Toronto vs. Barcelona: A tale of two very different cities

Toronto and Barcelona are both aiming for great-city status, but are going about it in a very different way. Yes we need private wealth and a dynamic economy, but shared wealth is what truly makes a good, healthy and happy life possible.


By: Pierre Herman

What makes a city worth living in? The answer is certainly complex but what we know is that economic growth, high salaries and purchasing power alone won’t help a city make the grade. Dubai’s overnight success-in-a-desert isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, despite the allure of a jet-setting lifestyle.

In fact, if accompanying factors are strong enough to balance out the equation, a big pay-check might be dispensed with entirely.

So when comparing cities across the globe, where do we begin? Perhaps with the most polar opposite of examples.

There are few cities in the world so diametrically opposed, certainly in aesthetics but perhaps also in fundamental ethos, as Spain’s Catalan capital (my recently adopted home) and my former one, Canada’s financial and economic hub. At least that’s the impression I got when I came back to Toronto after a long sojourn in Barcelona.

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Amazing eco-friendly hotels


In the last edition of my sustainable hotels series we crossed four continents in search of perfect city or rural escapes that combine the most up-to-date sustainability credentials with creature-comforts to satisfy the most austerity-weary traveller.

Today we visit places a bit closer to home (if you happen to call Canada, the US or the UK home that is!), ending with a delightfully exotic detour to Bali which for obvious reasons might just have to relegate itself to mind-candy for the armchair traveller within all of us!

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Trend of the future: buildings without parking

Architects, builders and urban planners see a future in car-less living.

The American dream is dead. Or at least that part of the American dream which imagined a shiny gas-guzzler in every driveway of every cul-de-sac of every distant, otherwise inaccessible suburb in America is. And while the dream of sustainable urban living in America is still far from fruition, there are new signs of a significant shift in popular sentiment away from urban car-ownership and use.

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