Some thoughts on Best City outcomes

The only test of ‘best city’ is not a position in a league table, but some very personal answers to a complex set of questions, which may include….

  • Is this the ‘best city’ for me and my loved ones?
  • Is this the best place for me to make a life of fulfilment, dignity and pride?
  • Will I find people that are willing to challenge and support me with compassion?
  • Will I find opportunities to be stimulated, provoked and changed?
  • Will I find it possible to connect with others with whom I share a common cause?
  • Will I find the space and support to do my best work?
  • Will I find myself in a political, social and cultural system that accepts my values and beliefs?
  • Will it encourage the production of goods and services necessary for a becoming existence or will it do almost anything in pursuit of growth?
  • Will it respect and nurture micro-enterprise, sole traders, makers, community groups and individual activists as much as it ‘establishes proactive relationships’ with ‘large corporate employers’?
  • Is this a place where I can help to shape a better future for my children and theirs?
What kind of ‘city development’ processes would be necessary to allow the majority of us to be able to answer most of these questions with a yes?
Get those processes right and we might just be on course for somewhere exciting.


2 Replies to “Some thoughts on Best City outcomes”

  1. There’s an underlying theme here that’s worth stating. Eight of your ten bullets say “I” or “me”. That’s not being selfish, it just means that ‘best city’ should be judged on what its citizens think about it, not on economic or demographic statistics. Individuals’ views wil differ of course, but many (including me) will agree with you.
    Based on this success criterion, which is the ‘best city’ at the moment and how will we know when Leeds gets to number 1?

    1. Not selfish but self interested. A place where I matter in the context of others around me, both nearby and afar, geographically and temporally! I can only define my relationship in the we/us if I know who and what I am.

      I think this interpretation of best city means that there is no ‘best city’. Just best for me, at the moment. It also puts an onus on us to make this place the best through the relationships and networks that we develop.

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