There are cities and then there are CITIES. Smarter people than me call the ones that dictate to all others global cities while the try hard global cites are known as Alpha and Beta Cities (or cities that are in their teenage years). Cities that don’t make the grade don’t even get a name for them – they are just cities. All I know is that I have my own rules for making a great city and these are those rules:

1. A great city is usually built beside a wide river, lake or ocean. Historically this was because the sea or river brought supplies which of course brings an economy and wealth. These days I think it’s because highrise building lights look pretty twinkling on the water.

Examples – Sydney, Rio De Janeiro, London

2. A great city has trams. Trams offer an alternate form of transport that seem romantic and historical. There is something cool about getting on rail transport in the middle of a road in the midst of shops. A smart city decides to install trams where there were none.

Examples – Melbourne, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Nottingham (smart city)

3. A great city has variety on every block. An italian neighbourhood, a chinatown, a yuppie district. This diversity offers an interest where going outside your neighbourhood will be an adventure.

Examples – New York, Toronto

4. A great city knows how to shop. It will have amazing clothes stores and will dictate the fashion for it’s country, if not the world

Examples – Paris, Tokyo

4. A great city will allow it’s people diversity and real freedom not “american freedom”. The city isn’t afraid to embrace something that could be considered risque in other parts of the world

Examples – Amsterdam, Berlin

5. A great city will have a landmark instantly recognisable around the world. Usually it’s a building but in odd cases it can be a natural formation. Some cities are lucky enough to have multiple landmarks

Examples – Paris, Tokyo, New York, Sydney, San Francisco, London

Therefore, based on this complex set of criteria I’ve determined that Brisbane is not a great city.

Nothing like bashing your own home town. 🙂



1 thought on “Rules to making a great city

  1. Kel says:

    Although the sunshine coast isn’t a city, we have a landmark. Loo with a view in Mooloolaba, can’t get over walking out of the John and seeing the ocean, ahhh Australia 🙂


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