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CityLab Profiles Eau Claire

Mike Paulus, photos by Andrea Paulseth |


CityLab is a big deal. An offshoot of The Atlantic – yes, that Atlantic  – the online publication is "committed to telling the story of the world’s cities: how they work, the challenges they face, and the solutions they need." They cover the ins and outs and innovations of community development across the globe. Their case studies serve as inspiration for city planners and stakeholders, sparking creative designs and programs in city development. So when CityLab writes about Eau Claire, as they did today, it means there's something interesting going on here. 

Their profile joins the steady stream of national media covering our city. But before you read their story, a word on the title: "How Bon Iver Saved Eau Claire." Yes. It's a bit of a groaner. And while the importance and impact of a certain earnest local musician (and his band) (and his music festival) should never be underestimated, any local who's been paying attention can tell you there's a lot more at play here. But hey, we understand editors need catchy titles, so we'll give it a pass. 

Thankfully, that's not what the article's about. 

City Lab traces the city's industrial and economic drivers through a number of ups and downs, landing at our current situation, riding the momentum of recent downtown development. They touch on the roles played by our city planners, RCU, Phoenix Park, JAMF, Banbury Place, UW-Eau Claire, and of course, the Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival. They also spoke with local individuals who moved here to start new businesses. 

None of these recent articles really have the space to dig deep into the many, many factors (and people) propelling Eau Claire's recent progress, but as we've said before, we'll take all the attention we can get – as long as no one sees it as a finish line.

Grabbing CityLab's attention is important, but there's plenty more work to be done.