UrbanWild and the MSP Identity

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“It’s hard to think of another place that offers so many urban and arts amenities interspersed with the natural beauty of lakes, trails, woods and the Mississippi River.”

Jay Walljasper in a recent MinnPost article offers up his claim for what Minneapolis & St. Paul should be most identified with by a global audience. In an environment where cities compete to attract skilled or talented workers, new businesses and tourism traffic, the brand of a metropolitan area must be attractive, interesting and unique. Jay writes, “What we are best known for is ice, snow, wind chill, mosquitoes, the Mall of America” and that we would benefit from a positioning nearer to” a dazzling hot spot of culture, innovation and global cosmopolitanism.”


The challenge requires a new name.

There are at least 150 places in the world that call themselves the Twin Cities and leading champions are calling for the adoption of the hip and zip title MSP, a moniker as trendy as NYC, DC and LA. Next is to identify the strongest, most unique characteristics that will both tell the story of our cities’, accurately describe what outsiders can expect and present them a picture of ourselves that is so tantalizing they can not resist to make the trip.

Remnant of The Mill City

Jay cites a proud list of our Twin Cities’ achievements -

in business & commerce, social progress, food, education and the arts – but the most exciting insight of the growing conversation revealed itself during his interview on MPR’s The Daily Circuit. When prompted to take a stab at what he believes is the most distinguishing characteristic of Minneapolis & St. Paul, the identity that best deserves world-wide adoption, is our overwhelmingly effective mix of urban and natural recreation land use, vibrant outdoor adventure community and their relentless thirst for action.

No answer could be more exciting to the team behind this blog. There are many community members with a role to play in overcoming this challenge, and we are more than ready to do our part – bringing back the tales from the world’s greatest urban wild, in MSP.


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On August 6, 2013
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