On Value


In the work we do, we hear a lot of people trying to one-up each other on how horrible their hometowns are, bad mouthing big cities, down talking rural towns or anything in between.

It takes an intentional perspective to observe, appreciate and understand that every place has meaning. Every place has a reason for existing. Every place serves a need.

The history of a place, how it came to be, who crafted it, the industry and the nature --  all of these things teach us something about how we were as a society, about how we are to be as people -- to care better for nature, to innovate based on past practices.

Just as people are very different iterations of what a human being is, hometowns, downtowns and suburbs are all so different in how a place can be and reflect our being human.

Humans are raised with tendencies, this you know. We all have likes and dislikes, but a lot of these opinions are formed based on the habitats we are raised in. If you were raised on a busy street in NYC in a fifth-floor walk-up, visiting a country homestead might feel suffocating because there is very little diversity, movement or access.

However, there are cases when you’re raised in one place and form opposite likes from what you’re raised with. Growing up on that same busy street in NYC, the noise of trash trucks and traffic and people literally living on top of each other, country roads might be fulfilling your greatest desires of having your own air, space and self-curated lawn.

How a place changes, bends and transitions can be a beautiful and telling indicator. And there is so much to learn from here.

For all of these reasons, we try not to rank places. We all have our favorite places of course, due to fond memories, life phases, etc. It’s not because one place is better than another. Just as humans all hold inherent value, all places hold inherent value.

It’s Motley’s work to recognize that inherent value and showcase that value to the world through storytelling so that others can see the best and potential version of a place.