Celebrating City Patriotism: Civicism? Urbism? Parochialism?

Celebrating City Patriotism: Civicism? Urbism? Parochialism?

Tess Wilson
Jun 25, 2012

A friend of my recently said something like, "there ought to be a word like 'patriotism', but for cities. I'm proud to be from London, not England" — but he said it way better and more "Britishy", of course. With the 4th of July fast approaching, it seems like the perfect time to celebrate our civic pride, our city love.

Rashiq Fataar of Sustainable Cities Collective expressed the exact same sentiment as my friend: "I am a proud Londoner, not a proud Englishman". In his article "Civic Pride: Civicism Instead Of Patriotism?" he writes, "It's hard to associate yourself with a country, especially when it is so vast. Many times you've never even seen the majority of the country you belong to." He quotes an excerpt from the book The Spirit of Cities by Daniel A. Bell and Avner de-Shalit: "We nominate the word civicism to express the sentiment of urban pride." Those two authors also wrote a great article for the Huffington Post entitled, "Tired of Nationalism? Try Civicism". The only problem is that "civicism" already seems to have several definitions, from "the doctrine that all citizens have the same rights and obligations" to "the principle of civil government". But the word itself is obviously barely used — since my spellcheck has no idea what I'm talking about — so maybe a redefinition is just fine. On to the art, celebrating the cities I've lived in and loved!

1. As this silkscreened map from Best Made Co says, everything here in San Francisco is wonderful. Most of the time. It's really expensive and dirty, but also wonderful. Many other cities are available.
2. Famille Summerbelle makes incredibly delicate handcut maps — so dainty! The San Francisco map is available as a print (the silver one seems particularly appropriate for our foggy city) or as a very reasonably priced original papercut. Paris and London maps are also available.
3. Aaron Straup Cope makes Prettymaps, and they are very pretty indeed. This San Francisco Bay Area map is available through 20x200. Several other cities are available.
4. Amy Ruppel has created Portland Bingo, with squares such as "hot girl with glasses", "mossy roof", and "Simpsons related street sign".
5. We've discussed A Heirloom's state cutting boards before, but I wanted to remind you that for no extra charge, you can have a tiny heart engraved on the city you love. Shown here is the Oregon board with a Portland heart- so sweet. All other U.S. states are available, with a heart on the city of your choice.

6 & 7. Ork Posters celebrate not just city pride, but neighborhood pride. We need a word for that, too! Shown here are Portland and my sweet home Chicago. Many other cities are available.
8. This letterpress map of Chicago by Axis Maps is made entirely of type. It's kind of mind-blowing. Several other cities are available in either letterpress or poster format.
9. Finally we have Lucius Art's Nothing Like A Cold Day On A Warm Day In Chicago. It's not a map, but it's so true, you guys. Treat yourself someday.

(Images: as credited above.)

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