may I see your ID?

For the most part, individuals’ identities are unique, which is what makes human interactions interesting and worthwhile. We tend to be gravitated more towards those who have a strong personality and identity. This may be because we are more interested in them due to similarities, differences, and unique perspectives they offer to us. This, I believe, is true about our urban lives and cities as well. In other words, we shape our cities and our cities shape us to be the people/cities we are. We reflect our cities personalities/identities and they reflects ours.

In this article, Harry Verhaar -Head of Sustainability at Philips- talks about this very topic by saying, “If you think of three big cities like New York, Tokyo and Amsterdam, the citizens who live there will say that their city is nothing like the others. This is also reflected in the individual: the identity of somebody living in New York is different from somebody living in Tokyo or Stockholm.” We tend to choose our cities/towns or residency based on how they fit our characteristics and personalities.

By making these conscious decisions, we also tend to shape and change where we live, by the decisions we make on a daily basis. These include our lifestyles, habits, and ideas. Nonetheless, there is something about the cities we live in that attract us in the beginning, and frankly we tend to find like-minded individuals in the same city.  Sometimes we move to a place due to its geographical/ecological opportunities, and sometimes we do so based on its livelihood.