This week, Uptown Greenville, working alongside of the City of Greenville, launched a Love Greenville campaign designed to inspire Greenville citizens to love where they live.

The campaign kicked off with a visit from urban activist, Peter Kageyama, author of For the Love of Cities and Love Where You Live. Kageyama is an internationally sought-after grassroots engagement strategist who speaks all over the world about bottom-up community development.

Kageyama came into town Monday, met with groups of Greenville co-creators and took time touring and getting to know Greenville. Kageyama served as the keynote speaker at Uptown Greenville’s State of the District event on Tuesday, February 9, and spoke to more than 200 city leaders, developers, business owners and community members about the value of becoming engaged citizens who love their places.

“The more people who start saying they love Greenville,” said Kageyama, “the more people start acting upon that love, the more people are going to see it and the more people are going to believe it.”

At the State of the District, Uptown Greenville announced the 2015 Uptown Greenville award recipients. Nelle Hayes, Uptown Greenville resident and property owner, member of Uptown Greenville’s Board of Directors, and Uptown Events & Branding Committee member, won Volunteer of the Year. The Public Project of the Year went to the City of Greenville for the Fourth Street Parking Deck, and Dickinson Avenue Public House and Trollingwood Taproom & Brewery won Urban Pioneers of the Year.

In combination with Kageyama’s visit and message about love, came the launch of the new hashtag “LoveGVL” encouraging Greenville residents to show their love for their city on social media.

On Tuesday night, Uptown Greenville also launched a new commercial that showcases how local business owners and community members show their love their cities. The commercial is a call to love how you play, love what you eat, love where you shop, love how you invest, and love where you live in Greenville.

“Emotions are contagious,” said Kageyama at the event Tuesday night. “Love is the best thing we do. It’s about time we applied the best thing we do to the places that we live.”