City states

Having lived in and around London for many years, and now finding myself in a place with an odd mix of urban and provincial character, a number of questions have arisen as I read more on pyschogeography, geography, behaviour, and city/country social aspects in general:
  1. Can one comment on cities and the city environment if one doesn’t live in a city?
  2. How is the city perceived by someone living outside the city? (suburbs, short train ride, long train ride away? increasing distance from the center of gravity?)
  3. How is the country perceived by someone living in the city?
  4. What is easier in the country, and why?
  5. What is more difficult in the country, and why?
A quote in a recent Financial Times article put a small part of this in a nice context:
“…cities are at the apex of human endeavour. High-density cities are creative, thrilling and less environmentally destructive than sprawling car-based suburbs typical of America. Cities are passports from poverty. They attract poor people, rather than creating them. They are where humans are at their most artistically and technologically creative.”
Perhaps here the meaning could be interpreted broadly, “poor” not in the financial sense but more along the lines of how someone would say of someone else: “that poor man.”

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