I came across this post by Seth Godin over the weekend. While he was talking about why New York City attracts so many tourists, I got to thinking that his list can be applied more broadly.
It occurred to me that what Seth believes makes cities attractive to tourists also makes it interesting to urbanists and urbanites.
Here is his list:
- It’s different here (as in not the same)
- You can find someone to have an argument with, about just about anything
- There are fringes–cultural, educational, architectural, societal
- More than 42 languages are spoken at the Queens public library
- You can get something that’s not the regular kind
- There are profit-seekers who will happily sell you something, anything
- There are many who do things for no profit at all and will eagerly entertain, entrance and change you for the better
- You will find a diversity of religious belief like no other
- It’s changing
- The food hasn’t been entirely homogenized
- People are active
- A stranger will go out of his way for you, perhaps, and more often than you expect
- There is more information per minute, per meter and per interaction
- Neighborhoods are more important than homogeneity, and co-existing is most important
As you can see, these characteristics are limited to just New York city, or even cities in general. As Seth said:
There are New Yorks going on in towns large and small, in companies big and tiny and in families that support and respect at the same time they embrace and encourage difference.
What do you think of Seth’s list? It is accurate? Can it be applied in other areas? Let me know in the comments.
- Seth Godin TED Talk On Tribes (onewaylinkbuilder.com)