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05/29/2021 | Episode 16 | 24:06

Just Getting Started: Talking up St. Pete with Peter Kageyama

Just Getting Started:

Peter Kageyama, award-winning author of "For the Love of Cities: The Love Affair Between People and Their Places," "Love Where You Live: Creating Emotionally Engaging Places" and "The Emotional Infrastructure of Places" is Dr. Tomalin's guest. "The relationship we have with our place is very much like the relationship we have with other people," says the 27-year resident of St. Petersburg. "It needs constant attention, and nurturing, and hopefully moving forward." He is the former President of Creative Tampa Bay, a grassroots community change organization, and the co-founder of the Creative Cities Summit, an interdisciplinary conference that brings citizens and practitioners together around the big idea of "the city."

Key Insights

  • A great city includes top-down government, businesses and ordinary residents "who just want to do something in their own back yard."
  • Kageyama cites Bob Devin Jones as an example of an essential "co-creator. And there's lots of Bob Devin Joneses out there in our community - and in communities everywhere."
  • The accumulation of small, positive acts over time leads a city towards a positive momentum: Being kind to your neighbor, picking up trash from the street or letting another driver pull in front of you. "Sometimes it's so subtle that we don't even notice it."
  • Kageyama coined the phrase "emotional infrastructure," meaning people's positivity and involvement and care are essential bricks in the construction of a healthy city.
  • During the pandemic, he points out, the world may have "stopped" but cities, out of necessity, kept going.
  • Kageyama praises the development north on 4th Street and MLK, and westward.
  • Coffee shops are "the quintessential third space. Not work, not home - it's something in between."
  • "Downtown retail has to feel different than something I can get at the mall, or on Amazon. And successful downtown retail is very much about that, creating an experience."
  • "St. Pete has the qualities that I would espouse other cities to have: For a Florida city, we are incredibly walkable. That is rare ... that makes an incredible difference in the way we experience a city.""

I always tell people I love St. Pete. And I will make the argument St. Pete is the best city in Florida."


Parking will sort itself out. You create a great enough destination, people will walk to it. They'll figure out they gotta park two whole blocks away. Nobody ever loved a city because you have parking."

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About the host

Dr. Kanika Tomalin is a thought leader, policy-maker, community ambassador, and health advocate.

As the first African-American, female Deputy Mayor and City Administrator of one of Florida’s largest cities, Dr. Kanika Tomalin is a role model for women from all walks of life and an advocate for innovative policies, equitable community revitalization, healthy families, at-risk youth and education.

Her signature initiative, Healthy St. Pete, which launched in 2014, has made community health a priority and impacts the lives of thousands of Sunshine City residents. By creating access to healthy food options, implementing free fitness zones in city parks and adding resources for individuals and families to make healthy living easier – Dr. Tomalin has made a tangible difference.

Dr. Tomalin’s understanding of the critical role health plays as a determinant of overall quality of life was shaped prior to her career in the public sector. She quickly climbed the ranks in the healthcare industry, most recently serving as the regional vice president of External Affairs for the Bayfront Health Network and director of Strategy for Health Management Associates’ 23-hospital Florida Group.

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