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 [...]
In their article “The 20 cities of 2020” Stefan Linssen and Christopher Sindik present a method for evaluating the cities taking sustainability to the next level and creating specific plans that will have them improve their overall status as a Global Sustainability Center by the year 2020.
While the article mentions the variety of factors that were considered, it is not clear what the evaluation methodology or how the scores were assigned, but there are plenty of notes about the various initiatives underway to make these cities worthy of their inclusion in this ranking.
Here is the list of the top 10 as ranked by their average score in 2020.
London – 9.3
New York – 9.28
Singapore – 8.85
Toronto – 8.75
Melbourne – 8.51
Curitiba – 8.3
Abu Dhabi – 7.96
Frankfurt – 7.9
Hyderabad – 7.63
Cape Town – 7.2
With such favorable prospects on any one of these cities, it may be worth investing a little time scouting them to become more intimate with their rhythm of life.
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 [...]
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 [...]
Every year Stan Stalnaker and his team of global citizens gather their experiences around the world and summarize in this, their now famous Hub Culture’s Zeitgeist Ranking, the cities that for a variety of reasons seem to be at the center of the Universe. An elusive classification that doesn’t get impressed with economic power, flawless life-styles or centuries-old traditions, is mostly based on heuristics that related to the needs and desires of global citizens hoping from hub to hub networking their way into urban authorities. This is their veredict:
Los Angeles, United States
In some ways, the doom and gloom LA has experienced recently has presaged the general red alerts now being felt elsewhere – from environmental crisis to economic lapse, LA seems to have arrived in the shits just before everyone else.
As the cutting edge vibe in London wanes, Berlin continues to draw the young and the restless, and its ties to a resurgent East (i.e. Moscow, Warsaw) are really showing dividends.
Even as Mumbai gridlock threatens to become a 24/7 state of affairs, India in general and Mumbai in particular continue their assault on the global consciousness. It’s hard to argue against Mumbai, especially with so many [...]
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, [...]