It’s no Duesseldorf, but It’ll Do in a Pinch

Germany continues to nab urban-design top honors.  Munich is the world’s most livable city, according to Monocle magazine:

After much tire-kicking, data-sifting and deliberation, Munich emerged as Monocle’s most liveable city in the world. A winning combination of investment in infrastructure, high-quality housing, low crime, liberal politics, strong media and general feeling of Gemütlichkeit make it a city that should inspire others.

7 thoughts on “It’s no Duesseldorf, but It’ll Do in a Pinch

  1. Downsides of Munich:
    – very expensive
    – horrible architecture

    But apart from that, I agree … many people coming here to go to university never leave. I also cherish the surrounding counttryside and being close to the mountains.


  2. @mawa:
    That’s true, I like the building much more than the art inside which I don’t understand. But the Pinakothek der Moderne is grandiose, especially inside.
    But really that’s an exception, most of the architecture is depressingly boring, especially the residential houses.


  3. that’s an exception, most of the architecture is depressingly boringAlex, a rookie German resident, yet has to come to appreciate the German concept of putting up some token architecture as a substitute for the blanket failure of putting up decent post-war buildings at all. Just like tokens have to substitute for pretty much everything. Because art, nice buildings, fine food or whatever can’t be made widely available without actually getting the populace involved, a few token installations that can be mandated by the government need to suffice.


  4. martin, despite the fact that there are even German towns where the architecture is a bit less boring than in Munich — please show me a country where this is really different. In Europe, only Austria comes to my mind. Especially in Vorarlberg there are many modern, interesting residential houses, and Vienna is breathtaking. But the rest?
    And I was not too impressed about what I have seen of the US, either. Los Angeles is the ugliest city I have ever seen besides Bilbao, which, I think, has considerably improved since I’ve been there (20 years ago).


  5. @Alex,

    I’m not sure about an entire country but I could at the very least name my home city, which is a sizeable one at that. But that would be besides the point, I didn’t criticise the ugly architecture, but rather the fact that government-ordained token installations have to substitute for some real introspection which would be a start for improving things. I wrote something similar about art the other day.Since we are still at it, the funny (or not so funny) thing is, that while those government-ordained installations are suppose to take attention away from the awful rest, they are, while at least someone has put some architectual brainwork into them, still ugly. With Germans’ perennial inferiority complex still simmering below the surface, they are designed to impressed, not to please. Sort of like Nazi architecture (yeah yeah Godwin me) of the 21st century, only today it’s with steel and glass. We’ve had the discussion about the Berliner Hauptbahnhof the other day and that Pinakothekt thing someone mentioned, I looked it up on the internet, won’t evoke any sighs about beauty and prettiness either.The funny thing is, it’s not so hard, no? Pretty much anything built up to 1900 in any country is considered nice, and they were, supposedly, poorer societies back then. Can’t be so hard to imitate the old styles. I’ve heard people ridicule American fake period buildings but as long as they don’t substitute styrofoam for stucco linings, I like them much more than anything ‘modern’.


  6. martin, sorry, but I have a different view on that. Some of the modern architecture I find ugly, some very beautiful, and especially the “Pinakothek der Moderne” is a building I would happily move in to live there. And the major problem I have with the residential houses here in Munich is that they try to imitate architecture of the past instead of developing an own, modern style. And this is due to the (non-existing) taste of the home owners, since it is most prevalent in detached houses. This horrible “Getümel”, resulting in houses that could have been built on a mountain pasture 150 years ago,is what I mostly mean by horrible architecture. True, the apartment buildings are mostly not better, but due to the same reason.


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