In the first of what will become a series of Leadership Sandy Springs talks, city development consultant Peter Kageyama told a group of local leaders and officials to spread the love in their city.
“You guys got it going on right now,” he said. “What are you going to do next?”
Kageyama, author of “For the Love of Cities: The Love Affair Between People and Their Places” and “Love Where You Live: Creating Emotionally Engaging Places,” was speaking during LSS’s recent “Live, Love, Lead” event at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church.
He told the audience to “spread the positivity” about Sandy Springs. “Not nearly enough of us love our places,” he said, urging audience members to become “emotional thought leaders.”
“[Tell everyone] ‘yeah I’m from Sandy Springs. We’re the ones that won Mercedes,” Kageyama said.
He said that while citizens know how to complain about things like potholes, they don’t know how to ask for things like beauty, art and great design. “As you guys start the massive undertaking of City Center, I think ‘where’s the fun’ would be a really good question to ask.”
He added, “People love small things” and giving Sandy Springs citizens a dog park would be a love note.
“I think if you’re going to build a downtown you need to put a dog park in the heart of downtown,” Kageyama said. “You want people to talk to each other? You want people to interact with each other/”
A dog park, he said, would be “small dollars” compared with everything else in the city center but added that city officials should look beyond the cost of things to the value.
Kageyama used the Abernathy Greenway’s playable art as an example. He said it was controversial when first proposed, but now that it’s build people “get it.”
“There are people who want to hold your feet to the fire, especially our elected officials, because you’re spending public dollars,” he said. But, “if you see the world through that lens of it’s just about the cost of things, you will never do anything fun or beautiful or creative.”
“I think we need to be willing to have that conversation with our fellow citizens who want to talk about the cost, cost, cost,” Kageyama told the audience. “Let’s talk about the value of things. The folks who know the cost of everything often understand the value of nothing.”