Falling in love
and why cities are fantastic
We need love. We aren’t goldfish who can float solitary in a fishbowl and be perfectly fine. Without love, we waste away. Love gives you a warm feeling of security, but it also has these extra benefits.We flourish in a loving environment. We become happier and healthier. Being in a caring relationship brings financial benefits. Together you are smarter because two people know more than one, and problem-solving becomes easier. The strengthening and loving interaction between people also occurs between cities and urbanites.
A good city reinforces her citizens like a caring partner. Mutually citizens will treat their city with care. A city can bring out the best of people. This is an active process. Cities have to continuously work on their emotional connection with the urbanites. And that’s why I argue for seductive cities. Cities that are so attractive, that it will be impossible not to fall in love with them.
Within a relation, you have to work on keeping the spark alive. The relationship between city and urbanite also asks for a continuous loving maintenance. And if that goes well, the city offers a great life. There are multiple reasons why a relationship with a city is good for us. Hereunder, I will describe the six most important ones. The first three relate to the influence cities have on the working careers of urbanites, the last three describe the influence on our personal well-being.
#1 career developing
Our careers are important to us. They let us grow and develop. In a village the number of jobs and thus the career opportunities are limited. As a beginner, it is less easy to try a couple of jobs and to figure out which career fits you the best in a village. In a city, you can do that. You can switch work until you’ve found the perfect position. From there on you can start your development within your professional field.
#2 higher income
Money doesn’t make you happy, but worrying about it will make you unhappy. For our happiness in life, we are seeking for financial security. The chance to establish this is the highest in a city. At first glance, a city looks like a source of costs. Houses are expensive and you often have to pay for parking. But worldwide people get paid better in cities than in elsewhere. The difference is such, that despite the costs, it’s still lucrative to live in a city.
#3 concentration of intelligence
Imagine you have a plan. You have invented a product and you want to place it on the market. Most of us don’t have all the expertise to do this on our own. We need other people’s knowledge. The chance to find the right person to help you is bigger if you can search in a larger group than in a smaller one. Because this chance is highest in a city enterprising people tend to move to the city. This enlarges the chance to find the right business partner even more.
#4 marital market
How to find your ideal spouse? He or she must be somewhere. People move to the city in their search for a partner, because there are more people to pick from. And it’s possible to try something to see who will suit you best.
Evolutionary it is determined that women unconsciously tend to be attracted to successful men. As we´ve seen in #1 people who find their career important move to cities. So finding your successful man is easier in a city. Single twenty year old women flock to cities. Their percentage is much higher in cities as it is elsewhere.
#5 healthier life
Living in a city is healthier. Because urbanites walk and bike more. Outside the city, people use the car as their main means of transportation. And in the worse case scenario, something goes wrong and you are in desperate need of medical attention, the chance that you receive the right care is much bigger in a city. Each city has at least one hospital. Specialised medical care is within reach.
#6 better for the environment
The effect of our activities is expressed in our ecological footprint. The bigger the print the more destructive it is for the environment. Urbanites have on average a smaller ecological footprint than people elsewhere. Urbanites make lesser use of cars. They usually live in smaller houses, so they have to heat a lesser volume. Most urban dwellings are stacked next to and on top of each other. This also has a positive effect on reducing the amount of energy that is needed to heat the home. Urbanites, all living concentrated together, use less space in total as they would as if they all would live in a free-standing house. Therefore there is more space available for nature.
That we need love is clear. A loving connection strengthens us. So let’s all work together to boost the connection with our loved ones and our city.
For this blog, I have been inspired by the book ‘Welcome to the urban revolution’ by Jeb Brugmann
`You shouldn’t take a picture. It’s a horrible building to live in.´
We’re in the mid-nineties. We are on our second holiday together. Traveling through Europe with an interrail pass. We are both students and during our trip, we visit all the architectural masterpieces we have come to learn about.
Standing in front of the Corbusierhaus in Berlin we are approached by a tenant. To our surprise, he is very displeased with his home. He explains to us how unpleasant this architectural highlight is. We look at him as if he is a little crazy. Until then we had heard nothing but praise about Le Corbusier.
Years later, we visit another building by Le Corbusier. This time we are walking through Villa Savoye near Paris. Again we are surprised. We read that the Savoye family only lived here for a short period of time. The house was a nightmare to live in.
What is good architecture? Is it the kind that follows a revolutionary new idea or the one that is pleasant to be in? And can it be both?
Le Corbusier was a great and passionate designer. But the freedom he demanded his own views and work became a restriction for the people who live and deal with his work on a daily basis. By sticking to his dogma he completely ignored whether or not his buildings and urban structures were beneficial for their tenants and users.
A contrast between theory and practice exists. Without theory, you can’t develop new practices. But too much theory becomes restrictive. This blog is our search for the right balance. We believe that cities should be contributing to the success and happiness of the people who live and work in it. Attractive cities foster successful people. With neighbourhoods contributing to people’s personal development. They are flexible and adaptive to new demands, wishes, insights, and dreams.
So we will be passionately searching for the right elements to make cities attractive. This blog is a growing documentation of our quest.