In the first part of What is a city to you? we covered the basics and overall what is thought of when we hear the word city. In that breakdown one of the items I mentioned is that cities are places of diversity. So what exactly does that mean, diversity?

Well for one thing it goes far beyond race. Diversity in cities means diversity of streetscapes, architectural styles, building heights, activities, and most importantly people. The built environment elements are fairly easy to understand and grasp. Different building heights, architectural styles, and streetscapes all help make a place interesting and unique — exactly what a city should be.

Findlay Market in Over-the-Rhine – Photo by Randy Simes

People are the most interesting part of this equation…as their variations are limitless. It is important to have the greatest diversity of people as possible. Diversity of backgrounds, races, creeds, wealth/stature, age, and gender. The greater the variety of types of people creates a greater variety of events and encounters that might occur within a city.

No matter how great the buildings, public spaces, and venues it means nothing without the people. People are what make cities great. They make cities exciting, interesting, unique, enlightening, lively, edgy, thought provoking, and at times places of crime. But whether good or bad, these feelings are caused by the people who created the environment…and it is in cities where you get the most varied and sporadic of these feelings. What could be better than the diversity of feeling and emotion?

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Randy is an award-winning urban planner who founded UrbanCincy in May 2007. He grew up on Cincinnati’s west side in Covedale, and graduated from the University of Cincinnati’s nationally acclaimed School of Planning in June 2009. In addition to maintaining ownership and serving as the managing editor for UrbanCincy, Randy has worked professionally as a planning consultant throughout the United States, Korea and the Middle East. After brief stints in Atlanta and Chicago, he currently lives in the Daechi neighborhood of Seoul’s Gangnam district.