Geography II

Let’s see if I can’t generalize my rubric, so that any city or location (hereafter “loc”) can be assessed of its relative quality.

     FOR ANY GIVEN CITY:

URBANIA:

(This will be based upon the “global cities” list compiled by the GaWC)

+4 to Alpha++ and Alpha+ cities

+3 to Alpha and Alpha- cities

+2 to Beta cities

+1 to Gamma and Sufficiency cities (or those which ought to so qualify)

+0.5 those cities which are capitals or otherwise contain a major organ of government

+0.5 to those cities which are the central cities of their region

+0.5 to those cities which are linked by easy public transportation (high-speed rail) to other cities

SUBURBIA:

+90% of the equivalent Urbania rating of the nearest city, if that city is easily accessible (30m or less by public transportation or bicycle; 15m or less by car)

For every 10 minutes added to the commute, subtract 10% of city value

For every other city which is within commute distance, add 1/2 that city’s score by above rubric

RURALIA:

+50% of the equivalent Urbania rating of the nearest city, if that city is easy accessible (1h by public transportation and/or car).

For every half-hour added, subtract 10%

GOVERNMENT:

+3 to those locs in the continental US (it’s my passport-issuer)

+2 to those locs with HDI ratings of “Very high”
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_Human_Development_Index#Complete_list_of_countries)

+1.5 for those locs with HDI ratings of “High” where English is, to any extent, a spoken language within the location in question or its nearest major city

+1 for all other locs with HDI ratings of “High”

+.5 for locs with HDI ratings of “Medium” + English

WATER ACCESS:

+2 for swimmable, accessible oceans

-0.5 if ocean is always or commonly: too hot, too cold, too polluted

-0.5 if beaches tend to be too busy to enjoy

-0.5 for every half-hour (beyond the first) of driving or public transportation required to reach the beach

+2 for swimmable, accessible lakes

same potential negatives as above

…can be up to 4 points from both fresh- and salt-water access

WILDERNESS ACCESS:

+3 for access to a major wilderness preserve (Yosemite, Baxter)

+2 for access to a minor wilderness preserve with hiking (Blue Hills, Acadia)

-0.5 for every hour (beyond the first) of car or public-transport travel time to a trailhead for either

-1 if parks are extremely crowded during peak season(s)

…though I cannot think offhand of a city with access to two disparate wild-parks, if such was to be presented I would say that their scores stacked

INTERNAL PARK ACCESS:

+2 for access to a major safe-by-day urban park (Central Park, Hyde Park, the Presidio)

-0.5 for every 15 minutes travel-time, by pubtrans or bike (beyond the first)

+1 for access to a minor site suitable for strolls and picnics (Fort Bourtange, Fort Preble, Mount Auburn)

-0.5 for every 15 minutes travel-time, by pubtrans or bike (beyond the first)

 +.5 for access to pleasant little urban parks (The Eastern and Western Prom of Portland, ME)

…these stack

 HOSPITAL ACCESS:

+3 for being near a world-class hospital (I can’t find a good general ranking, but we’re talking MGH-quality here; no matter what happens, I could be treated locally

+2 for being near a very good hospital (I could be assured very good treatment for all common ailments, including heart attack, stroke, and common cancers)

+1 for being near a good hospital (if I get in a car crash, they’ll put me back together; will need to go elsewhere for specialist treatment)

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION:

+2 for national and international high-speed rail (Europe!)

+1 for reliable mid-speed rail (Amtrak)

+2 if the city has a great metro (Stockholm)

+1 if the city has an acceptable metro (Boston) (grudgingly)

+1 if the city has good cabs

AIRPORTS:

+3 if loc is within a half hour’s drive of a good-sized airport

-.5 for every half hour’s drive beyond the first

+1 if there’s a high-speed rail going right to the airport

SAFETY:

-1 if you’d be careful taking a stroll at night (Vinegar Hill)

-2 if you wouldn’t take a stroll late at night, but you’re fine walking from the station to your house (Williamsburg)

-3 if you make sure you’re home by dark (East Williamsburg)

-8 if you just straight up wouldn’t walk around at all (Brownsville)

KULTUR:

+3 if there’s a local world-class university (UToronto, Bologna) or concatenation of good schools (The Five Colleges)

+2 if there’s a local world-class small liberal arts college (Williams, Bowdoin) or major research university

+1 if there’s a college near enough & it has a good library

…does not stack

RESTAURANTS:

+3 if it has a wide variety of ethnic restaurants

+2 if it has a smattering of ethnic restaurants

+1 to +3 for restaurants in general

+1 for good food trucks

+2 for The Night Owl Coefficient (ability to get food late at night)

PRODUCE:

+3 if there is a major farmer’s market (I’m talking a bazaar)

+2 if there is regular access to local produce (Brattleboro co-op)

+1 if there is a recurring farmer’s market

+2 if there is a major supermarket or the equivalent

+1 if there is a good basic market

+1 for a good bakery

+2 if there’s a good local coffee roastery (Tandem, Stumptown, Julius Meinl)

+2 if they grow tea locally

+1 if they make wine locally

+1 for a local herbalist (tisane forever!)

+0.5 for local beer

+0.5 for a local microdistillery

URBAN BIKABILITY:

+5 if every road has cycle tracks, there are no grade crossings, in short: paradise

+3 if the city is generally bike-safe and bike-accessible (Portland. Cambridge, most small towns)

-1 if commuter biking requires large distances, riding on nasty shoulders, or moving in heavy traffic

BIKE PATHS AND LOOPS:

+3 a long path with no stopping (the Tiber bike path in Rome looked excellent)

+2 shorter (the Portland, ME loop is 7 miles with no grade crossings), or more stopping (up one side of the Charles and then down the other could be as long as 27 miles, but plenty of stops)

+1 if there are no bike-only paths but there’s good long side-of-road riding to be had

-3 if there’s nowhere around where you can drop tire

WALKABILITY:

up to -2 if the loc is not pedestrian friendly (sorry, LA)

CLIMATE:

This is difficult to explore with rigor. I would gladly take a Hawaii-like climate, but I should also not be sad to experience my autumn, even winter. Let me instead say:

-4 for hot all the time (Timbuktu) or cold all the time (Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky)

 

-2 for very hot summers (Dallas,Miami)

-2 for very cold winters (Winnipeg, Petrograd)

up to -2 for extremes of precipitation (Buffalo, Ft. Lauderdale)

up to -4 for tendency to get hurricane’d (Havana), tornadoed (Wichita), earthquaked (Oakland) forest fire’d (Cali), &c

-1 for no seasons (really just beating on LA, am’t I)

PURCHASING POWER PARITY:

I am used to living in rather expensive places (Cambridge, MA). But I will adjust based upon the Big Mac Index, such that every point above the US causes the subtraction of a tenth of a point, and every point below causes its addition. As a result, Switzerland would get minus 6.3 points, whereas India would get +5.9.

 

 

 

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~ by davekov on 14 August 2014.

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