If you could live in any of the world’s cities, which one would you choose to live in?

This week on The World Today we’re going to be speaking to one of the world’s leading architects Lord Richard Rogers about his favourite cities. We don’t want to hear about where you actually live but where you want to live…

….where are the world’s most beautiful cities and what makes them work…New York, Nairobi, Cairo, Paris, Rome… asย I say, the world is your Oyster.

29 Responses to “If you could live in any of the world’s cities, which one would you choose to live in?”

  1. 1 ZK
    April 23, 2008 at 15:17

    Reminds me of a WHYS we had some time in August last year (the only one I’ve ever been on air on, coincidentally) about the best cities to live in, between Toronto, NY, London and Sydney…

  2. 2 steve
    April 23, 2008 at 15:41

    Is money an issue here? If so, then you would have to consider cost of living. NYC may be a cool place to visit, but I sure as heck wouldn’t want to live there given the low quality of life and the high cost of living. Enjoy that shoebox you live in.

    If money weren’t an issue, I’d probably pick Sydney, or maybe Cologne, Germany.

    If I were stuck picking a city in the US, and money were an issue, I honestly don’t know what I would say, given the nice cities tend to be incredibly expensive, or incredibly cold. It’s easier to say where I wouldn’t live, Philadelphia.

  3. April 23, 2008 at 15:42

    hi ZK,

    a great show as I remember. We’re hoping to take a look at this on the World Today programme this Sunday. This time we want people talling us where they dream of living rather than bigging up where they live.

  4. 4 Nate, Portland OR
    April 23, 2008 at 17:17

    I’m sorta provincial minded, but I’ve been around a bit (London, Paris, Berlin, and vicinities, many US cities) and I gotta say I’m happy right where I am. Not too big, not to small, lovely climate if you don’t mind rain, close to mountains, beaches. Great bookstores, decent economic opportunities, decent local education, some culture, and generally friendly, laid-back people. And some of the best beer in the world.

    I was in Scotland recently and was very impressed with Inverness, for many of the same reasons!

  5. 5 selena
    April 23, 2008 at 21:05

    Cities are all the same to me… just another condo in another street. Everything is artificial and there are too many people.

    I prefer wide open spaces. But spending half of my time in Paris, you might say I have the best of both worlds.

  6. 6 brian t
    April 23, 2008 at 21:31

    For me, Toronto has everything: old and new, big and small, flashy and subtle. Decent public transport, but also accommodating to cars. Only the climate might deter me: hot and muggy in summer, bitterly cold in winter, though not as cold as further out west.

  7. April 24, 2008 at 10:18

    I would like to live in the following cities for the following reasons:
    – New York – When i visited it the people were welcoming and funny, the city was beautiful and didn’t feel as hostile as other american cities i have visited, plus i quite like the idea of living near sky scrapers. only negative is i couldnt work out where new yorkers bought food other than basic lunch supplies.

    – Montreal, beautiful city which still felt rural despite being huge. also near to the wilderness for skiing related activites ๐Ÿ˜‰

    – Geneva- Big lake in the centre for the summer, surrounded by mountains for the winter, and such an interesting mix of european languages.

    – I am yet to experience Tokiyo, sydney or Dehli but i imagine they would be very interesting.

  8. 8 Erin
    April 24, 2008 at 14:24

    I live in Cleveland, and if I could live anywhere, it would be…. Milwaukee. I love Cleveland with all my heart, but Milwaukee is like the best parts of Cleveland highlighted. Fantastic culture, clean streets, lots to see and do…. and being an Ohio native, I have gotten used to/love the cold. The only thing that Milwaukee doesn’t have are my Cleveland Browns – but if I were to ever be able to get over that face, Milwaukee would be the place to be. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. 9 steve
    April 24, 2008 at 14:53

    @ Hannah:

    In NYC, people go to very expensive, tiny grocery stores. They opened up a Trader Joes there, one in Manhattan, so I imagine the lines must be horrible, but it’s a great store.

  10. 10 judy
    April 24, 2008 at 15:27

    I did a quick count and I have been to more than half the states and at least 7 other countries and my choice of where to live would be Taos, New Mexico. I would tell you why, but then you might pick it also and it would become over-crowded. Once a year, in an ideal world, I would go for one month to a place I have never been.

  11. 11 Sandra Patricia, Colombia
    April 24, 2008 at 15:51

    I definitively would stay in Colombia… ๐Ÿ™‚

    This country is amazing! You have everything you need, lifestyle is not very expensive (only food prizes are increasing but, you know, food crisis…), people are warm and friendly and, despite the violence we have in some places, you can visit natural, touristy and commercial places. Also, we have ‘delicious’ music like cumbia, bambuco, porro… And what about the food? It’s simply the best! (seafood, deserts, etc.). I’m sure that if you have the chance to visit my country, you’ll fall deeply in love with it!

    I live in the capital city, Bogotรก, and here you have everything you need: health, excellent education, entertainment, and more. The only thing I dislike of this city is insecurity in some areas ๐Ÿ˜ฆ … Still, it’s an interesting place to visit!

  12. 12 Mohammed Ali
    April 24, 2008 at 16:20

    Probably Helsinki.

  13. 13 Will Rhodes
    April 24, 2008 at 16:23

    I would live in York, Yorkshire.

    It is a fantastic place, and you have everything that you could need there. It is both old and modern what it does need is many more people to visit there instead of London!

    So go to London for a day – you will see everything in a day – then travel north to God’s county, Yorkshire, and visit there.

    You also have access to Old Trafford which is a really nice place to visit as well!!


  14. April 24, 2008 at 17:29

    Prefer not to live in cities, but if I had to:

    Antigua, Guatemala
    Innsbrook, Austria
    Mandalay, Burma
    Nha Trang,Vietnam
    Hoi An, Vietnam
    Park City, Utah

    Sort of in that order


    Nehalem, Oregon

  15. 15 Scott Millar
    April 24, 2008 at 17:37


    Urban planning, aesthetics and geography.

  16. April 24, 2008 at 17:56

    Prague, of course. What other cities can compare? It has history, culture, loads of good music, good service, dour but friendly people, is socially and politically conscious, was home to Kafka and Smetana, and is home to Vaclav Havel, a hero of our own time.

    It’s beautiful, charming, cranky and bohemian (literally and figuratively), and, being there, you just feel better.

    It subsumes everything that’s best in a city.

  17. 17 Tatyana
    April 24, 2008 at 18:06

    There is a city some of you do know
    It is referred to as the Venice of the North
    It’s so beautiful, its history so glorious,
    I’d like to live there very much of course.
    It’s called St. Petersburg, it is in Russia
    If you have seen it, never will forget
    White nights, mysterious summer twilight,
    You are lucky, if you see it in the Internet.
    The city is a real wonder,
    The culture and the sightseeing are unique,
    It is a pity I cannot live there,
    But I am happy to have chance of it to speak.

  18. April 24, 2008 at 23:05

    Hi Jon. I’d very much love to live in Agryll, Scotland (although it’s not as big as NYC or Berlin). London and Rome will surely be on my list too. But Agryll in Scotland remains my no.1 favourite place to live in. I do have a very precious friend who’s originally from Argyll, and each time he describes his home village to me, I say to myself : Yeah, this is really my dream place ! Living in the US will surely be a very exciting experience as well. London to me means Bush House, and all my very precious friends who work in Bush House ! With my love. Yours forever, Lubna.

  19. April 24, 2008 at 23:22

    hi lubna,

    Argyll…lovely place in a wonderful part of the world. very good socks! i lived in Edinburgh for a few years and it is a wonderful city. How many places do you get off the train to be greeted by a 13th century castle sitting on top of an extinct volcano.

    and Tatyana…your post reads like a poem. never been to St Petersburg…but it’s now on my list.

  20. 20 Joey
    April 25, 2008 at 02:34

    Joey Givan here, funny thing is I just asked myself that question in real life and this is where I chose…

    Choteau, MT USA

    Please look it up on Google Earth.

    There must be 50 missile silos all around the mountains. The Air Force Base is only about 70 miles away.

    Good old fashion American ingenuity. Can’t beat it.

  21. 21 David
    April 25, 2008 at 03:02

    Would love to live in a city where there is peace and love. Can some one point me to this city and the country where this city is situated?

  22. 22 haider meghjee
    April 25, 2008 at 03:45


  23. 23 michelle hellgeth
    April 26, 2008 at 01:58

    Rome was my favorite city in the 80’s but since I have discovered Morocco. Looking for peace, quiet, inner spirituality? Merzouga at the foot of the big sand dunes and if I could have the best of BOTH worlds, I’d alternate between Marrakesh and Merzouga. Morocco has mystique, welcoming people, magnificent snow crested mountains, the Mediterranean and the Atlantic coastlines and most significantly the purity and solice of a beautiful desert. I wait patiently for my annual jaunt there. And you can have a great time even with the devaluation of the USD.

  24. 24 Ahmad Hammad
    April 26, 2008 at 16:50

    I would love to stay in Lahore, Pakistan…
    There are One Million reasons to say the least ๐Ÿ™‚
    Lahore is culturally very rich. It has the marks/relics of so many emprors.
    We say in Urdu; “Lahore, Lahore Aey”. It means, there is no other city on the globe that can rival Lahore…..

  25. 25 Sarah
    April 27, 2008 at 09:02

    That would be Charlottesville, VA. Its an absolutely beautiful town, where one can see the four seasons properly. It’s especially beautiful during the fall, when looking over the shades and colors and going apple picking just make the soul soar. I’ve lived there 7 years, 3 high school years and 4 years at Mr. Jefferson’s University. I’ve lived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in New Orleans, LA, in LA, CA, and I’m currently in West London, and while all of them have their own wonderful flavor and special quality, my heart belongs to Charlottesville.

  26. 26 American
    April 27, 2008 at 10:25

    Cities are not much more than massive parasites if you really think about it — and the bigger the city, the more parasitic it is. Cities take in MANY more resources than they produce, especially in terms of food and agriculture, but many other raw materials as well. Cities, in fact, exist only because of all the resources which they parasitically draw in from rural regions, often at the environmental expense of these rural regions: think coal or ore from rural mountains, or timber from rural forests, water from rural lakes or rivers, etc. In short, cities are inexhaustible resource parasites.

    Most cities are also very polluted, unsustainable (both environmentally and population-wise), and artificial (so much metal, industrial machinery, concrete, and plastic). All of these reasons are why I am a rural or small town person and strongly believe that a rural and agrarian way of life is the cleanest and most sustainable mode of human existence.

    However, I’ve done some research and visited quite a few cities, and so I too have a list that I’ll share — keeping in mind though that I’ll probably never live in any of them…

    (in semi particular order)
    Vancouver – Canada
    Portland – Oregon
    Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich – Germany [Germany’s cities are so clean!]
    Buenos Aires – Argentina
    Zuerich – Switzerland
    Amsterdam – Netherlands
    Stockholm – Sweden
    Edinburgh – Scotland
    Charleston – South Carolina

    I have no idea how people can live huddled like rats in cities like New York, London, Mexico City, Tokyo, or other megacities — waaaaaaaaay too big, and just plain gross.

  27. 27 Mark Elliot
    April 27, 2008 at 17:55

    Hello WHYS and global listeners everywhere!

    Based in the Los Angeles area, I have much opportunity every day to ponder where I would rather live. Perhaps given that much of this city sprawls out on the flats, I search for the proverbial ‘city on a hill.’ At least the place that offers a comfortable urban environment, responsible municipal government, and a greater degree of compassion in human relations. I don’t have to wonder why people aren’t talking about Los Angeles in this thread.

    If I had my choice it would be Amsterdam, Stockholm, Helsinki, or London. Secondarily, Madrid, Hamburg, Paris, Shanghai, or any other cosmopolitan, global capital. Here in the US, I’ll agree with the ‘provincial’ Portland poster. Portland is indeed a wonderful American city. As an urban planner, I value all of the above cities.

    I’m more curious to know: what keep us from moving to these dream cities? At present, I’m completing an advanced education and research fieldwork keeps me in Los Angeles (one of the most interesting, if not livable, cities, by the way). Also, an aging parent will keep me here for a few more years. But do I dream of a cafe in Copenhagen, or the amusement park in Helsinki, or an evening concern in Germany, or a pub in London? A shaded park in Paris on a Wednesday afternoon, when the school kids get out? Yes I do, every day.

  28. 28 Efstratios
    April 29, 2008 at 09:51

    Trikala-Greece. A city full of green, quiet and with a great river. Combines both nature and industrialism as it has many shops,cafes and restaurants.

  29. 29 Dennis Young, Jr.
    May 8, 2008 at 22:56

    i would love to lived in london, or berlin…..

    Dennis~~Madrid, United States of America

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