What is a livable city? In theory, cities have been livable for thousands of years. Arguably mankind’s greatest invention, while many cities have come and gone a number of ancient ones exist and thrive to this day – Damascus (continuously inhabited for 11,000 years), Jericho (11,000 years), Aleppo (13,000!), Athens (7,000K) … you get the idea. Click here for a list of the 12 oldest continuously inhabited cities.

So to my question – what is a livable city? To me, it’s a microcosm of the extremes of our human condition brought together in sufficient density to enable the following: high-bandwidth face-to-face communication, specialization to enable remarkable diversity of goods, services and perhaps most important … arts and culture, and a deep sense of being part of a living, vibrant organism that knows nothing is impossible. How do I understand this? Among the larger cities I’ve lived in – born and raised in Los Angeles, then moved to Montreal, New York, Brussels, Paris, Tokyo, Boston (the last one for many years, which is where I still am based), over and over I’ve lived in and explored settings where this vibrancy manifests continually. I reflect back to my three years in New York City right out of college – I could sense the emotions of the city each day, and was in awe to perceive this is a living, vibrant organism … was it happy today? Afraid? Confident? Joyful when a snowfall stopped all traffic? To me, this was and is a true representation of our collective consciousness as human beings.

The scope and scale of readings on this topic are vast. So as your humble curator, here’s a tiny sampling to get us going for our next discussion: