dimanche 8 mai 2011

What makes a city great

»» Liveable v lovable {en}
Dans le Financial Times, Edwin Heathcote s'interroge sur les qualités d'une ville agréable et compare :
What makes a city great :
  • Blend of beauty and ugliness – beauty to lift the soul, ugliness to ensure there are parts of the fabric of the city that can accommodate change.
  • Diversity – if lots of people are wanting to come to a city, there must be something there.
  • Tolerance – the only way diversity works but also an accommodating attitude to sexuality (gay communities are famously successful inner-city regenerators) and religion (there are signs of increasing intolerance towards religious minorities all over the world).
  • Density – density of habitation is crucial in ensuring density of activity, a vibrancy of commerce, residential and cultural activity.
  • Social mix – the close proximity of social and economic classes keeps a city lively.
  • Civility – impossible to measure and slightly against my stated notions about the benefits of friction but critical nevertheless. I once criticised the ingratiating politeness in the US and was told by an American who used to live in Paris that “it’s better to be told to have a nice day by someone who doesn’t mean it than to be told to go f*** yourself by someone who does”. Discounts any Israeli or Russian city from ever getting on the list.
Le dernier point m'amuse bien et je suis d'accord avec ça, je préfère aussi qu'on soit aimable avec moi, même si c'est superficiel et qu'en fait l'émetteur s'en fiche complètement (comme aux Etats Unis) plutôt qu'on me dise d'aller me faire voir, même si c'est plus sincère (comme à Paris). En plus la civilité et la discipline (comme à Londres) ça rend la vie en ville beaucoup plus supportable.