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Around the Globe, Urban Diversity Is Alive and Well

It might feel like the world is shrinking as globalization expands, but many cities still have their individual characters and qualities.
June 12, 2019, 2pm PDT | Camille Fink
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Tyler Cowen disputes the notion that cities around the world are becoming more similar than they are different. Global diversity still abounds, from cities in the same country—Dublin and Belfast in Ireland, for example—to major metropolises, argues Cowen:

Among the more populous cities I have visited are Lagos, Tokyo, Mexico City, Delhi, Sao Paulo, Shanghai and Cairo. I can find very real similarities among their gyms, coffee shops, hotels and smart phones used by the locals. Still, it is hard to argue they are converging on some common set of experiences or cultural memes. Those cities show different movies (for the most part), play different kinds of music in public spaces, serve different dominant cuisines, exhibit different modes of personal dress, and of course speak different languages.

He goes on to compare London and New York, pointing out that the cultural and social experiences in each city are distinct and different. And Cowen adds that he feels relaxed walking throughout London while he finds Manhattan somewhat stressful.

Cowen cannot quite explain why his subjective takes on the two cities are different, but he says that globalization is not creating a homogenized world. "Larger cities are the big winners. If you visit them, I assure you: You will find that the world has never been more interesting, or more diverse."

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Published on Tuesday, June 4, 2019 in Bloomberg
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