Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Irresistible City

Each year media heavyweights like Monocle, Forbes and The Economist publish a list of the world’s most liveable cities – the very best places to live in the world. Europe dominates the lists, with Vienna, Zurich, Geneva and Copenhagen regularly appearing as the global front-runners. But are these cities really the best places to live? And why are ‘big cities’ like London, New York and Paris so conspicuously absent?

The Financial Times ran a good article on all this about a month ago. Apparently what gets you near the top of the liveable list are things like your proximity to nature, global connectivity, education and even chain store metrics. But it’s a classic case of irreplaceable and irresistible. Or as FT puts it, liveable versus loveable. I’d like to see a list of the most loved cities in the world. Places that ooze sensuality, mystery and intimacy. That pulse with energy and excitement. Mine would start with Istanbul, Santa Fe, Rome and Auckland. Forget about places that are liveable. Let’s talk about places that make you feel alive.