What makes a city? How does it move, motivate, inspire, and engage the people that live in it? How does it bring them together to do good work and make change? And how does it welcome its visitors to plug into what's local and worthwhile. GOOD wants to know.
A bevy of measures and indicators have arisen over the past half decade to measure more than a regions' industry and output or its population and budget. The Social Progress Index, Genuine Progress Index, and Well Being Strategy are good examples of the trend at at both the national and regional level. But we want want to make our own: the GOOD City Index.
We know that New York, San Francisco, London, Stockholm, and Paris like to think they've got it all figured out. Maybe they do. But sometimes, we feel those cities get lauded at the expense of the less obvious, more interesting choices. GOOD wants to highlight the cities that are emerging, the ones that are figuring out their growing pains or flourishing under the radar. We find that very often, it's the places with the most hardship that also have the most innovation, the brightest minds, and the people most dedicated to solving big problems in new ways. So that's where we want to go.
We want to hear about street corner revolutions and studio space innovation. Places where citizens are valuing connectivity, creativity and equality over commercialism and property prices. We want to hear about the places we might like to move to, to work in, or visit—not because they're perfect, but because they're interesting and have just the right mix of energy, people and possibility. And we want your help.
Below is our part of our criteria. In addition to the numbers, we want to know some of the color—the work spaces, cafes, and vegetable stalls that make a place feel like home.
Help us assemble the GOOD city index by nominating your favorite cities in the comments of this post. You can name a city you think we should include, and tell us why by explaining at least one of the qualitative criteria below.
1. Do GOOD-er hub—Where's the best place to engage, work collaboratively, run into a new idea or get inspired (could be a TEDx scene, a workspace, a street where freelancers commingle etc.)
2. Civic engagement—How do we know people are awake? Where do people protest, graffiti, or vent their grievances (i.e. Taksim Square, Speakers Corner, Tahir square, etc.)
3. Local vibes—Best local vendors, example of an independent shop triumph, or a neighborhood where small and local is valued over big and homogenized?
4. Defining moment—What's your city's SXSW, TED Conference, Love Fest, Carnivale, or Mardi Gras?
5. Pick-me-up of choice—In London it's PG Tips, in Paris cafe au lait, in Nairobi it's Orange Fanta, and in KL it's cold Milo—what the local drink of choice?