As I’ve been announcing for a few months already, today we’ve finally launched the St. Lawrence Market guide in collaboration with the PlanetEye team (in case you haven’t heard, that’s my day job). I learned a lot over the last year trying to figure out how to bring this project to life and I’m pretty happy with the results. There are many ideas flowing through my mind about the significance of this project, but I’ll limit this post to brag about the guide itself:
St. Lawrence Market Guide
How is it different from other city guides? Well for starters is not a city guide, it is a neighbourhood guide. You know that neglected urban molecule that often defines the character of its citizens but it is rarely given its credit.
- Curated content: the fact that we limited the scope of this guide to a very small section of the city, allowed us to be thorough in our research. If you are from Toronto, you’ll find that our features are carefully selected and represent the best this area has to offer. If you have never been to Toronto, you probably don’t [...]
It is still going to take a bit more time to finish the guide to the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto, but I’m so proud of the work that has been done to date that wanted to at least give you a flavour of what is coming.
St. Lawrence Market – our photoshoot
I’ll be giving away the guide online under a CC license, but you’ll have to wait a bit longer. If you’re a writer or photographer and would like to get involved in the production of a similar guide for your city, please let me know.
Not much has changed since the last time I reported on the Liveability report from The Economist Intelligence Unit in 2007. Vancouver is still the best place to live overall according to the 2009 ranking:
I’m finding the Mercer’s 2009 Quality of Living survey much more useful as it provides a special ranking for hubs with the best infrastructure. Note that Mercer’ survey is meant to be used as a comparison tool to determine compensation packages for companies with personnel abroad. Yet, as usual, it is fun to make a list of the cities where you would want to live next, right?
Here are the Top 5 cities in each region, according to the Mercer survey:
Middle East & Africa
In The Art of Travel, De Botton suggested there are no more places left to discover. With the overwhelming amount of information available on each and every major destination around the world it is likely that I could discover the major landmarks just as well from my computer than walking through them. Of course travellers will argue that first-hand experience is what matters, even if millions of people have had the same opportunity. While exploring the best reasons to travel I had emphasized the quest for the “experience”:
The tourist that never leaves the beaten path is likely only exposed to an esterile experience that has been washed out of all its original power.
One could argue that the splendour of any famous landmark is constantly diluted by the ongoing attack of mass tourism, misguided by a market saturated of travel guides that most of the times reference the same top 10 or 20 landmarks not to be missed, while telling us every snippet of knowledge that travellers must know about these places, cancelling every attempt to make that experience unique.
The age of discovery is over. Every corner of our planet has been documented ad nauseam… [...]
Over the past few hours members of the Tamil community in Toronto blocked one of the main highways connecting downtown with the rest of the city. While I won’t claim any knowledge whatsoever of the situation in Sri Lanka, these demonstrations have me reading as much as I can about the current situation. I thought that was the least I could do, realizing that I live in the same city as 200,000 of them, according to MSNBC.
The protesters had been taking the streets of Toronto at least since January, in most cases in a very organized fashion. Perhaps too organized since I barely noticed them before. But only events like this one get the attention of the masses and quickly echo through the news, blogosphere and twitter-verse, generating an overwhelming voice difficult to ignore. The tools of civil disobedience seemed to have produced the results they were hoping for: attention.
As I got involved into the various streams of people commenting about the event, I realized there were two kinds of people participating in the online debate: the pervasive anonymous comment condemning the act and manifesting hatred for blocking a [...]
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.