Citing Citi Bike, and examples of parks and subway stations in Texas and New York that have jumped on the branding bandwagon, Smith sees a win-win solution for those communities struggling to maintain pubic services in times of budgetary crisis and companies looking to increase their exposure by bankrolling "common goods."
"In the past, it has been easy to ignore this opportunity. Most commonly, I've heard protests like 'don't cheapen our parks; is nothing sacred?' or 'don't expose our kids, who are already bombarded by ads, to even more commercialization.'"
"Unfortunately, we live in a new era. Cities, towns, counties and states throughout the country are facing budget shortfalls. This forces government to make difficult choices - increase taxes, cut spending or both. And when the choice is spending cuts, things like park maintenance, museum operations and public pools - all of which improve the quality of our lives - are among the first things to go."
"Why should they?"