name “Architect This City”

I was having drinks with an old friend a couple of weeks ago and I told her about my blog. She immediately asked me what it was called. At the time, it was just called “Cities.” And truthfully, I hadn’t given the title much thought. I just knew that I wanted to take a multi-disciplinary approach to examining cities.

After that night I started thinking more about the idea of a proper title for my blog and I came to the conclusion that I did need something more creative. I should have a stronger brand and identity. So I experimented with a few names and, as you’ve probably noticed, I settled on “Architect This City.”

Now that I’ve been using the name for a few weeks, I thought I would share my thinking behind it.

I wanted the name to convey 3 things. (1) I wanted it to be clear that this blog was about cities. (2) I wanted it to be something personal to me. (3) And I wanted to somehow demonstrate that this blog isn’t a siloed look at any one particular discipline, such as architecture, planning or real estate. It’s more than that.

Given my background in architecture and the fact that “city” is in the name, I think that objectives 1 and 2 made it through. But what I hope is also clear from the name is that the term “architect” is supposed to refer to something much broader than just building design. It’s about the underlying systems, processes and structures of our cities—which could tie into the real estate market, our governance structures or some new technological innovation. Cities are complex and there are many “architects.”

Finally, I wanted the name to be a directive—a call to action. I wanted it to be a reminder that cities don’t just build themselves. They require careful thought, planning and deliberation. And that’s fundamentally what this blog is all about: city building.

What do you think about the new name? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

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