What Do the World's Most Romantic Cities Have in Common? What Do the World's Most Romantic Cities Have in Common?

What Do the World's Most Romantic Cities Have in Common?

by Ben Jervey

February 16, 2011

Kaid Benfield, Sustainable Cities and Smart Growth Director for the NRDC, answers this question in his annual Valentine's Day must-read post on the intersection of smart, sustainable urbanism, livable streets, and romance:

Prague. Venice. Rome. Paris. These are some destinations that perennially make "ten-most-romantic cities” lists. I just looked at three such sites, and all four cities were consensus picks. Vienna and Lisbon each made two of the lists.

What are some of the things they have in common?

  • 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

On this most romantic (or most Hallmark, at least) of days, it's interesting to note that we love—and fall in love in—cities that engender all the main elements of smart, sustainable urbanism.

Photo (cc) by jonrawlinson on Flickr

Ben Jervey More Info

Ben is a writer and editor covering climate change, energy, and environment, and is currently the Climate and Energy Media Fellow at Vermont Law School. He was the original Environment Editor at GOOD Magazine and his work has appeared regularly in National Geographic News, Grist, DeSmogBlog, and OnEarth. He recently worked with the non-profit Focus the Nation to publish an Energy 101 primer. When living in New York City, he wrote a book, The Big Green Apple, on how to live a lower impact life in the city. A bicycle enthusiast, Ben has ridden across the United States and through much of Europe.
Some recent articles by Ben Jervey:
Join the discussion
Recently on GOOD
Sign up to receive the best of GOOD delivered to your inbox each and every weekday
Scientists create color-changing cyborg flowers. https://t.co/eTla0aqWTD https://t.co/AfiVjF8MYj
What Do the World's Most Romantic Cities Have in Common?