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Sunday, June 1, 2008

What is a city to you? (part one)

Seems like a simple question, right? I've heard many different explanations from a wide variety of people. I have even heard wide-ranging opinions from people with similar backgrounds and formal training/education. So what is a city to you, what comes to mind when you hear the word city, and has your opinion changed over the years.

What a city is to me (Overview):
Wikipedia defines a city as an urban settlement generally with a large population. The definition I had when I was younger was much simpler...I thought of cities generally as the places where all the tall buildings were. Pretty simple, I know, but that was where it all began and where my interest (in cities) stems from.

Since that time the meaning and my opinion, of cities, has greatly evolved. I think of cities as living/breathing places that have their own heartbeat and rhythm. This rhythm is set forth by the cities people and then ultimately that rhythm dominates the culture until a major force acts upon it.

A city is a place of diversity (of all kinds - not just race), it is a place of culture, unique local experiences, uncertainty, and people...lots of people. Sometimes these items can be good, sometimes bad...but in the end they are the things that makes cities - cities. Nowadays when I hear the word city my mind starts racing and jumping all over the place seemingly impossible to tame - kind of like a city I guess.

Image Credit:
Yves Tessier, Tessima/Quebec City Tourism

Interesting related reads:
Who's Your City by Richard Florida
The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs


CityKin said...

Cities are simply places where people come together to interract for social and work reasons. The more the interraction, the better the city is.

Kevin LeMaster said...

Cities are physical places that facilitate the exchange of ideas.

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