- BBC News World
The coronavirus pandemic hit cities hard, causing lockdowns and restrictions that paralyzed social, cultural and culinary life in many parts of the world.
Millions of people left the large metropolises, opting for greener suburban spaces from where they could work or study remotely.
However, urban life did not just continue. According to the travel magazine Time Out, in some places even prospered.
“Our cities adapted,” said the British publication, in an article published on September 8.
“Communities came together like never before. We fought to help our businesses survive. And somehow, we even found ways to have fun,” said the magazine, which compiled a ranking of which cities fared the best.
To make the call Time Out Index, the publication surveyed some 27,000 readers in various cities around the world, who not only gave their opinion on food and cultural life, but also on community projects, green spaces and sustainability.
The full list of places highlighted by Time Out readers includes: 37 cities.
(You can see the complete list at the end of this note)
The most represented country is the United States, with six places (two in the top 10).
The most “popular” continent is Europe, with 15 prominent cities.
The great absentee is Africa: there is not a single city of that continent in the list.
While, Latin America has three recognitions, although none among the 10 favorites.
Mexico City ranks 19, São Paulo, in Brazil, on the 31st. While the capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires, was chosen number 35 in the ranking.
Here we tell you which are the best 10 cities in the world in 2021 according to Time Out and why they were selected:
1. San Francisco (EE.UU.)
The northern California city was praised because, although it had “one of the strictest COVID responses in the US,” it “did not affect the community spirit“.
“Businesses got creative to stay afloat, while innovative initiatives like the SF New Deal put restaurant employees to work preparing meals for those in need.”
“Neighbors came together to care for each other through powerful mutual aid networks, and a genius even came up with the idea to hang sourdough cultivation from trees to help all the bread bakers,” the publication noted. .
He also stressed that the climate of San Francisco “allows dine al fresco all year round“, a great advantage in covid times.
Readers voted the city the most “progressive” and the second most sustainable in the ranking.
2. Amsterdam (Netherlands)
The capital of the Netherlands used this time without social and cultural life “wisely”, says Time Out, since it took the opportunity to “put an end to the smoking cafes, brothels and the debauchery of drunks that so ruined its historic center.”
“During the run-ins last year, the city aimed to cement its status as a modern and environmentally conscious metropolis. The strategy has apparently worked,” the magazine stated.
He also highlighted the virtues of the Vondelpark, “a huge oasis right in the center that houses everything from improv sessions to theater and sports, really, the lung of the city.”
3. Manchester (UK)
The city in northwestern England was chosen, even over the British capital, for its rich cultural life, that not even the pandemic could subjugate.
“This is, after all, the home of Factory Records, The Fall series and the rock group The Smiths, and in 2021 companies like Manchester International Festival (MIF) and Grayson’s Art Club have continued to show that this city is really shocking when it comes to big, eye-catching cultural events. “
Time Out also highlighted Manchester’s community spirit, with companies like Result CIC offering free mental health support to health workers, or Eagle and Child pub, delivering 4,500 meals to the most vulnerable.
“This city has a reputation for knowing how to have a good time, and we were not surprised that she was voted the best in ‘nightlife’, ‘creativity’, ‘community spirit’, ‘kindness’ and ‘being able to meet your neighbors’ “, highlighted the magazine.
4. Copenhagen (Denmark)
Denmark is widely considered one of the happiest places in the worldSo it came as no surprise that 66% of Copenhagen residents said that you can “relax” in the city.
But a large number of residents – 82% – also noted that it is easy for them to discover “new and surprising things” in the city.
Meanwhile, the Danish capital was chosen the most “sustainable” of the ranking, and the second most “green”.
5. New York (EE.UU.)
The Big Apple was voted the “most resilient” city in the US during the pandemic, and was praised for initiatives such as Open Restaurants (which transformed sidewalks into community centers) or its new Key to NYC program (which encourages the adoption of vaccines).
“Thanks in large part to that iconic ‘I can’ attitude, New York found creative solutions to changing health precautions, and now the streets are packed once again, “the publication notes.
Readers voted for it the most “exciting” city in the world and ranks second in the “discover new things” category.
6. Montreal (Canada)
The largest city in Quebec, where the official language is French, is famous for its diversity.
But, according to Time Out, during the pandemic those differences brought them together.
Faced with “the greatest crisis in a generation,” the residents showed enormous “community spirit,” he highlights.
“Our city may be in a perpetual state of construction, with seemingly endless protests, freezing winters and boiling summers too, but at least we have each other,” wrote JP Karwacki of Time Out Montreal.
The innovative ecological projects of the city, such as plans to ban single-use plastics and the idea of transforming downtown boulevards into urban forests.
7. Prague (Czech Republic)
The restrictions imposed by the coronavirus did not tarnish “the dazzling beauty” of the Czech capital, the magazine says.
“The gradual reopening of the Golden City has presented incredible opportunities for simple pleasures unthinkable in pre-pandemic Prague: having the Charles Bridge almost to yourself, the audible chirping of birds in the Old Town Square, a contemplative morning coffee on a deserted street, “he highlights.
“Add in the fact that the Czech capital is incredibly walkable, with 89% saying it’s easy to get around without a car. And it has undoubtedly one of the most livable cities in the world.”
8. Tel Aviv (Israel)
“When the covid hit tourism, this high-tech city pressed the reset button“says Time Out.
“Spaces like Dizengoff Square and Park HaMesila hosted picnics, concerts, screenings and talks.”
It also highlights that “after the closings, Israel led the vaccination race and before long, the locals were back drinking cappuccinos in cafes and doing yoga on the beach. “
In the survey, 81% of Tel Avivians said their city was “fun” and 84% said they can “express themselves”.
9. Porto (Portugal)
This Portuguese coastal city was praised for its virus-proof culture.
“While most of the bars were closed, Porto was a cultural oasis concerts, drag shows, screenings, exhibitions, poetry nights and stand-up comedy, with a decent pizza and craft beer, “he highlighted.
The city was voted the second best in the world for finding new friends, and 62% of locals said it was “easy” to live there.
10. Tokyo (Japan)
The last Olympics venue was noted for its innovation: “an overwhelming 82% of respondents said that Tokyo was excellent for ‘discovering new things’ “, highlighted the magazine.
“The city’s super efficient public transport system ensures that everyone can easily enjoy everything the city has to offer,” he noted, while praising its “designer public toilets” that have appeared over the past year. in all the city”.
“Some look like art installations,” he says.
This is the complete list of the best cities according to Time Out:
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.