Winning Cities

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In the sweep of history, great cities come and go from their golden heights. Vienna, Florence, Athens — all once crown jewels, now storied and fine but second tier, maybe third.

In the 21st century, a new pack of contenders are jostling for the "hot city" crown. New York and London are still very much in the race but Paris is dropping back and Shanghai and the boom cities of India are pushing up.

In a global economy, board meetings and banks and the most fabulous boardwalks can be anywhere the action is. Exploding cities are competing to be both sizzling and sustainable.

This hour On Point: we'll go to Shanghai, London and urban America to look at winning cities in a new century.

Quotes from the Show:

"We're certainly at one great pivot point because this very year, 2007, is the year that according to the United Nations the majority of the world population will live in cities and one reason for that is the huge growth of cities in the rapidly developing world, above all, in China and also India. But most of those cities are not yet global and one of the big questions for city watchers is whether some of those cities — Shanghai being an obvious example, Mumbai in India being another — might not enter the select club of the truly great global cities during the next decade or two." Sir Peter Hall

"Shanghai is a very energetic city. I think this is the thing that really characterizes it. Because it is trying to catch up ..., it's really trying to sort of get ready to show the world that it's a great city. ...So there's this palpable energy about the place. People are arriving, and there're a lot of people in their 20s who are just lobbying into their cities, learning Mandarin, finding a job." Anne Warr

"We have to redefine what a city is." — Listener from France.

"For the last 5 years and the next 3, [New York City] Mayor Bloomberg and his team are positioning almost the entire city to compete with other global cities over the course of the next several decades. So we have created or expanded business zones, we've rezoned big parts of the city to enable us to accommodate what's likely to be another million people over the course of the next 25 years, we've clearly defines where the industrial businesses will be, we've promoted parks and other cultural resources .... Now what we're moving toward is an effort to really think about infrastructure as well as the environment as we look out over the course of the next 25 years to 2030." Dan Doctoroff


Anne Warr, president of Shanghai Modern, a company that organizes architectural tours of Shanghai. She is an architect and has lived in Shanghai for four years.;

Sir Peter Hall, Bartlett Professor of Planning and Regeneration at University College London, author of "Cities in Civilization," "Cities of Tomorrow: An Intellectual History of Urban Planning and Design in the Twentieth Century," and special adviser on Strategic Planning to Britain's Secretary of State for the Environment (1991-94);

Dan Doctoroff, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding in charge of New York City's Plan 2030 and chairman of the Mayor's Sustainability Advisory Board. He has been a key figure in efforts to bring the Olympic Games to New York in 2010.

This program aired on January 8, 2007.


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