Copywriting, blogging and journalism for cities

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Hi, I’m Laura!

I am here to write any city-related texts you might need! I actually grew up in a small village. Maybe that is what first made me be interested in cities. I studied Political Science with a focus on international relations and development cooperation, before I went into urban planning and urban development.

On the side, I have been a copywriter for seven years, working on topics as diverse as travel, real estate, product descriptions and blog entries. As a blogger, I run my own niche blog on participatory urban planning: parCitypatory.org.

In order to bring all these loose ends together, I decided to offer my services as a writer on cities. Whether you want to update your city’s website, need an attractive description for a city trip agency or want an in-depth analysis of urban development in a specific country or area, I am there for you! I love writing journalistic and creative pieces but am also an expert of SEO and marketing.

A few facts about me

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I will work for you in English or German, and you can even try my Spanish!

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My favourite book?
“The Guernsey Literary and Potatoe Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

I am currently located in Mexico City (7 hours later than in Germany), but will respond to your e-mails quickly!

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My favourite quote?
“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.” by Jane Jacobs

Yes, I am one of “those people”: a digital nomad. Nevertheless, I like to have an office and a home base.

My favourite city?
Vancouver is ranking high in terms of liveability, but I also love London, Mumbai (in terms of interesting-ness) and Galway (for being cute!).

What I offer

Urban Content

As long as it is about cities! I also like writing about sustainability, the environment, climate change and healthy food choices. My clients include travel magazines, city blogs, newspapers, city websites and governments. Here are some articles ideas that could be on your website soon:

Why Mexico City is Telling Its Citizens to Smile

How Digital Nomads Are Changing Cities Like Berlin

5 Reasons to Travel to Guatemala City After All

Beautiful European Cities That Are Still Under the Radar

How is Sustainable Development Goal 11 Being Implemented in Your City?

Journalistic articles

I love getting creative and telling stories. Explaining complex issues to readers who know little about the topic is one of my fortes.

Blog articles

As a reliable person, I always deliver before deadline and am happy to regularly contribute to your blog. I also have some knowledge of WordPress and basic HTML so I can also support you with scheduling and publishing.

SEO and City Marketing

More clients for you! You are looking to attract more tourists to your city? Then you need better content on your website as a first step! I can help you to present your city from its best and most interesting side! All you need to do is provide the photos.

Workshops

I organise participatory workshops and exercises in your city, and will write about them, too!

Kind words from clients

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“Laura has been very helpful in updating our website, giving us SEO tips and making our company look more attractive to potential clients.”

Peter, Aztec Explorers

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“Great work, Laura! We loved your contributions about Ghana to our city solutions network urb.im.”

Carlin, Dallant

Portfolio

Urban Informality in Times of Crisis: The Need for More Resilience in Informal Settlements

While the focus on how Western cities deal with the Covid-19 crisis dominates our media, it is crucial to also analyse the situation in the Global South. Although the virus is not as widespread in the Southern Hemisphere, according to what we know, some of the poorest people are suffering the worst consequences.

Mexico: Using Superheroes for Risk Communication in Times of Coronavirus

Risk communication is crucial in a pandemic. In Mexico, a new superhero has been invented to encourage the whole population to respect the rules of social distancing. The cartoon character SuSana Distancia is a good example of successful risk communication.

Is Gentrification Becoming a Problem in Guatemala City?

Recently, I visited Guatemala City — a capital that is often disregarded in comparison to other gems like Antigua Guatemala or Lake Atitlán. While these are truly beautiful, I think it is also worthwhile to consider to case of the capital city. Since I was not able to contact project managers of the place I will be talking about (4 Grados Norte), I will use various newspaper sources, online comments and personal impressions of myself, but also of locals I talked to in Guatemala City, as sources.

I stayed in an AirBnB in Guatemala City, close to its centre, that consisted of a whole building owned by AirBnb. This was a first hint at the gentrification slowly taking over Guatemala City — high prices might be another one. AirBnB is apparently getting active as a real estate investor. It proudly exhibits some pictures of how the building used to look before they bought it and turned it into a space for visitors.

Reviving the City: How an Asphalt Plant Turned Into a Public Park

In Mexico City, residents organised to convince the city government to build a public park instead of developing an area for office buildings. The Parque Imán can serve as an example for successfully greening neighbourhoods, and reclaiming public space in a participatory and transparent manner.

Mexico City might be known internationally for many things, such as criminality, air pollution and heavy traffic. Recently, it has been gaining a reputation for more positive aspects such as efforts undertaken to green the city and to improve air quality.

Having lived in this bustling metropolis for two months now, as an urban development student it struck me that the city has a special talent maybe unknown beyond its boundaries: the redevelopment and regeneration of public spaces.

Please Stay Inside

Delhi’s air quality endangers the health of its citizens, so innovative strategies are needed to regulate pollution.

“Children, sick and elderly persons are advised to stay inside.” I read this sentence in the paper every single day while I was in Delhi for a few weeks last year. Only afterwards did I learn that Delhi suffered record air pollution levels in autumn 2015. But I could feel the stress on my lungs every time I went outside. In the end, I took to wearing a scarf over my nose and mouth because my lungs started to hurt from all the filtering they had to do.

What is happening in India’s capital? In 2014, the World Health Organisation (WHO) gave Delhi the questionable “title” of the world’s most polluted city. Pollution levels are even worse than in China. Especially in winter, small particles fill the air, making it hard to breathe. Causes of this air pollution are manifold and include car exhaust, diesel generator fumes, biomass burning in the city (i.e. firewood for cooking, but also waste), dust in dry weather, and smoke when the surrounding states burn their crop residues. Festivals like Diwali in November with their infinite and omnipresent fire crackers do their part in polluting India’s air as well.

Re-defining La Mariscal in Quito Through Neighbourhood Engagement

How to revive an urban neighbourhood that has become nothing more than a place to work?

La Mariscal is one of Quito’s more affluent districts with a lot of international hotels, offices, and restaurants. However, as soon as business hours are over, the district is as good as dead and the public spaces are not safe any more. Once constructed as a garden city, some of the beautiful old villas are still there, while in between many new high rise buildings for government and private offices have been built. However, there is still a lot of beauty and potential in La Mariscal. In recent years, not least powered by Habitat III taking place a few walking minutes away, there have been some changes for the better. Thanks to Fabrica Ciudad, I took part in a tour of the district and learned about a few of the innovative projects going on to revive this city.

Geographic portfolio

These are the cities I have been to and feel most comfortable writing about. I have spent the most time in Berlin, Manchester, Mexico City, New Delhi and Addis Ababa. However, I am always excited to discover new cities – invite me to yours or show me your city digitally and I will put it in words!

My professional timeline

Now

Currently I am combining my two passions: writing and cities. I focus on urban journalism and writing “urban copy”.

2019-2020: UN / SDSN Pathways Fellow

The past years

From 2018 to 2019, I was the project manager for cdmXberlin – a city partnership project between Berlin and Mexico City

In 2017, I completed my M.Sc. Global Urban Development and Planning degree in Manchester, UK

In 2016, I founded parCitypatory and have been blogging on the platform since.

In 2016, I attended the Urban Journalism Academy at HABITAT III in Quito, Ecuador

The start

 2012 – today: copywriter and texter for companies such as FTI Travel, ImmoScout24,…

2015: volunteer work for Khata in New Delhi, India

2014-2015: volunteer work for PROJECT-E in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

2014: Introduction to Journalism, online course at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland

2011-2014: B.A. Political Science at Free University Berlin and student assistant for the Environmental Policy Research Centre in Berlin, Germany

Work with me!

Your city needs some texts, articles or marketing? Contact me at laura@textsandthecity.org and I will send you my offer! Costs depend on the amount of research necessary and the kind of article. Please understand that I will add 7% German taxes (Mehrwertsteuer) to my services. I look forward to hearing from you!

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