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A Love Letter to Urban Jungles

September 4, 2021 at 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm BST

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In this first salon of a mini-series, Judit Petho explores what makes living in a buzzing metropolis exciting and difficult to quit  

When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life, for there is in London all that life can afford” said Dr Samuel Johnson in 1777. Most Londoners would echo this sentiment. New Yorkers would say the same about their home and so would inhabitants of most large cities.

Why do we love to congregate in large cities? It is so much more than just the large economy and concentration of good jobs. We’ll explore what makes sprawling, unknowable, eclectic and at times chaotic metropolises so enticing.

  • Why do those who live there think their city is the best place in the world? Is it access to a diverse range of activities? World cuisine at their fingertips? The breathless excitement of potential mysterious encounters with strangers on every corner?
  • Is there such a thing as the comfort of being alone in a crowd? Can you feel detached and that you belong at the same time?
  • What makes a metropolis, that for non-residents is unfathomably chaotic and rude, the only place to be? Can you ever get tired of living in the urban jungle?

Come discuss all of this and more!


In later salons of the mini-series we will also explore what’s next for large cities:

  • During the pandemic, many of us moved out to the countryside. How does this affect our large cities in the long run?
  • Will the idea of the 15-minute city championed by the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, spread far and wide?
  • The concept of green cities.
  • Are various parts of a big city shaped by the people who move there or are the people shaped by the place?


Reading list:

Zeitgeist by Judit on Urban Jungles

The Metropolis in Retrospect: Permanence and Change

What’s the Difference Between a Megacity, a Metropolis, a Megalopolis and a Global City?

on Green Cities and Beehives



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September 4, 2021
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm BST
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