We are used to talking about complex concepts in this space such as the sustainable city, the smart city or the inclusive city. Today we are going to focus on a much simpler one: the attractive city.
One of the first comments after getting to know a city always revolves around its attractiveness. Other characteristics such as vitality, care for the environment, diversity of cultures and an endless number of other aspects that serve to opt for one city or another are usually taken into account later. The first however, has always been to be friendly and attractive.
The school of Life has created a kind of Manual on how to create an attractive city. The manifesto is based on 6 basic aspects that every city must comply with if it wants to be attractive:
1.- Stability between order and disorder. We don’t like orderly cities, but excessive order would detract from the city’s charm. Variety is needed so as not to fall into monotony, yes, but it must be ordered and not appear to be built without prior ordering.
2.- Vitality. There must be life in the city. As much as it is built correctly and attractively, the city will lose all its attractiveness if there is no life through its streets. From small shops to large establishments, anything goes to liven up the daily life of a city and make it more charming. It is true that there may be people who seek tranquility, but most city lovers are lovers of daily social life.
3.- Compact city. The city must be compact both to grow in beauty and to be responsible with the environment. The cases of people who moved to the outskirts to build their chalets as their income increased has happened in practically all cities. Big mistake, this has caused a negative impact in addition to making cities very boring. Barcelona is the example to follow in this aspect, but there are many cities with bedroom suburbs that make the city lose all its charm.
4.- A touch of mystery. Keeping order is very important, but it is also important to give cities a touch of mystery. Alleys of old towns to get lost in or viewpoints at the top of the city, in short, places with mystery that make the curiosity of the people who visit them arouse. Always keeping the balance between the small and the big streets, but every tourist likes to get lost for a while in the alleys of a new city.
5.- Human scale. Scale is a feature that is rarely talked about but is very important. Today it is easy to observe large differences between buildings, especially between homes and the buildings of large companies. From The School of Life they are committed to building buildings with few floors (this would also help to make everything more compact) so that no one feels tiny as can happen today in the face of the extravagant buildings that abound today.
6.- Own idiosyncrasy. Finally, it is very important to make it your own. We don’t pay and we spend many hours traveling to see the same buildings as in our cities. Each city is a culture and a tradition, therein lies the grace and the design of the city must be representative of the characteristics of the city. Just as we like to change the weather or the language, we also like the styles to be different.
Curious work done by The School of Life. Factors that after seeing them seem obvious but that we never stop to think about and that are unconsciously the ones that most of us use to make an assessment of the impression that a certain city causes us.