On the occasion of carnival, the last big Roman Catholic-influenced celebration before Lent's Ash Wednesday, Kaid Benfield explores the vibrancy the cultural celebration brings to cities. Certainly, cultural festivities contribute to the character of a city, while at the same time the festival takes on a life of its own inside the culture of each city. The example of Mardi Gras in New Orleans illustrates how a city is nothing without its culture.
"If you believe, as I do, that cities are essential to any kind of sustainable future - and if you believe that commerce alone is not enough to sustain a worthwhile place... then look to the culture. It’s why we want to be in a particular place, other things being equal. And it will help a place’s sustainability if that culture is both strong and locally grounded."