A question from my run through Jakarta today: what makes a flourishing city? Here are some questions I’d ask to find the answer:
Is it safe?
Is it dynamic? (Is there a sense that people are getting on with things, that things are happening?)
Are the streets clean? Is the water? Is the air?
Is it diverse?*
Are the people, generally speaking, thoughtful and kind? Do they smile? Laugh? Ask questions?
Does it seem that people are learning new things and changing?
Can you get around?
Is there greenery and open space? Is there good food? Is there art? Is there architecture?
Is there a place for poor people in the city’s communities? Do the poorest, generally speaking, have enough? Do they own land? Do they have a clear way forward for their children?
Is there a sense that things are getting better?
Does it contain surprises – even for the people who live there?
*Is it diverse: Are there different kinds of people there? Do they do different things? Are different parts of the city different? Is there a range of economic activity, businesses of different sizes? Are there different ethnic groups? Different language spoken? Different religions practice?