GOOD

Cities and places fill us with certain feelings. There’s a flair in the flavors and sounds of Miami fill us with the insatiable urge to dance, while a stroll through a leafy Chicago neighborhood makes us want to greet every passerby with kindness. We may not notice, but we can feel the spirit of a city, apparent in the way the locals greet each other, a certain resilience after defeat, or swelling pride after a hard-won independence. But how do we put that into words? One language may be (and often is) insufficient for all the cultures of the world. Words like the Serbian “inat” and the Danish “hygge” can express the heart of the cultures and their cities. Check out these beautifully hard-to-translate words here.

And, in the meantime, tell us about your signature moments using #goodcitiesproject

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As the world is growing, so too is the deep human desire to be better—to do more, to learn, and to progress within ourselves and in our cities. But where does this progress happen? It’s occurring all over the world in places that call forward like-minded folks who share this common desire for advancement. Whether it begins in a coffeehouse or an urban garden, certain spaces become magnetic hubs, attracting a crowd that doesn’t settle for status quo. A public square becomes a gathering space that demands political change. Or a small theater becomes a city’s beacon for transgender rights and art. Whatever the initial goal, the end result is often much more than that, culminating in the encouragement of self-expression, ideas, art, community, and action. With these hubs popping up in cities everywhere, humanity is advancing, people are learning, and those who dedicate their time to such noble causes are rewarded with the knowledge that they’re helping change the world.

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