Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Beauty Implies Life?:
Experience in the World's more gorgeous cities

Over the holiday I was fortunate enough to travel to two of the top five "World's most livable cities", according to the Economist and Mercer rankings.

What, you might ask, is so livable about these two cities? Well, I'm going to let you find that out by clicking on those two links above, and only say that they are both absolutely gorgeous cities. I know, I know, beautiful shmeautiful, but check these out (and these are just snaps I took leisurely walking around, with no intention of finding beautiful scenes):

If you haven't been as fortunate and have never visited either city, you might be convinced simply by these two pictures that they must, indeed, live up to their rankings. If that is the case then you would be mistaken. I think, despite the complex and vast calculations the two publications have done to tally every aspect of liveability, both have been hoodwinked by beauty. 

Of course, what should constitute 'livability' is invariably a subjective proposition and fans of these two beauts would argue for their rank to the death. For me, a city needs to have something going on. Here, I can use many other buzz words, how about pulse, vibe, heartbeat, or life. While these two certainly have their own tenor, their own character or atmosphere, it certainly is not very lively in either case. 

Perhaps I'm being to hard on city number two (as denoted by picture placement). It's core does have some activity, but it surely cannot rival any European capital.

For me to live in a city, and truly be comfortable, there needs to be something to discover all the time. There needs to be connectivity, energy and diversity. These, to me, are the inner attributes of a liveable city.  Beauty, as they say, is only skin deep; and for these two lookers, the beauty is only in the skin.

Oh, and can you guess which are the two cities?

From Mercer:

From The Economist:

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