Cities are where ideas have sex
Cities are unique from other types of communities because of the high density of people contained within their small areas. The city environment attracts diverse ideas and multiple energies; the collaboration combines and produces new ideas, fresh concepts and innovative thoughts. Most great thinkers and significant social movements developed in urban environments: such as the enlightenment era, the Renaissance and the industrial revolution. Progressive minds namely: Aristotle, Einstein, Picasso and Coco Chanel, are nurtured in the nucleus of cosmopolitan life. Because pluralism and diversity are embraced in cities, people are accepting to different cultural norms and ideas, spurring innovation and creativity. Graffiti, fashion and music thrive in New York and Paris because artists have the opportunity to share their talents with an open-minded audience. Cities create space for the creative enterprise.
Cities provide a space for people to reinvent themselves
The density of people in a city allows expats a chance to reinvent themselves. You can meet many kinds of people in a city: you can make friends, develop businesses and collaborate—there are endless opportunities. Business and commerce have intangible amounts of wealth—from music, trade, finance to television, everyone can find a niche to thrive in. The opportunities cities present encourage people to leave the countryside and journey into the titanic capitals of Cape Town, Jakarta, Mumbai and Manila. A fifth generation farmer in the provinces of China can travel to Shanghai, receive an education and find a new and exciting life in the wealth of opportunities.
Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody
The world will soon consist largely of cities, with most of our populations and economic activities within urban areas. It is vital for the world to catch up with the changes if we are going to be successful as a species. Many global problems result from faulty urban development: poverty, drugs and gang activity are ravaging nations. Leaders often fail urban development by making solutions for the wrong problems. Slums, ghettos, illegal business: all places perceived as impoverished are not the problem. Despite the suffering and disease, slums have become breeding grounds for innovation and entrepreneurialship. Think, the Deravi slum community in Mumbai, India contains over a million residents in a very small space of land, making it the most densely populated space in the world. Despite the apparent urban problem, the Deravi community generates billions of dollars worth of business. The successful industries, largely, are independent from city government, operating through genuine commerce and capitalist competition. This rag tag mini-economy generates jobs for its one million resident; everything from recycling, pottery, clean water distribution, and metalworking, the community thrives. They are even developing their own schools to develop IT professionals that can compete in the global market. The success of the Deravi slum community is a prime example of a sustainable environment that succeeds through creativity and collaboration. They suffer not from beauracracy, taxes, permits: all things that stifle day to day life.
A city that is kind to its people will of have people that are kind to the city
Skyscrapers and high rises are not what make the city. The buildings of Brasilia, Jakarta and New York City are not the true essence of cosmopolitan life. It is the sense of community and collaborative action of an interconnected group of people that make a city successful. The bocks of state of the art skyscrapers in Brasilia and Almaty are void of activity and life. The true pulse of a city occurs on the outskirts of the central business district—where the slums and shanty businesses are located. It is in the top-down, beauracratic, beaugreosis oriented cities that create poverty. Governments set so many limits: taxes, racism and prejudice to make day to day life complicated for the average person. Citizens often turn to gang activity, prostitution and drugs to cope with abuse. Cities that are kind to their people, such as London, Tokyo and Seattle, will be successful.
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