Leadership, as we speak about it, comes in many different forms. Often, leadership involves mapping out the future of an organization. An effective leader creates an inspiring vision of the future, motivating and inspiring others to participate. But how can a city be a leader? What would be the qualities of this leading city, and how would we measure its success?
It just so happens that technology has made this easier to do. As technology has made the world a smaller place, it has become easier to measure and compare different cities. One of the other consequences of technology is its impact on how people experience cities. The European Union, the World Bank, and other organizations are currently trying to provide indices that can measure the quality of life in a city; to evaluate which cities are leaders in this respect.
In 2015, Mercer established a set of indices to measure quality of life. The areas they included were: pollution, safety, economic development, housing, medical and health services, the natural environment, the political environment, the social environment, public services, transportation, and education. Numbeo’s quality of life database ranked Milan at 61.89 % with a pollution indicator of 73.52% and a traffic and commuting indicator of 39.36%. Considering that cities with low indicator numbers have the lowest level of pollution and traffic, based upon the Mercer living standards, Milan seems to be an "above-average" city, ranking 41 in the world out of 230 locales.
Beginning in May 2015, Milan will also host Expo which is one way of assuring the city's economic development. Improvements made to transportation and public services are also becoming evident. These changes are providing the city with a diverse set of urban mobility options. The city also provides an outlet for its people’s creativity by offering unique spaces for entertainment and recreation.
Many industrial sites have been transformed into cultural places such as art galleries, workshops, and concert halls. These spaces are a huge cultural benefit for the city’s diverse, international community.
While Milan has a ways to go in order to reach the top of official rankings, it still manages to be a leading city on many cultural levels. Plus, in many ways, it is difficult to measure “leading cities,” because being a leading city means something different for each of us. As when evaluating any leader, one’s desires and emotions play a large role, making any evaluation of “quality” a somewhat subjective choice.
What do you most value in a city? For you, what qualities does a city have to have to be a leader? What made you choose to live in your city, or what makes you stay? Share your thoughts and stories in the comments below.
Credits: Images by Alexandra Serbana. Data Linked to sources.