As we struggle to find ways to survive the current crisis and look at the leaders of the world to provide guidance, the latest Hub Culture 2009 Zeitgeist Ranking will come in handy as a tour of the cities that are better positioned to sustain an acceptable quality of life while providing plenty of opportunities to rebuild for the future. A zeitgeist reflecting the drama of our times:
its not really about the Obamas – its about the context of our changing expectations of government
Berliners become an enigma – povo at home, increasingly affluent abroad
Just ignore the noxious skyline as you watch the GDP growth rates, still hovering near 9%
LA’s fashion scene has stagnated, and the city’s hold on entertainment is slipping to diffusion by web 2.0
the principles of kaizen (continuous improvement) are shaping a really cool new Japanese ecovibe
The general attitude down under appears to be one of distant concern
Here, ‘crunch’ is in the quinoa, not in the financial vocabulary
The city is rich enough to sit out the bust, and it can always rely on China’s neighboring Guangdong province to drive the local economy
Hunger breeds innovation, because people actually have to think, plot and [...]
I owe a big apology to all my loyal readers for keeping you in the dark over the last 3 months. Since my last post I travelled to Mexico twice, shared the stage in San Francisco with some of the authorities on the “geoweb”, travelled to Corsica, the French Riviera, Lake Como, St. Moritz; and managed to launch PlanetEye.com where I lead the Technology team. Intense to say the least. But the most recent issue of Monocle has me burning the proverbial midnight oil and finding energy to start posting regularly again. Thanks for your comments while I was away.
The Monocle Global Quality of Life Index may one day graduate to adopt a scientific methodology that considers a larger spectrum of cities around the world, but I’m happy to settle for their current coverage and play the my-city-is-better-than-yours game, using the tidbits of quick facts they’ve compiled. For those who don’t buy the magazine here are the top 10 cities:
Good looks, brains, perfect proportions, a sunny disposition and a sense of humour are always a winning combination…
It combines a strong economy with rich cultural offerings. The city’s workforce is highly [...]
I’m sure is not because Monocle released their most liveable cities report just a month ago, but now is The Economist releasing their Liveability rankings with the article Where the grass is greener. While Monocle’s report came in the form of a wonderful edition, perfectly written and documented, the Economist Intelligence Unit barely delivers a table with the rankings without much analysis behind. True, Monocle used criteria such “fair balance of sunny and warm days” and “availability of drinks after hours”, but the overall delivery convinced. According to The Economist
The survey takes over 40 factors into consideration which are weighted across five different categories: Stability; Healthcare; Culture & Environment; Education; and Infrastructure. Across the survey a mixture of quantitative and qualitative data are used, which are combined to give an overall Quality of Life Index rating.
However I wasn’t able to find such factors anywhere, not even after paying for the full report. Anyway, this are the top 10 according to them, nothing that we haven’t seen before:
Still, I never get tired of ranking cities and feeling a bit proud on behalf [...]
Hyper-connected to the rest of the world through an ample offering of long-haul flights, low crime rates, great education and health system, fair balance of sunny and warm days, plenty of ways to stay informed, availability of drinks after hours, good public transit, lots of green areas and a will to keep them green. This is the method behind the first Monocle Quality of Life Index.
For international flight connections it would be Paris but for an airport it would have to be Munich. On crime it would be a Japanese city – either Tokyo or Kyoto would do. Zürich and Helsinki would be our key contributors for hospitals and schools while Sydney and Honolulu offer the best weather. [...] For a good night out we’d want to be resident in Madrid, Tokyo or Barcelona and for getting home we’d opt for Munich’s public transport and Copenhagen’s bike network if we were sober enough to pedal home ourselves.
With a well documented rating behind each one of the cities in the list, it is going to be hard to argue that they’ve done their homework, but it still feels very subjective. In any case, [...]
Next week the Mayors from 40 of the world’s largest cities will gather in New York to review progress, share best practices, identify collaboration opportunities and set action plans to fight climate change. The C40 Large Cities Climate Summit program will include topics such as Beating Congestion, Decentralized Energy, Efficient Water Supply, Climate Change in the context of Economic Development, Green Buildings, Waste Management & Low Carbon Economies.
In big city I had pointed out how the action of the largest cities is what really matters when dealing with global problems. 10% of the world’s population live in 100 of the largest cities alone. Through management of their infrastructure, landfills, treatment plans, legislation of local land use policies to drive development in the right direction, regulation of automobiles and their energy plants, the overall impact they can exercise is significant.
The delegates attending will represent (bold indicates among 10 largest cities in the world):
Melbourne, Sydney (Australia)
Curitiba, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo (Brazil)
Beijing, Shanghai (China)
Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)
Delhi, Mumbai (India)
Mexico City (Mexico)
Johannesburg (South Africa)
Seoul (South Korea)
Barcelona, Madrid (Spain)
London (United [...]