Who's Your City?, by Richard Florida
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European cities!

Since there is not a lot of discussion in the “Europe” section I will place my favourite European cities on show here that may entice many of you North Americans to come and appreciate a *real* sense of letting go and giving in to the rhythms of urban life!

Amsterdam – the San Francisco of Europe! A 24 hour economy, liberisation of cannabis, sexual freedom, plus a fantastic arts and music scene. Everything you’d wish for is in walking or tram distance. A multitude of cultures and languages are spoken here, plus you are a train ride away from London, Paris and Berlin, three amazing capital cities.

Manchester – once the industrial powerhouse of England, Manchester today is powerhouse of partying! Like most English cities, Manchester has a gritty edge but a soulful energetic buzz. From fantastic warehouse gatherings to commercial club nights; indie, punk and bhangra are also hugely popular; after all it’s the city that spawned bands like Oasis and the Stone Roses. A great ethnic culture thrives here too – take a trip down Curry Mile to savour what is widely regarded as one of Britain’s National Dishes: Vindaloo! There’s also a burgeoning gay scene at Canal Street. In fact, the city has something for everyone!

Edinburgh – the Athens of the North, Edinburgh serves as Scotland’s showpeice city. With a 500 year old university, a historical tradition of “Englightenment” and philosophy, Edinburgh to this day retains its mark as one of Britain’s most literary and acadmeic cities. Set in ! a stunni ng skyline of volcanic geology and Mediaeval, Georgian and Victorian architecture, Edinburgh’s artists, musicians and writers (such as J.K. Rowling!) have coalesced to forge a city where there is always something happening. And of course there’s the annual International Edinburgh Festival which attracts over a million visitors every August. Whether it’s latenight jazz, poetry readings, exhibition opening nights or even Pagan festivals, one is never bored in this, one of the UK’s consitently rated top cities to live in!

Sent by ABC from Edinburgh, Manchester, Amsterdam

5 Responses to “European cities!”

  1. Libby Says:

    I love Amsterdam – went there on my honeymoon over three years ago. But I’ve read so much about the concerted effort to change the culture lately. Is there a noticeable shift already, for better or worse?

  2. Jukka Kontula Says:

    Funny, I just wrote an Amazon review criticizing the lack of European focus on the book. It would be interesting to try to find out the same kind of regions from Europe and Asia than were found in the US.

  3. Annette Says:

    Since 2006 there are a few things changed indeed. Since july 2008 you cannot smoke in bars/restauramts anymore (Like NewYork). More coutnry’s in Europe support that law, but the people disagree and smoke sometimes anyway, or bars ignore the law. Also the redLightDistrict in Amsterdam is going to change into artgalleries. The opinion about that is very diverse. Personaly i feel in between; i want to keep the redlightdistrict because i like the liberated point of view in the innercity and the feeling the bounderies are made by behaviour in society instead of a law. Also i think it’s more save to have a legal prostitute-scene than an illegal. On the other hand i dislike some behaviour of tourists visiting the district. I can imagine the freedom they experience, but sometimes they shout, drink and throw everything on the street. That’s a part i don’t like so mucht.
    Originally i’m from a village in the north of the netherlands, now i’m already living 10 years in Amsterdam. It’s funny the Netherlands is a small coutnry, but the differences are quick to notice outside the cities. Since september 2008 i’m studying culture and citiessociology ( a pre-master year). We read two atricles from the book. Very interessting to focus on Europe also indeed!. Greetings.

  4. Ralf Lippold Says:

    Hi Jukka,

    It seems time to focus across the globe on cities that are innovative and where people live new ways of co-creating the future.

    There are some great places in Finland (Yväskylä with Timiiaketemia, and Espoo with similar activities).

    You can reach me via Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/ralflippold and I would love to build a stronger community in Europe on the “Who’s Your City”.

    Best regards


  5. Anne-Jan Zieleman Says:

    A (rather late) reaction on this article:

    On: Amsterdam – the San Francisco of Europe! -> I think it does more right to the history of Amsterdam as city of tolerance and freedom to call San Fransisco the Amsterdam of the USA. Besides that; Amsterdam offers so much more than the obvious (Drugs/Sex/Party) quoted here.

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