livable and lovable cities
July 3, 2011, 9:08 pm
Filed under: betaCITY, Cities

An interesting and helpful definition of a good city from Philips: cities should be resilient, inclusive and authentic.  Some highlights are:  consume less, diverse economy, publicly governed, diverse and tolerant, the dispossessed are included and important.


Livable cities need environmental resilience with a low ecological and low carbon footprint. They need to consider energy, food, water and materials.

Resilient cities need economic stability. They should strive for economic diversity to reduce dependence on one economic model, job creation, as well as entrepreneurship

Resilient cities realize that they are connected and interdependent within a system of other cities and also with the rural environment surrounding them.

The relationship with the surrounding rural area is important for resilience.  Food supply and urban agriculture need to be considered.


In an inclusive city, inhabitants are actively involved from the start of every city initiative.  The city is open to political participation from the widest range of civil society.

Social cohesion implies that a city is inclusive and breeds cooperation and tolerance between citizens with different values and beliefs.

Everyone in the city is included has rights, and is entitled to a better life.  The elderly, disabled and poor are seen as potentially valuable social capital.


An authentic city can create a sense of pride and belonging “This is my city.” It can make a city lovable as well as livable.

Parks and other forms of natural heritage are important for authenticity as it creates a collective memory. Native species emphasise the unique location of a city. Parks function as resilient ‘lungs’ of a city – improving the air quality.

The history of a city makes it authentic. It reflects local culture and local knowledge and reinforces a sense of place and the local identity.

Philips Livable Cities

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