The Romance of Cities

I’ve mentioned in passing on this blog that I believe Provo is a romantic city. That isn’t to say it’s the most romantic city in the world, but it’s architecture, streets, and big trees all encourage long walks. Few things are as charming as a summer night in Provo. The flat streets in our pioneer neighborhoods beckon to bike riders and picnickers. I would likely not currently be married to my wife if not for Provo’s music venues.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, Kaid Benfield decided to write about what makes a city really romantic (the article has a lot of great photos of romantic cities). I’ve been to at least half the cities he includes, and for the most part I agree — though I probably would have thrown in pictures of Prague, Italy’s Cinque Terre, and Rio De Janeiro, at least.

Anyway, romance should not be underrated as an attribute a city needs to cultivate. It can become a financial asset, and if nothing else deeply enriches the lives of residents.

So in the spirit of the season, here are the features Benfield believes help make a city romantic.

  • Strong sense of place anchored by historic preservation
  • Lively, walkable, diverse downtowns
  • Compact development patterns
  • Extensive and well-used public transportation
  • Great public spaces for lively human interaction
  • Parks and quiet places mixed in with urbanity
  • Great traditional neighborhoods with a strong sense of community
  • Welcoming to people of diverse cultures

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Filed under biking, Development, neighborhood, utah

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