On the other hand, if one Googles Estero, what emerges is a very factual summary.
“Sandwiched along Florida’s Gulf Coast between Naples to the south and Fort Myers to the north, Estero is known as a popular destination for both high-end shopping and for exploring history and wildlife at its two state parks: Mound Key Archaeological State Park, which is only attainable by boat, canoe, or kayak and the Koreshan State Historic Site.”
Is this the “Sense of Place” we wish to portray? When Tony asked the audience what they felt about this, several agreed that Estero didn’t have a brand that helped to identify how Estero differed from other communities and what aspects would attract people to visit, live, and work. A suggestion was for Estero to emphasize its focus on “Wellness” and improving “Longevity.”
During the October 2023 Engage Estero Public Forum that focused on “The Future of Estero,” Jim Wallace, Key Principle of Genova Realty LLC, indicated that that given the significance to the community of the many developments being contemplated, it might be worthwhile considering a “visionary planning expert” to “think outside the box” and provide suggestions that would help make Estero a desirable destination for both residents and visitors. He said, “When creating a sense of place and a destination, I think it is key to engage a planner. They can look at the transition from the public realm into a sense of place.”
He also felt that looking at developments in other parts of the world, such as Europe, where there is much development of open spaces with fountains and parks to sit, read, and relax, would be worthwhile.
Tony recognized the difficulty of determining Estero’s sense of place and how that could be communicated. He asked, “How do we communicate the community character or sense of place of Estero to developers, visitors, and the community?”