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Brighter Lights, Bigger Cities

Brighter Lights, Bigger Cities

Sulaiman Beg

Sulaiman Beg

October 2, 2018

Today, 55% of the world’s population lives in cities. By 2050, two-thirds of us will.

"Living in Beijing is a journey of cultural exploration, because you'll have so many chances to check out the traditional heritage..."

Half of the world’s population today lives in cities—creating a setting with our greatest tension, but also where we will reinvent our future. By 2050, that number will increase to 68%, changing how we live together.

Havas Group’s latest Prosumer Report “New Cities, New Lives” explores the bustling future of urbanization.

Around half of Prosumers are convinced that having the world’s population living in high-density, sustainable cities will help save planet Earth from destruction. Prosumers are already open to innovative living solutions: 52% would like to live in a smaller personal space in exchange for access to more amenities/facilities shared with others. They also are interested in working adjustments: 58% would accept a lower salary in exchange for being able to work from home.

We asked some of our strategists around the world to tell us a little about the city they call home: what keeps them there, and why they’d leave.

 

Agatha Kim

Executive Strategy Director

BETC/Havas

What do you love about your city?

I love the speed and dynamics of São Paulo. There’s always something interesting happening: a new restaurant, an inspiring exhibition, a new cultural movement, some crazy, new carnival street party. And it’s so huge that sometimes the new thing can be a spot abandoned in the 60s that was just discovered and transformed into a bar and cultural space.

What do you dislike about your city?

Traffic jams. We have many issues such as violence, pollution, lack of cultural projects for less affluent areas, and so on. But mobility (or the lack of) is for sure on endless stress that unites poor and rich in São Paulo.

Is there anything that would get you to leave the city for the suburbs (or a more rural locale)?

A sea view. I’d love to live by the sea and closer to nature. São Paulo has many rivers, but they are all polluted, and I’d love to live closer to water.

 

Lianne Heite

Strategy

Havas Lemz

What do you love about your city?

What I love about Amsterdam is that it houses a large variety of people, it makes me feel alive, and it has a female mayor with green, social, and tolerant beliefs.

What do you dislike about your city?

It’s becoming too expensive for young and less-prosperous people and that people, seem to grow less connected and open-minded.

Is there anything that would get you to leave the city for the suburbs (or a more rural locale)?

What would get me to leave Amsterdam is the opportunity of enjoying more fresh air and being more in touch with nature, not just for me, but especially for my 8-year-old daughter.

 

Laurel Liu
Supervisor, Research & Analysis

Havas Media Shanghai

What do you love about your city?

The culture and the people. Living in Beijing is a journey of cultural exploration, because you’ll have so many chances to check out the traditional heritage—the Great Wall, the museums, the palaces, the alleys, etc—where you can substantially feel and imagine the ancient scenes from every single brick and tile. And the strong accent of local Beijingers well express northern people’s straightforwardness and unyieldingness. People here are outgoing and warm-hearted, and they value a lot of interpersonal relationships and brotherhood, which brings the human touch to daily life and work.

What do you dislike about your city?

The living environment is getting worse—traffic jam, air pollution, housing prices, the public service, etc— are lowering life satisfaction for average people, especially people from external provinces, like me.

Is there anything that would get you to leave the city for the suburbs (or a more rural locale)?

Air pollution and stressful pace of life. Air pollution is something that really affects your physical health. Considering the long-term quality of life, it’s not good to stay for years. And also the pace of life in cities is always fast and stressful. That might be a reason to take a rest or change to a slower life when getting to a particular age.

 

Cara Xiao

Research & Strategy Manager

Havas Media Shanghai

What do you love about your city?

Many people like Shanghai because Shanghai can provide more career opportunities access to public resources such as education, health, etc. As a Shanghainese, Shanghai is the city where I was born, grew up, study and live. What I love about Shanghai are my memories of family and friends and the historic old buildings. My favorite relaxing thing is to walk on a small street.

What do you dislike about your city?

It’s too crowded to get easily lost by yourself…You have to make more effort to catch up with the fast pace. What’s more, the fast pace led the disappearance of some good culture, such as good relationships with neighbors, handmade traditional foods, etc.

Is there anything that would get you to leave the city for the suburbs (or a more rural locale)?

Once I retire, I will leave Shanghai for a small city with fresh air, a good natural view, a slower life pace, and lower cost of living.

"I love the fact that São Paulo welcomes everyone. People come from all over Brazil to study, to work, to find opportunities—and São Paulo welcomes them."

Camila Nakagawa
Communications & Culture Director
BETC / Havas Brazil

What do you love about your city?

I love the fact that São Paulo welcomes everyone. People come from all over Brazil to study, to work, to find opportunities—and São Paulo welcomes them. It’s a city built of very hard working people, from different cultures and different backgrounds. I also love the fact that the city has adapted itself to meet this multicultural aspect, creating the most diverse menu of restaurants, bars, diverse religious spaces and infinite entertainment options. You can have Thai food at 4am. Or Greek. You can get to know a typical Candomblé religious ritual. You can go see a Shakespearean play. You can ride your bike in a gigantic park full of trees and lakes. You can see some Matisse, Velásquez and some Anitta Malfatti paintings right in front of you. And you can do all of this in one weekend – by tube.

What do you dislike about your city?

The violence, for sure. Unfortunately, it’s still dangerous to go to some neighborhoods and streets – especially at night or if you’re alone. This is the biggest issue and the biggest challenge for the government to solve.

Is there anything that would get you to leave the city for the suburbs (or a more rural locale)?

I’d love to move to the suburbs for some time. Not forever, but I’d definitely love to spend some time on a rural place and get some rest from the overwhelming big-city routine. However, I’m sure it’d take me a few weeks to come back. I think there might come a time when I have grown-up kids and maybe a desire to live a most peaceful routine. But for now, I like being in the middle of a place full of opportunities.

 

Donna Glanvill

Global Strategy Director

Havas Media Group London

What do you love about London?

It’s alive and endless.

Craftsmanship and creativity.

A world of hidden gems.

The shop in Islington meticulously repairing vintage handbags.

An Aladdin’s cave of fabrics off Oxford Street servicing the theatre district.

The innocuous SoHo brown door thousands pass every day none the wiser that down below a club and hang out for the jobbing actors and musicians on the go.

The watch repairer squished between Mayfair riches with talent so good Rolex seek their help.

The Turks Head pub, an essential stop on the way to the rugby.

These, and many more make the city personal and magic to me.

What do you dislike about your city?

Cars, lorries, traffic, gridlock and no change for a tenner.

Is there anything that would get you to leave the city for the suburbs (or a more rural locale)?

I already do!

Town and country is where I’m at.

Life should always keep you moving.

 

Olly Taylor

Chief Strategy Officer

Host/Havas

What do you love about your city?

The combination of living in a global city and living on the ocean.

What do you dislike about your city?

The lack of creativity and the poor infrastructure.

Is there anything that would get you to leave the city for the suburbs (or a more rural locale)?

No.

"Living in Beijing is a journey of cultural exploration, because you'll have so many chances to check out the traditional heritage..."

Half of the world’s population today lives in cities—creating a setting with our greatest tension, but also where we will reinvent our future. By 2050, that number will increase to 68%, changing how we live together.

Havas Group’s latest Prosumer Report “New Cities, New Lives” explores the bustling future of urbanization.

Around half of Prosumers are convinced that having the world’s population living in high-density, sustainable cities will help save planet Earth from destruction. Prosumers are already open to innovative living solutions: 52% would like to live in a smaller personal space in exchange for access to more amenities/facilities shared with others. They also are interested in working adjustments: 58% would accept a lower salary in exchange for being able to work from home.

We asked some of our strategists around the world to tell us a little about the city they call home: what keeps them there, and why they’d leave.

 

Agatha Kim

Executive Strategy Director

BETC/Havas

What do you love about your city?

I love the speed and dynamics of São Paulo. There’s always something interesting happening: a new restaurant, an inspiring exhibition, a new cultural movement, some crazy, new carnival street party. And it’s so huge that sometimes the new thing can be a spot abandoned in the 60s that was just discovered and transformed into a bar and cultural space.

What do you dislike about your city?

Traffic jams. We have many issues such as violence, pollution, lack of cultural projects for less affluent areas, and so on. But mobility (or the lack of) is for sure on endless stress that unites poor and rich in São Paulo.

Is there anything that would get you to leave the city for the suburbs (or a more rural locale)?

A sea view. I’d love to live by the sea and closer to nature. São Paulo has many rivers, but they are all polluted, and I’d love to live closer to water.

 

Lianne Heite

Strategy

Havas Lemz

What do you love about your city?

What I love about Amsterdam is that it houses a large variety of people, it makes me feel alive, and it has a female mayor with green, social, and tolerant beliefs.

What do you dislike about your city?

It’s becoming too expensive for young and less-prosperous people and that people, seem to grow less connected and open-minded.

Is there anything that would get you to leave the city for the suburbs (or a more rural locale)?

What would get me to leave Amsterdam is the opportunity of enjoying more fresh air and being more in touch with nature, not just for me, but especially for my 8-year-old daughter.

 

Laurel Liu
Supervisor, Research & Analysis

Havas Media Shanghai

What do you love about your city?

The culture and the people. Living in Beijing is a journey of cultural exploration, because you’ll have so many chances to check out the traditional heritage—the Great Wall, the museums, the palaces, the alleys, etc—where you can substantially feel and imagine the ancient scenes from every single brick and tile. And the strong accent of local Beijingers well express northern people’s straightforwardness and unyieldingness. People here are outgoing and warm-hearted, and they value a lot of interpersonal relationships and brotherhood, which brings the human touch to daily life and work.

What do you dislike about your city?

The living environment is getting worse—traffic jam, air pollution, housing prices, the public service, etc— are lowering life satisfaction for average people, especially people from external provinces, like me.

Is there anything that would get you to leave the city for the suburbs (or a more rural locale)?

Air pollution and stressful pace of life. Air pollution is something that really affects your physical health. Considering the long-term quality of life, it’s not good to stay for years. And also the pace of life in cities is always fast and stressful. That might be a reason to take a rest or change to a slower life when getting to a particular age.

 

Cara Xiao

Research & Strategy Manager

Havas Media Shanghai

What do you love about your city?

Many people like Shanghai because Shanghai can provide more career opportunities access to public resources such as education, health, etc. As a Shanghainese, Shanghai is the city where I was born, grew up, study and live. What I love about Shanghai are my memories of family and friends and the historic old buildings. My favorite relaxing thing is to walk on a small street.

What do you dislike about your city?

It’s too crowded to get easily lost by yourself…You have to make more effort to catch up with the fast pace. What’s more, the fast pace led the disappearance of some good culture, such as good relationships with neighbors, handmade traditional foods, etc.

Is there anything that would get you to leave the city for the suburbs (or a more rural locale)?

Once I retire, I will leave Shanghai for a small city with fresh air, a good natural view, a slower life pace, and lower cost of living.

"I love the fact that São Paulo welcomes everyone. People come from all over Brazil to study, to work, to find opportunities—and São Paulo welcomes them."

Camila Nakagawa
Communications & Culture Director
BETC / Havas Brazil

What do you love about your city?

I love the fact that São Paulo welcomes everyone. People come from all over Brazil to study, to work, to find opportunities—and São Paulo welcomes them. It’s a city built of very hard working people, from different cultures and different backgrounds. I also love the fact that the city has adapted itself to meet this multicultural aspect, creating the most diverse menu of restaurants, bars, diverse religious spaces and infinite entertainment options. You can have Thai food at 4am. Or Greek. You can get to know a typical Candomblé religious ritual. You can go see a Shakespearean play. You can ride your bike in a gigantic park full of trees and lakes. You can see some Matisse, Velásquez and some Anitta Malfatti paintings right in front of you. And you can do all of this in one weekend – by tube.

What do you dislike about your city?

The violence, for sure. Unfortunately, it’s still dangerous to go to some neighborhoods and streets – especially at night or if you’re alone. This is the biggest issue and the biggest challenge for the government to solve.

Is there anything that would get you to leave the city for the suburbs (or a more rural locale)?

I’d love to move to the suburbs for some time. Not forever, but I’d definitely love to spend some time on a rural place and get some rest from the overwhelming big-city routine. However, I’m sure it’d take me a few weeks to come back. I think there might come a time when I have grown-up kids and maybe a desire to live a most peaceful routine. But for now, I like being in the middle of a place full of opportunities.

 

Donna Glanvill

Global Strategy Director

Havas Media Group London

What do you love about London?

It’s alive and endless.

Craftsmanship and creativity.

A world of hidden gems.

The shop in Islington meticulously repairing vintage handbags.

An Aladdin’s cave of fabrics off Oxford Street servicing the theatre district.

The innocuous SoHo brown door thousands pass every day none the wiser that down below a club and hang out for the jobbing actors and musicians on the go.

The watch repairer squished between Mayfair riches with talent so good Rolex seek their help.

The Turks Head pub, an essential stop on the way to the rugby.

These, and many more make the city personal and magic to me.

What do you dislike about your city?

Cars, lorries, traffic, gridlock and no change for a tenner.

Is there anything that would get you to leave the city for the suburbs (or a more rural locale)?

I already do!

Town and country is where I’m at.

Life should always keep you moving.

 

Olly Taylor

Chief Strategy Officer

Host/Havas

What do you love about your city?

The combination of living in a global city and living on the ocean.

What do you dislike about your city?

The lack of creativity and the poor infrastructure.

Is there anything that would get you to leave the city for the suburbs (or a more rural locale)?

No.

Sulaiman Beg is Havas' Director of Global Internal Communications. He has never eaten canned tuna fish.

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