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Old 08-31-2012, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Paris, France
327 posts, read 977,459 times
Reputation: 541

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Just for a bit of fun, describe your ideal, (but fictional) city.

Mine would be located on the coast, in somewhere with a hot-summer (but not extreme) Mediterrainian type climate - such as that of the coast of Baja California, Portugal, or South Australia. It would have a population of about 5-6 million in the whole metro area, and around 1.5 - 2m in the city proper.

The centre would be divided between an historic, dense old town that has been well-preserved and a newer, surrounded perhaps by an early 20th Century gridded new town of wide boulevards and elegant apartment buildings. The inner suburbs would be fairly compact dense terraced or row housing with perhaps a cluster of iconic glass skyscrapers as an alternative CBD. The outer suburbs would not be too sprawling, and would still contain a nice mix of quiet family neighbourhoods but not too many out of town malls and commercial developments.

No motorways/expressways would penetrate further than the outer suburbs, and the whole metropolis would be surrounded by a beltway which would be ideally at least 20km out from the centre. The emphasis would be on public transport: 5 modern metro lines would connect the suburbs to the centre and would be fed by designated busways in the outer suburbs so that everyone - outer suburbs included - would be able to survive without a car.

There'd be a city beach, a waterfront and harbour area. A backdrop of mountains would always be visible. The surrounding countryside would be not too developed and would be covered in vineyards and small farms. The city itself would feature a healthy demographic mix, poor living alonside rich, although there'd be hipster neighbourhoods with a bit of edge as well as more gentrified ones. No-where would be off limits, though we would try and avoid the city becoming too sanitised - and some areas - particularly inner suburbs - would still have a bit of rough shock.

The economy would be healthy with a good mix of jobs - some manufacturing/light industry on the outskirts combined with white collar options in the downtown and the new CBD. Not too much of an emphasis on finance so that creative industries can breathe and afford to be based in the centre and the cost of living doesn't get too high. A young couple would be able to afford to rent a flat in an "up and coming" downtown neighbourhood for about a third of the average salary - the average family would be able to afford a modest three bedroom place in a safe inner suburb. There'd still be a few very cheap post-industrial neighbourhoods fairly near the centre where artists could squat warehouses and be creative.

It would have a diverse population with perhaps 30% being born abroad, although the native culture of the city would not be swamped and would remain strong - with a distinctive cuisine and dialect staying strong. Perhaps some ethnic neighbourhoods Toronto style in the inner suburbs - one Chinese, another Latino, another Arab? The city would ideally be very multilingual, perhaps bi-lingual English/Spanish, or English/French, and nearly everyone would be able to converse in at least two languages.

Any improvements? Anyone disagree and have an alternative ideal city?

Last edited by britinparis; 08-31-2012 at 11:38 AM..
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Old 08-31-2012, 12:01 PM
B87
 
Location: Surrey/London
11,786 posts, read 9,594,663 times
Reputation: 3074
London, with the climate of Casablanca.
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Old 08-31-2012, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Leeds, UK
22,256 posts, read 27,654,383 times
Reputation: 8788
A city with a population between 500,000 and 2,000,000.

Ideally located on a (relatively wide) river, 50 miles inland, with a four season climate, but moderated. Snowy winters and pleasantly warm summers with frequent rainfall in all seasons bar winter.

It would be the centre of a region, surrounded by smaller towns and cities forming an affluent commuter belt. It would be surrounded by a large orbital motorway with 2 or 3 spurs approaching the outer suburbs. Public transport would be extensive, stretching beyond the city itself and into the surrounding towns - including an underground and a light-rail system, as well as frequent buses.

The city would be based on financial services - it would be a business orientated city (but with some light industry too), with a historical and dense 'downtown' core, separated into districts, with a lot of amenities (museums, art galleries, theatre) and restaurants. Shopping ranging from very expensive to the everyday. Beyond the downtown core would be affluent inner-city districts similar to Kensington in London, with street after street of large, terraced housing. These locations would contain their own little districts and high streets. There would also be deprived suburbs like any other city. Unemployment in this city would be very low, the job market resilient and robust and it has a good buffer against economic downturns, the people being highly-qualified helps, but this also means there are shortages of jobs due to very low levels of unemployment. The city would be relatively expensive, especially property, but the working-class have good safety nets if things turn for the worst, there are very few homeless people.

Outer suburbs are where successful families settle down in large detached houses, driving their expensive cars and taking their children to football practice. Public transport would still be popular for getting to work.

Essentially, affluent city with a strong economy and highly-qualified people.
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Old 09-01-2012, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Scotland
8,024 posts, read 11,240,325 times
Reputation: 4155
London crossed with Rio, perfection!
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Old 09-01-2012, 02:12 PM
 
62 posts, read 151,071 times
Reputation: 100
Zero homelessness
Zero poverty
Creative artists everywhere
Almost 50% green space
Of course very tolerant of all types of people and lifestyles living in the city
Then there's the excellent transportation, bike lanes, etc etc
Mix between Parisian architecture, New York skyscrapers, Stockholm like archipelagos, and Rio de Janeiro like topography.
Overall the architecture looks like it's part of nature as well like its grown with it.
Location: Huge mountains in the background, beaches, hills, giant Angel Falls like waterfall part of the skyline.
Weather: 4 seasons perfect 75F/23C weather in the summer
Economic Model: Resource Based Economy

Berlin is the closest to an ideal city..
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Old 09-02-2012, 04:41 AM
 
Location: Sweden
23,883 posts, read 69,478,386 times
Reputation: 18549
A city with lots of preserved older buildings as well as more modern.
Lots of parks and green areas.
Lots of culture and alternative culture.
And not too hot or cold.
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:12 AM
 
641 posts, read 957,478 times
Reputation: 531
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigSwede View Post
A city with lots of preserved older buildings as well as more modern.
Lots of parks and green areas.
Lots of culture and alternative culture.
And not too hot or cold.
Sounds like London ....or Stockholm
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Old 09-03-2012, 12:15 AM
 
Location: In the heights
33,807 posts, read 32,783,447 times
Reputation: 18366
Take Miami and give it the mass transit buildout that it had originally planned out way back when and even better (Miami and Southern Florida's urban form should take advantage of how linear and dense the urban areas have developed) and simply better urban design overall. A stronger investment in public services in regards to education and civic education. All of this ends up in making the city more attractive to better tertiary industries along with fairly affluent and educated transplants abroad.
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Old 09-03-2012, 02:50 AM
 
Location: Paris, France
327 posts, read 977,459 times
Reputation: 541
Quote:
Originally Posted by dunno what to put here View Post
A city with a population between 500,000 and 2,000,000.

Ideally located on a (relatively wide) river, 50 miles inland, with a four season climate, but moderated. Snowy winters and pleasantly warm summers with frequent rainfall in all seasons bar winter.

It would be the centre of a region, surrounded by smaller towns and cities forming an affluent commuter belt. It would be surrounded by a large orbital motorway with 2 or 3 spurs approaching the outer suburbs. Public transport would be extensive, stretching beyond the city itself and into the surrounding towns - including an underground and a light-rail system, as well as frequent buses.

The city would be based on financial services - it would be a business orientated city (but with some light industry too), with a historical and dense 'downtown' core, separated into districts, with a lot of amenities (museums, art galleries, theatre) and restaurants. Shopping ranging from very expensive to the everyday. Beyond the downtown core would be affluent inner-city districts similar to Kensington in London, with street after street of large, terraced housing. These locations would contain their own little districts and high streets. There would also be deprived suburbs like any other city. Unemployment in this city would be very low, the job market resilient and robust and it has a good buffer against economic downturns, the people being highly-qualified helps, but this also means there are shortages of jobs due to very low levels of unemployment. The city would be relatively expensive, especially property, but the working-class have good safety nets if things turn for the worst, there are very few homeless people.

Outer suburbs are where successful families settle down in large detached houses, driving their expensive cars and taking their children to football practice. Public transport would still be popular for getting to work.

Essentially, affluent city with a strong economy and highly-qualified people.
Sounds exactly like London pre-crisis!
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Old 09-03-2012, 02:52 AM
 
Location: Paris, France
327 posts, read 977,459 times
Reputation: 541
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inventernet View Post
Zero homelessness
Zero poverty
Creative artists everywhere
Almost 50% green space
Of course very tolerant of all types of people and lifestyles living in the city
Then there's the excellent transportation, bike lanes, etc etc
Mix between Parisian architecture, New York skyscrapers, Stockholm like archipelagos, and Rio de Janeiro like topography.
Overall the architecture looks like it's part of nature as well like its grown with it.
Location: Huge mountains in the background, beaches, hills, giant Angel Falls like waterfall part of the skyline.
Weather: 4 seasons perfect 75F/23C weather in the summer
Economic Model: Resource Based Economy

Berlin is the closest to an ideal city..
Apart from zero poverty, topography, location and resource-based economy looks like you've got Berlin...

Or Barcelona...
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