25 May 2008

Geneva 2.0

Due to the way the administrative units are laid out it isn't particularly easy to get a definitive number for many people are living in Geneva. City of Geneva is listed as 185,000, the canton of Geneva as 450,000, while the Geneva area - including 9 more or less independent cities - runs to some 610,000. Some of these 9 cities are clearly part of what is the Geneva city, while other cities have a least of bit of open land between them and Geneva. All in all, we've been debating how big the city appears to us. At first, it seems a little smaller than Copenhagen, but this could primarily be because it doesn't sprawl across the same number of suburbs, since in the central city we keep finding neighborhoods with a downtown feeling to them. So maybe it's closer to Copenhagen in size after all.

An interesting phenomenon in the city is the lack of differences in the buildings from one neighborhood to the next. Apartment buildings from the twenties, the fifties, and the sixties/seventies are found door by door, whether one is in a richer neighborhood, downtown or in cheaper residential areas.

But despite this lack of physical differences the neighborhoods between, it's quite easy to sense if one is in a boring banking area (apologies to the banking readers, but even you have to admit that your profession seldomly contributes much to the dynamic cityscape), or in the 'red light district' (for obvious reasons), or in the expensive shopping streets (if for no other reasons, then just by watching the shoppers), or in the more anonymous residential areas.

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