“The city is what it is because our citizens are what they are” -Plato
What comes to mind? Could it be Paris, Rome, or Barcelona? What about Vancouver, Rio de Janeiro, and Singapore? What is it about these places that attract so many inhabitants and visitors every year? Indeed, there are certain places that just speak to our souls and seduce us into wanting to explore more. Here are our favorite elements of the city life.
Living in a big city is not for everyone but there is an inevitable magic that happens when you put so many million people in the same space. With so many creative minds and perspectives pushing the wheel of progress forward, cities breed life. When we are lucky to visit these places, it is hard not to be inspired. We are able to witness the results of a countless amount of human working hours devoted to attention and craft. Everything around us has been created for our enjoyment by our fellow citizens and although cities can feel isolating at times, they often make us feel connected to something greater than ourselves.
So what makes a good city?
The arts stand out for sure. Whether it is theater, art galleries or live music, cities offer us an endless array of events to attend. Sometimes we take it for granted that so many people are putting themselves on display and sharing their modes of expression with us. The arts allow us to think differently, and understand how others interpret the world. When we witness the arts, our consciousness is captivated by moments of connection and time is illuminated with vivid colors. Cities that encourage the arts, attract the open-minded, the creative and the curious. These people not only provide our imaginations with rocket fuel but collaborate on projects that make our living spaces so much more enjoyable. We enjoy the arts because they represent in so many ways our ideals of freedom.
What good city doesn’t have parks? The park often provides us with a peaceful return to our origins in nature. We can escape the daily stresses of our busy lives and partake in almost any activities in these lush green spaces. People go to parks to play, to read, to have conversations and share food. Parks are built purely for the benefit of the citizen, so that the individual can continue to develop themselves in a positive way. These oxygen rich areas bring peace of mind and increase our well-being. They remind us of the good in others and provide us with the space we need to rejuvenate our energies. Great cities are plentiful with parks.
The Lifestyle Project recognizes that accessibility is a huge bonus. Being able to walk around is an amazing city benefit that most Europeans don’t even know alternatives to. The free feeling one gets by exploring their environment on foot is incomparable. We also throw in some sweet credit for those cities that offer their citizens with biking paths. Not only do these cities seem less polluted, but the bicycle still stands as one of the greatest inventions to date. It is this combination of using our physical bodies and our minds at the same time that not only engages the senses in a way that cars numb out, but that allows us to connect with our surroundings and fellow humans in a far healthier way. Great cities naturally plan for interaction because we are social beings and it is people that make our experiences worthwhile.
There are many others patterns such as access to athletic facilities, educational institutions and cleanliness that we all enjoy but we will leave it here for now.
As we continue to trend towards urban sprawls, let’s engage with our city planners so that we can all live in places that cultivate the enthusiasm of our interests.
Let’s change the way we live together.
Let’s change the way we travel, together.
The Lifestyle Project