Just don’t use the phrase ‘world-class’

Edmontonians: do those lists of cities matter to you? THERE.

Now: what are you making?



7 thoughts on “Just don’t use the phrase ‘world-class’

  1. Agreed. I’ve had people tell me that Edmonton needs to be a world city and I often reply back “Why can’t we just be a great city instead?”

  2. Honestly the only people I recall bandying about the phrase were the ones propping it up as a straw man to attack the arena, museum, LRT or whatever.

    It was odd to see us top a ranking without considering what might be our greatest strengths in arts and entertainment, and urban parkland though.

  3. I think we need to concentrate on building the city that WE want to live in, rather than trying to appeal to some concept of ‘world class’ to attract those who don’t. I think we’ll find that when we’ve built the places and organizations and activities that make the city appealing to those of us who already live here – it’ll become attractive to newcomers when they do move here.

    • Just curious, in your opinion when we endeavour to build an opera house, should we not look at Copenhagen, Oslo, or Saint Petersburg?

      An air terminal, Helsinki?

      An arena, Los Angeles or Columbus?

      • Good points, both of you. I hope it can be both, that a city can strive for excellence filtered through its own culture. Maybe that is what makes great buildings great.

  4. Perhaps part of it is because it’s tough, impossible?, for a city to be world class at everything.

    Funnily enough I do think we have a high-ranking garbage management system in Edmonton…it would probably be “world class.” I’m sure there are other features of Edmonton that are quite unique even worldwide. But yes, I agree, “world class” is just to…general to be of any use.

  5. Pingback: The Problem with “Best of” Cities Lists « alex abboud.com: a Blog on Ideas, Cities, and Innovation

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