What makes a city attractive?

24 November 2015

The six principles

The London School of Life, founded by writer and philosopher Alain de Botton, distinguishes six principles that govern the attractiveness of a city.

YouTube Video, How to make an attractive city.

YouTube Video, How to make an attractive city.

These are:

  • Order – consider the layout of New York or Paris, but beware of too much order. It can be soul-destroying. The ideal is somewhere in between.
  • Visibility of life – people should be visibly engaged in life on the streets.
  • Compact, rather than spread out wide – therefore Barcelona, rather than Phoenix, Arizona.
  • Orientation and ‘mystery’ – one must apparently be able to become lost yet not be lost. A mixture of larger and smaller streets is the way to get it right.
  • Scale – the ideal height is five storeys, which is more humane than the high-rise developments nowadays associated with city skylines. Amsterdam is a good, compact example.
  • Local relevance and unique character.

Do read what readers of the British daily newspaper The Guardian have to say by clicking here:

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