Assignment: City Living: What Makes a City Great

Untimed writing assignment, 3 pages typed.

In Irene Pedruelo’s interview with Ethan Kent, “What Makes a City Great? It’s not the Liveability but the Loveability,” he argues that ordered public spaces and wealth are less important to people’s quality of life than informal gathering spots and personal attachment. Write an essay in which you explain differences between the two approaches to planning for city life, liveability versus loveability, as well as benefits and drawbacks of each, as Kent describes them throughout the interview:

The culture of global development is very much trying to order and organize chaotic streets and communities, often undermining the emergent creativity of these places. It is not to glorify the problems but it’s to say that in some ways they are creating better public spaces, better community outcomes, than the more top-down solutions that are being introduced to solve their problems. …. The livability or quality of life lists [that are published every year] look at cities that best balance economic competitiveness and leisure activity, which are the most expensive cities in the world. This is perpetuating one very linear approach to development. The interest of people to live in those cities is being perpetuated by getting people to invest further in that vision and values. I think is more about loveabilty, attachment and comfort; and those qualities can occur in some of the poorest parts of the world too. Many of those places are doing it better than in places that are more liveable.


“Assignment: City Living: What Makes a City Great” by Christine Hutchins, Hostos Community College is licensed under CC BY 4.0