AFS Blog

A Love Note #ForAllAges

Posted on February 04, 2019 | by Josephine Eisenberg
A Love Note #ForAllAges

When we think about ‘being in a relationship’ we usually think of family, a significant other or friends. Relationships are defined as a state of being connected; how two or more people or groups regard and behave toward each other. Imagine the surprise of audience members when author and urban strategist Peter Kageyama explained that we are also in a relationship with the places we live, our cities. And this relationship between people and their city is one of the most powerful influences in our lives.

The Manatee Community Foundation and Realize Bradenton recently invited author Peter Kageyama to speak at the Manatee Performing Arts Center about the importance of creating fun, loveable cities. Peter suggests we open up new possibilities of city-making by including the most powerful of motivators – the human heart.

Peter is the author of two books entitled For the Love of Cities: The Love Affair Between People and Their Places and the follow-up, Love Where You Live: Creating Emotionally Engaging Places. He is the former president of Creative Tampa Bay, a grassroots community change organization and the co-founder of the Creative Cities Summit, an interdisciplinary conference that brings citizens and practitioners together around the big idea of ‘the city.’

Known as the ‘city love guy,’ Mr. Kageyama shows us when we love the city we live in, we are committed to it and give it our best. A city that is loved also gives back to its residents. A lovable city has to be built in a different way – including both big ideas and small ideas; everyone has a part. Creating ‘Love Notes’ is an integral part of Peter’s message. Love Notes are a gesture between the cities and its citizens. They are simple things created in a city that surprise and delight residents and visitors of all ages – dog parks, farmers markets, bubbling fountains, hip cafes, outdoor cafes, public art, etc.

A few of my favorite examples of Love Notes are:

mice on main

The Mice on Main is a creative scavenger hunt for all ages in Greenville, S.C. A student had the idea to create brass mice, scatter them around downtown and design a map of clues to guide residents and visitors as they search for the mice. This project only cost approximately $1,200 to create. Folks can be seen daily searching for the mice and being delighted by the new places the hunt takes them.


the lawn on d

The Lawn on D in Boston is a three-acre open space next to the convention center that brings together different communities, all ages, and diverse audiences. Residents and visitors can try out adult-size swings, play giant games like Jenga, participate in a Zumba class or enjoy a wine tasting area.


millennium park

 At Chicago’s Millennium Park, the Love Note is the public art. Visitors take selfies in front of Cloud Gate, a massive, stainless steel structure that’s become Chicago’s signature landmark and splash around in the Crown Fountain, a shallow reflecting pool bookended by 50-foot towers. When children see the water, they play and are happy. Kageyama says “when kids are happy, parents are happy.”

When thinking of what Love Notes you would like to see in your city, Peter encourages us to be creative, financially responsible, and responsive to the community. The end result will be to build cities that are lovable, that grab you by the heart and entice people to want to live here.

I am now on an exciting search for Sarasota’s Love Notes and very appreciative for my new understanding of my relationship with the place I live. What Love Notes have you seen? What are some of your ideas for creating Love Notes #ForAllAges?

Share your ideas with us on Facebook at and Twitter at @AgeFriendlySRQ #ForAllAges.




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