Very close to my heart, Guanajuato is an ancient mining town that became part of the World Heritage. While it tends to be overcrowded with tourists and development in the surrounding areas has accelerated over the last couple of decades, its core is protected by UNESCO and preserves its ancient tunnels and streets as it reinvents itself as a cultural and academic hub. This place has inspired greatness for generations and changed history as a result.
The Global Cities Dialogue is a worldwide network of cities interested in creating an information society free of digital divide, based on sustainable development. Its General Assembly is taking place this week in Lyon, France with attendance of the French President Mr. N. Sarkozy. Also known as The Lyon Conference for Digital Solidarity, this conference will host a large number of heads of state and government, as well as international organizations, NGO, companies and foundations.
This conference is a follow-up to the World Summits on the Information Society held in 2003 and 2005 in Geneva and Tunis, which gave rise to the creation of the Global Digital Solidarity Fund and the World Digital Solidarity Agency. Today, at a time when the digital gap is ceaselessly expanding on a world-wide level, the Lyon Conference will bring all the main individuals trying to bridge the digital divide together for a whole day’s work, so enabling concerted world action to be taken for providing better answers to the issues at stake in this key sector of development.
The main themes will be explored in the form of workshops:
Universal Connectivity: Looking for ways to leverage new technologies to integrate towns or regions, especially [...]
Courtesy l@mie @ Flickr
Villages are excellent at protecting ancient traditions. Where else would you find a group of seniors set up their fishing gear towards the end of the day to bring dinner home?
Further to my post on the 2008 Global Cities Index, here is another snippet from the report ranking the best cities to get some culture based on things like sporting events, concurrence of travellers, variety of their culinary offerings, art installations and performances.
and the rest of the list.
With the recent opening of the Art Gallery of Ontario, a controversial renovation of the Royal Ontario Museum and a brand new Centre for the Performing Arts, us Torontonians have forged our way into the top 10. But it makes you wonder how much this type of top 10 lists can fluctuate when you start adding other factors as part of the ranking such as:
average distance to nearby world heritage site,
number of cultural events programmed throughout the year,
affluence of visitors to major festivals,
foreign cultures with active representation in the city,
cumulative age of historic sites within city boundaries…
In January of 2007 I posted the globalization index, a partnership between Foreign Policy magazine and A.T. Kearney. At the time the report listed the most globalized countries, led by Singapore, Switzerland and the United States. A few weeks ago I decided to once again fine tune the editorial line of this blog by dedicating more time to cover urban issues and the role of cities in the shaping of our global culture. So finding the Foreign Policy’s 2008 Global Cities Index serves to reinforce the recent spirit of this blog.
The methodology to rank the cities includes 24 metrics in five dimensions:
The first is business activity: including the value of its capital markets, the number of Fortune Global 500 firms headquartered there, and the volume of the goods that pass through the city. The second dimension measures human capital, or how well the city acts as a magnet for diverse groups of people and talent. This includes the size of a city’s immigrant population, the number of international schools, and the percentage of residents with university degrees. The third dimension is information exchange—how well news and information is dispersed about and to the rest of [...]
We devoted an entire day to go around Lake Como, Italy. Varenna like almost every village around the lake is pressed between the lake and the mountains, creating an intimate space where strangers have no option but to cross paths.
Front Seat, the organization that brough us Walk Score continues deploying tools to bring citizen participation to the web 2.0 era. This week they launched Obama Urban Policy, a forum where everyone can participate in recommending priorities for the first Office of Urban Policy for the United States. Getting involved early seems like the best way to influence the opinion of future policy makers.
In my recent post “vote” I pointed out three policy ideas that focus on cities:
Find ways to replicate the hyper productivity of cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington and Boston across some of the poor-performing cities.
Create a new industry around the “City of the Future”: sustainable, energy-efficient, less dependent of non-renewable resources, able to produce only the necessary goods and doing good through a well educated workforce.
Study your most cosmopolitan cities and figure out how to leverage diversity as a strength, integrating migrants to the workforce more effectively.
I’ve done my part by posting these suggestions on the forum. Now is your turn to stop by and make your vote count (again).
The top three priorities at this time are:
Invest in a world-class rail network
Build a world-class rail system between [...]