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Opinion dans la Gazette. Cooper: Can Montreal become a ‘future city?’ BY CELINE COOPER, SPECIAL TO THE GAZETTE APRIL 8, 2013 Revellers at this year’s Nuit Blanche warm up by the fire at Montreal’s Quartier des spectacles. In his new book A History of Future Cities, Daniel Brook writes: “The true city of the future is not simply the city with the tallest tower or the most stunning skyline but one that is piloted by the diverse, worldly, intelligent people it assembles and forges.” Can Montreal be one of these? Photograph by: Tim Snow , The Gazette MONTREAL — What is Montreal’s place among the world’s future global cities? I recently picked up Daniel Brook’s new book A History of Future Cities. In it, he skilfully braids together historical detail, journalism and storytelling to trace the impossible rise of Shanghai, Dubai, Mumbai and St. Petersburg from developing world “instant-cities” into four of the world’s most influential global hubs. Brook looks at how these cities in China, the United Arab Emirates, India and Russia were forged. His description of how soaring cityscapes were planned and erected out of deserts, frozen marshland, oceans and rice paddies through both the ambition of visionaries and the cruelty of despots gives us some context for the emerging Asian era that we are witnessing today. We learn a bit about how the economic development of the world’s nations has come to be inextricably linked to the development of global cities. So what does this have to do with Montreal? As it happens, I started reading this book about future cities on the same day that a sinkhole swallowed two cars at Montreal’s Trudeau airport. On top of the crumbling bridges, man-eating potholes and mould-infested public schools, there was also news that day about Bill 14, the Parti Québécois’s bid to bolster the province’s language laws and further regulate who can speak what, when and where. Much of this discussion focuses on the fear that Montreal is becoming “anglicized.” Which brings me back to the question: what is Montreal’s place in this new world landscape that is no longer necessarily one of nations, but of cities? For many of us who live here, Montreal occupies a special place on the global grid and in our imaginations. We often think of it as a metropolis that straddles old and new, French and English, Europe and North America. But thankfully Montreal and its inhabitants are much more complex than that. As Columbia University sociologist Saskia Sassen and other scholars who study global cities have argued, cities are where new norms and identities are shaped. Despite the fact that it has been hemorrhaging economic clout since the late 1970s and the 1980s, and that its infrastructure is falling apart at the seams, Montreal remains an inspiring, dynamic city. Montreal’s creativity — its colourful population and the ideas they bring to life — is without a doubt the city’s greatest asset. And yet while other urban hubs are leveraging their cultural and linguistic diversity to build intellectual and economic corridors that connect them to the rest of the world, here in Quebec we are told (by our government, no less) that Montreal’s diversity is not an asset but a problem to be managed. There is too much pasta and caffè in our restaurants. Our artists are composing songs in the wrong languages. Our children are learning too much English in the classroom. These things must be regulated with new bills, laws and decrees. It reminds me of a line by urban thinker and activist Jane Jacobs in her book The Death and Life of Great American Cities, published in 1961. Jacobs wrote: “There is a quality even meaner than outright ugliness or disorder, and this meaner quality is the dishonest mask of pretended order, achieved by ignoring or suppressing the real order that is struggling to exist and to be served.” And so it is. A History of Future Cities attests to the fact that a built urban environment is important. Dazzling feats of engineering, architectural brilliance, skylines of human-made steel and glass stalagmites are meant to be both inspiring and functional, a draw for the world’s financially and intellectually ambitious people. But one of the most compelling lines in the book — and the one that resonated with me as I pondered Montreal’s future in the world — was this: “The true city of the future is not simply the city with the tallest tower or the most stunning skyline but one that is piloted by the diverse, worldly, intelligent people it assembles and forges.” In other words, a fancy cityscape matters, but the people who live there matter more. For Quebec to succeed as it moves into the future — whether as a sovereign country or as part of the Canadian federation — it needs Montreal to thrive. Montreal’s place among future global cities will depend on not only attracting the world’s best and brightest, but allowing them the freedom to be diverse, to be themselves, and to be brilliant. [email protected] Twitter: @CooperCeline © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette Original source article: Cooper: Can Montreal become a ‘future city?’ Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/Celine+Cooper+Montreal+become+future+city/8202375/story.html#ixzz2Puw40uY7
36 Hours in Montreal. CANADA’S second-largest city may be the second-largest French-speaking metropolis on the planet (after Paris), but the attention lavished on its Frenchness — Bistros! Baguettes! People saying “Bonjour”! — tends to nudge aside the many other ethnic communities within Montreal’s remarkably diverse urban sprawl. Italians, Portuguese and Lebanese have a very visible presence, and the city hosts annual festivals dedicated to everything from Asian-American films to Caribbean food. Throw in a pulsing alternative community and creative scene (this is a place that engendered talents as diverse as Saul Bellow, Arcade Fire and the irrepressible William Shatner), and a whole new Montreal opens up. Whether your passion is Syrian cuisine, contemporary art or vintage shopping, Montreal is serving it up with aplomb. C’est vrai... http://travel.nytimes.com/2012/06/17/travel/36-hours-in-montreal.html
Au moins on va se consoler en jouant au Monopoly! National governments may shape the broad outlines of globalization, but where does it really play out? Where are globalization’s successes and failures most acute? Where else but the places where most of humanity now chooses to live and work—cities. The world’s biggest, most interconnected cities help set global agendas, weather transnational dangers, and serve as the hubs of global integration. They are the engines of growth for their countries and the gateways to the resources of their regions. In many ways, the story of globalization is the story of urbanization. But what makes a “global city”? The term itself conjures a command center for the cognoscenti. It means power, sophistication, wealth, and influence. To call a global city your own suggests that the ideas and values of your metropolis shape the world. And, to a large extent, that’s true. The cities that host the biggest capital markets, elite universities, most diverse and well-educated populations, wealthiest multinationals, and most powerful international organizations are connected to the rest of the world like nowhere else. But, more than anything, the cities that rise to the top of the list are those that continue to forge global links despite intensely complex economic environments. They are the ones making urbanization work to their advantage by providing the vast opportunities of global integration to their people; measuring cities’ international presence captures the most accurate picture of the way the world works. So, Foreign Policy teamed up with A.T. Kearney and The Chicago Council on Global Affairs to create the Global Cities Index, a uniquely comprehensive ranking of the ways in which cities are integrating with the rest of the world. In constructing this index of the world’s most global cities, we have collected and analyzed a broad array of data, as well as tapped the brainpower of such renowned cities experts as Saskia Sassen, Witold Rybczynski, Janet Abu-Lughod, and Peter Taylor. Specifically, the Global Cities Index ranks cities’ metro areas according to 24 metrics across five dimensions. The first is business activity: including the value of its capital markets, the number of Fortune Global 500 firms headquartered there, and the volume of the goods that pass through the city. The second dimension measures human capital, or how well the city acts as a magnet for diverse groups of people and talent. This includes the size of a city’s immigrant population, the number of international schools, and the percentage of residents with university degrees. The third dimension is information exchange—how well news and information is dispersed about and to the rest of the world. The number of international news bureaus, the amount of international news in the leading local papers, and the number of broadband subscribers round out that dimension. The final two areas of analysis are unusual for most rankings of globalized cities or states. The fourth is cultural experience, or the level of diverse attractions for international residents and travelers. That includes everything from how many major sporting events a city hosts to the number of performing arts venues it boasts. The final dimension— political engagement—measures the degree to which a city influences global policymaking and dialogue. How? By examining the number of embassies and consulates, major think tanks, international organizations, sister city relationships, and political conferences a city hosts. We learned long ago that globalization is much more than the simple lowering of market barriers and economic walls. And because the Global Cities Index pulls in these measures of cultural, social, and policy indicators, it offers a more complete picture of a city’s global standing—not simply economic or financial ties. The 60 cities included in this first Global Cities Index run the gamut of the modern urban experience. There’s thriving, wealthy London, with its firmly entrenched global networks built on the city’s history as capital of an empire. But there are also Chongqing, Dhaka, and Lagos, cities whose recent surges tell us a great deal about the direction globalization is heading and whose experiences offer lessons to other aspiring global cities. The cities we highlight are world leaders in important areas such as finance, policymaking, and culture. A few are megacities in the developing world whose demand for resources means they must nurture close ties with their neighbors and provide services to large numbers of immigrants. Some are gateways to their region. Others host important international institutions. In other words, they represent a broad cross section of the world’s centers of commerce, culture, and communication. THE WINNER’S CIRCLE So, which city topped them all? If anything, the results prove there is no such thing as a perfect global city; no city dominated all dimensions of the index. However, a few came close. New York emerged as the No. 1 global city this year, followed by London, Paris, and Tokyo. The Big Apple beat out other global powerhouses largely on the back of its financial markets, through the networks of its multinationals, and by the strength of its diverse creative class. Overall runner-up London won the cultural dimension by a mile, with Paris and New York trailing far behind. Perhaps surprisingly for a city known more for museums than modems, third-ranked Paris led the world in the information exchange category. No. 4 Tokyo ranked highly thanks to its strong showing in business. And, though it finished 11th overall, Washington easily beat out New York, Brussels, and Paris as the leader in global policy. Although the winners may be the usual suspects, they have plenty of new competition on their heels. Buoyed by their strong financial links, Hong Kong and Singapore finished at fifth and seventh, respectively. Chicago’s strong human-capital performance sent it into the eighth spot. What’s more, several strong performers are emerging from formerly closed societies: Beijing (No. 12), Moscow (19), Shanghai (20), and Dubai (27). The new, sometimes abbreviated, often state-led, paths to global dominance these cities are treading threaten the old formulas that London, New York, and Los Angeles (No. 6) followed to reach their high spots. As diverse as they are, the most successful global cities have several things in common: As New York proves, global cities are those that excel across multiple dimensions. Even Shanghai’s staggering, decades-long double-digit annual economic growth alone can’t make it global. The city also must determine how to use that wealth to influence policy, attract the brightest young minds, and accurately portray the rest of the world to its citizens. Global cities continuously adapt to changing circumstances. London may be the city hardest hit by the global credit crunch, but chances are that it will leverage its abundant global financial ties to bounce back. Singapore, San Francisco (15), and Mexico City (25) will no doubt be taking notes. As the world readjusts to the fits and starts of a volatile global economy, as well as other transnational problems such as climate change, human trafficking, and fuel shortages, the Global Cities Index will track the way cities maneuver as their populations grow and the world shrinks. Although we can’t predict next year’s winner, the odds are good that New York will have to fight to stay on top. How to Be a Global City There is no single correct path a city should tread to become global. But how should cities that want to boost their international profile go about it? They could follow any of the tried-and-true models that came before them. Just look at the various ways some of this year’s 60 global cities manage to use urbanization and globalization to their advantage. Open Cities What they look like: Large cities with a free press, open markets, easy access to information and technology, low barriers to foreign trade and investment, and loads of cultural opportunities. They often rely on a heavy service industry and are outward looking, rather than focused on domestic affairs. Who they are: New York (#1), London (#2), Paris (#3) Lifestyle Centers What they look like: Laid-back cities that enjoy a high quality of life and focus on having fun. They attract worldly people and offer cultural experiences to spare. Who they are: Los Angeles (#6), Toronto (#10) Regional Gateways What they look like: Efficient economic powerhouses with favorable incentives for businesses and easy access to the natural resources of their region. They attract smart, well-trained people from around the world, and they often must reinvent themselves to remain competitive. Who they are: Hong Kong (#5), Singapore (#7), Chicago (#8) National Leaders What they look like: Large cities that shape the collective identity of their countries. They usually have homogenous populations, and their new urban policies tend to evoke a shared history. They do well in international business, but not because they’re necessarily globally connected; in these places, foreign firms can find something no other city offers. Who they are: Tokyo (#4), Seoul (#9), Beijing (#12) Policy Hubs What they look like: Cities with outsized influence on national and international policy debates. Their think tanks, international organizations, and political institutions shape policies that affect all people, and they tend to be full of diplomats and journalists from somewhere else. Who they are: Washington (#11), Brussels (#13) Platform Cities What they look like: Large hubs in typically small countries that attract huge amounts of investment through their strategic locations and international connections. Firms don’t set up shop in these cities to invest in the local economy; they move there so they can reach important foreign financial markets without dealing with the region’s political headaches. Who they are: Amsterdam (#23), Dubai (#27), Copenhagen (#36) http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4509&print=1