Urbanist Websites Confuse Philly With Boston — and With Bristol, CT

Websites that write about cities should probably keep a keen eye on which city is which, especially when aggregating content or using copyrighted photographs. Let’s take a couple recent examples.

Here’s a screenshot from a Web Urbanist piece about crowdsourced urban planning projects:


Funny thing, though:


The photo is of Old City, Philadelphia — not Bristol, CT. It was taken by B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia, this city’s tourism agency.

Then there’s Planetizen’s James Brasuell. In a post headlined “Containing the Impacts of Gentrification for Long-Time Homeowners,” he summarizes Timothy Williams’ recent New York Times piece on that subject:

Williams cites the example of Boston, which recently passed two pieces of legislation meant to support longtime homeowners in its urban areas…

Not so, James. Those two pieces of legislation — the Homestead Exemption and LOOP — were enacted by Philadelphia not Boston, as Williams makes quite clear.

Is it so hard to admit that Philly is Philly? Guess so.

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  • tsarstruck

    Um. Isn’t that Old City photo just used as an example of what would work in Bristol? Hence the whole “residents are invited to upload their own ideas and join in on discussions at the website so developers can gauge exactly what the community wants” thing.

    • DTurner

      Agreed, I think they’re just using it as a placeholder, not incredibly clear though.

      Agreed with the overall argument though that Philly is just kind of forgotten by the urbanist community, I think the upgrade to the tourism campaign (actually talking about why Philly is great instead of just being edgy) is probably a good start to getting our name out there.

      • Liz Spikol

        Also, if that is being used as an example of successful urbanism, all the more reason to identify the particular city.

        • Guest

          Or a Phanatic watermark?

    • Liz Spikol

      That’s what it represents on the Bristol Rising site, but the placement under “Bristol” on the Web Urbanist site is misleading. A caption — with appropriate copyright info — would have fixed the problem.