This is a city I had always wanted to go to because the buildings are not very high – about four or five stories in the historical part of the city – and it is a city that has lasted the test of time. It is also a creative city where the arts are alive and well.
My observation regarding ‘creating a place where talent wants to live’ is that the historical part of the city was designed for people to walk and talk. There were no lifts so buildings were not built very high, ensuring the streets had lots of natural light. There are lots of little narrow alleyways creating spaces to meet and greet. Infrastructure and art go hand in hand. Tradesmen were artists and artists were tradesmen. It is clear that making durable, beautiful infrastructure creates a great place to live.
My other observation was how lucky it was that Prague was not badly bombed during the war. It has created a city that is also a museum. However it does create an obstacle – in that tourism is easy money – and therefore the city leaders need to work hard to develop better outcomes for Prague’s young people, otherwise they could simply spend their lives serving the tourist industry.
We are now back in Germany on the way to Cologne. Jessica Prendergast, one of the McGuinness Institute’s past researchers, is now living in Cologne. Last week she came to visit us in Berlin and show us the sights. She has been working in a think tank here and has just recently gone out on her own. Will be good to catch up again.