10 Last-Minute 2016 Holiday Gifts for Urbanists

Ryan Holeywell | @RyanHoleywell | December 14, 2016

Know a city planner, an architect, or a policy wonk? Maybe there’s a lover of cities and maps in your life? What better way to show you care than with an urban-themed gift this season. Christmas and Hanukkah are less than two weeks away. So it’s time to start shopping.

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Transit water bottle — Liberty Bottle Works — From $23.00
Show your love for your hometown transit system with an aluminum water bottle featuring its map. Available in 12 different cities, the bottle is the perfect way to show that you know the best way to travel in style is to travel on a train.

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Wooden city map — Neighborwoodmaps.com — From $74

Get a laser-engraved map showing your city and its neighborhoods. Makes the perfect gift for someone new to town. More than 30 cities are available.

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Cities: Skylines — Steam — $29.99

Do you know people who always says the city could run better, if only they were in charge? This is the perfect way to put them to the test. The popular computer game allows users to practice urban planning, zoning, road placement, and taxation as they simulate the city of their own creation.

Image via Shop Wright.

Image via Shop Wright.

Frank Lloyd Wright door mat — Shop Wright — $42.00

Buying a Frank Lloyd Wright house probably isn’t a good idea. They can cost millions of dollars, and they often require lots of maintenance. Fortunately, you can turn any home into a Wright house, at a fraction of the cost, with a sleek door mat featuring some of the architect’s most iconic designs.

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“Fantastic Cities: A Coloring Book of Amazing Places Real and Imagined” — Amazon.com — $12.08

Coloring books for adults are a real thing — and it turns out they’re incredibly popular. Illustrator Steve McDonald’s book includes outlines of cities from Toronto to Amsterdam to San Francisco, among other locales. It’s a challenge to color — the drawings are incredibly intricate — which makes this a real draw for some coloring aficionados. Thousands have uploaded their colored pages using the hashtag #fantasticcities.

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City Plates — National Building Museum Gift Shop — From $55

Sleek plates feature maps of some of the most iconic cities in the world. And with more than 30 locales to choose from, there’s always an opportunity to add more to the set.

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City Map Glass — Uncommon Goods — From $12.50

You’ll look oh-so-sophisticated sipping your favorite spirits in these classy rocks glasses, laser-etched with maps of city street grids. Available for more than 21 cities, so chances are, the city-loving, Scotch drinker in your life will be covered.

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Vintage-Style City Prints — Anderson Design Group — From $19.99

The Nashville-based graphic design firm Anderson Design Group sells these captivating, vintage-style posters for dozens of American cities large and small. Prices range from $19.99 to $149.99, depending on their size and whether they’re framed.

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Lego Architecture — Amazon.com — From $25.49

The popular kids toys get a makeover, with complicated sets featuring some of the world’s most iconic buildings from New York’s Guggenheim Museum to the Louvre to the Sydney Opera House. Be warned: some of the kits cost in excess of $200.

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City skyline cutting board — Etsy — From $35.00

These hardwood cutting boards feature engraved images of various city skylines. They’re meant to be displayed on the engraved side and functional on the reverse. Available in several different sizes and types of wood.

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