For the Love of Goleta

There is no doubt that things thrive when they are loved, and cities are no different. Last month, the City brought speaker and author, Peter Kageyama, to Goleta to talk about what makes cities lovable, what motivates citizens to do extraordinary things for their cities and how some communities use that energy to make a difference.

At the community workshop with over 125 attendees, Peter gave an overview of the loveable cities concept and engaged participants in several exercises to tease out what people love about Goleta and how the essence of Goleta might be represented in an image or t-shirt. He spoke about what other communities have done with their “love.” Then each table brainstormed what could be done with $500. A spokesperson from each table then shared their “$500 project” concept. The whole group voted for the best project and the top two were funded. The top vote-getter was a pop up patio that would create a temporary outdoor space in which to eat, gather and enjoy Old Town. The second funded project was a chalk art festival for kids at Girsh Park. People also expressed a lot of interest in a “Welcome to Goleta” sign, something that is in the City  Council’s strategic plan. A third project for a mural in Old Town was popular and ended up being funded through an anonymous donor at the event. The energy and excitement in the room for the creative ideas and concepts was palpable.

Since Goleta has not had a defined identity in its first decade, this may be a starting point for establishing a brand in its second decade. The City hopes that this enthusiasm will continue
and the participants will use this as an inspiration for other community investment action. For more information on Peter and the Love of Cities concept, visit