Resources
WinthropFull text of John Winthrop's sermon, "A Model of Christian Charity"

 

Kennedyaudio Listen to an excerpt from John F. Kennedy's "City Upon a Hill" speech [23 sec]

 

Reaganaudio Listen to an excerpt from Ronald Reagan's "Farewell Address" [25 sec]

 

"Many have also suggested that cities represent the greatest communal works of man and as such, provide the deepest assurance of a sense of continuity between past and present."
City Upon a Hill: Reflections on the Value of Cities is produced by Brian Wallace, Manager, Online Communications for the Georgia Municipal Association.

About City Upon a Hill

Listen now [1 min, 57 sec]

Cities have been used as a metaphor throughout our nation’s history to illustrate the great potential and aspirations of our democratic society.

From John Winthrop’s sermon to the colonists who were going to found the Massachusetts Bay Colony to speeches made by John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, the concept of our nation as a “city upon a hill” has allowed us to craft a portrait of our national journey that resonates within us all.

The concept of "nation as city" works because it is grounded in the fact that it is in cities where the foundations of our economy are laid and where our identity as a people is anchored.

Many have also suggested that cities represent the greatest communal works of man and as such, provide the deepest assurance of a sense of continuity between past and present.

These ideas have allowed us a nation to convey the dreams and deepest aspirations of our national journey and to paint a picture of the bonds that link us as a society together.

But cities are much more than a metaphor. They are where we work, live, play and enrich our lives.  They provide day-to-day value to our lives and to the quality-of-life we all share and enjoy.

And they are where our future will be played out.

From land-use decisions, to homelessness and access to health care, to the build-out of broadband services, to the rise of mega-cities and the quest for a sense of place, the undeniable fact is that cities are at the core of discussions about our future.

In order to explore these ideas, the Georgia Municipal Association brings to you its online project, City Upon a Hill: Reflections on the Value of Cities. Beginning in July 2008, twice a month for one year, essays will be posted online that will explore the value of cities from the perspective of both city officials and others who care about our cities and towns.

Our hope is to go beyond "city upon a hill" simply as a metaphor for our nation. Our aim is to explore and highlight the value that Georgia's cities and towns bring to our state. We think the effort will be worth it for as our first contributor, Bill Hudnut of the Urban Land Institute, says, cities are "where the heart of American can be found."

© 2008 - 2009 Georgia Municipal Association