8 things that are great about living in a city



The stereotypical trappings of urban living (i.e. Crowds, tall, shiny buildings) bởi not a thành phố make. In order to lớn figure out what does, design firm Sasaki recently published the results of a 1,000-person, six-city survey that asked residents what they loved & hated about their surroundings. Some answers from those living in Boston, Chicago, New York, Austin, San Francisco, & Washington, D.C., could have been anticipated, but other responses were more surprising.

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Historic buildings

Take, for instance, people’s affection for historic buildings. According to Sasaki’s survey, 57% of city-dwellers stop lớn look at old buildings when walking down the street (more than the 15% who stare at skyscrapers), & more than half agreed that renovating old buildings so that they retain their architectural character should be a priority. Only 17% said they felt their đô thị was “too quaint” & wanted more shiny “iconic” buildings.


The attachment khổng lồ old buildings makes sense for a number of reasons. Before the faceless International Style swept in from across the Atlantic, architects used lớn take pleasure in elaborate details. (Just look at any Louis Sullivan joint.) But old buildings are comforting in another way: By reminding us of the past, they help us understand the plot of our times. After all, historic buildings carry narrative, too–something that contemporary buildings often eschew.


When urbanites bemoan the Starbucks opening up on their block, it’s usually not because they hate Starbucks, but because the Starbucks is replacing something else–maybe a mom-and-pop shop, or that deli with the best egg and cheese around. An important chú ý from the Sasaki survey: 46% of residents said they’d leave their neighborhoods to try a new restaurant. What can this tell us? Optimizing a city so that every chain và franchised amenity is within a couple blocks of your home doesn’t necessarily make it a great place lớn be. Perhaps we do need lớn feel like we can go on an adventure in our own 10 square miles, & when we do, it shouldn’t look lượt thích every other part of the city.

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Public parks

No surprise here. People love parks. Nearly half of those surveyed said the waterfront was their favorite place lớn be, which contains a chú ý of sadness, too. Will cities be able khổng lồ adapt their waterfronts lớn rising sea levels? Or will we all eventually be forced to lớn retreat? There are still a lot of creative suggestions khổng lồ the first question before we resort to lớn answering the second.


Easy transportation

Just because a city’s dense doesn’t mean it directs its traffic well. More than 40% of those surveyed highlighted traffic as their most frustrating issue, followed by lack of parking. Cities across the states are still working khổng lồ develop functional xe đạp share programs and more efficient public transit, but shifting away from a reliance on cars still has a long way to lớn go.

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There is one thing that the Sasaki survey didn’t mention that’s probably integral khổng lồ all of the above: Affordable housing. If outrageous rents exile artists & people who serve the basic functions of the city, neighborhoods can begin to lớn look like homogenous strip malls for tourists and the wealthy. After all, that’s part of what happened khổng lồ the suburbs, minus tourists.