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Do you know what shapes a city? There might be many things but culture has the most crucial impact on planning or shaping a city. Some of the world’s best planned cities are built around the cultures that they developed over the years.

The concept of planning, designing or shaping is not new though. Some early evidence of urban planning has been found in the Mesopotamian, Indus valley, and Egyptian civilizations from third millennium BCE that tell us how those civilizations conceived the idea of urban planning and design. Then the Greeks came along with their distinctive city planning schemes and introduced the orthogonal structure to the world. Ancient Romans were first to follow that ideology and spread it rapidly along with the expansion of their gigantic empire.

However, the concept of urban planning evolved as different civilizations adopted the concept. Over the course of time, different planning cultures were developed and countries began to adopt them. Eventually, countries began to plan their cities accordingly and as a result, cities became more accessible, structured and efficient.

Today, we will discuss some of these best planned cities in the world that are wonderfully designed.

New York, USA

Bustling city of New York
The city that never sleeps

New York City is one of the most economically strong and developed cities in the United States as well as in the world. Teeming with creative energy, it has been described as the cultural, financial and media capital of the world and is easily one of the most beautifully planned cities in the world. From monumental structures to beautifully designed architecture, New York City is the undisputed champion when it comes to developing things.

This bustling metropolis is home to countless galleries and cultural centers. Everything in the city is beautifully organised, structured, and well maintained. New York City is one of the most densely populated cities in the United States. To tackle this massive stream of people, the city has excellent transportation facilities including one of the largest subway systems in the world, the world’s first mechanically ventilated vehicular tunnel, and an aerial tramway and the airport system is one of the largest in the world.

New York’s Department of Sanitation (DSNY) is the biggest waste management agency in the world. The cost of living there is not cheap though, but that is to be expected from an economically thriving city like New York.

London, UK

aerial view of London
The gorgeous city of London from above

For over a century, the British ruled different parts of the world. To express the enormity of their empire, people used to say that the sun never set on the British empire. Being the main hub of this enormous empire, London was also the economical boomtown of that era and unsurprisingly, it still remains the same.

London is one of the most important and largest metropolitan cities in the world. It is organized into 33 local government districts and interlinked with its excellent transportation system. 

London houses some of the world’s most beautiful structures and is the home of world-class institutions like Imperial College London and the London School of Economics. The city center is interconnected with an extremely organized underground system. Its residential areas are well planned with various kinds of amenities and facilities and are well connected with organized roads and advanced traffic control systems. 

Efficient city planning is what sets the standard of living here in London and compared to other areas of England, London is superior in every way and making it one of the best planned cities in the world. 

Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen city life
Copenhagen is a major advocated for bicycling

This capital city of Denmark is at the top of the list when it comes to living standards and quality of living. Copenhagen is one of the most densely packed cities in Denmark and is one of the major financial centers of Northern Europe. 

Copenhagen has seen strong growth in its urban and cultural development since the beginning of the 21st century. Recently, the city has planned to be carbon neutral by 2025 through the implementation of wind power, biomass fuel, waste incineration, and other alternative energies. The city also prioritizes the sewage treatment facilities in its design, which has led to better water quality and creating sustainable architecture, including building sustainable drainage systems, recycling rainwater, creating green roofs, and managing waste efficiently. And good news for you, if you are a bicycle lover. Copenhagen is one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world and to promote the culture, the city also emphasizes building streets and squires that promote cycling and walking.

In other words, Copenhagen is one of the most environmentally friendly countries in the world and is perfectly planned for a well-balanced lifestyle. Speaking of balance, Denmark is one of best planned cities in the world to live in if you want a healthy work-life balance. Averaging 37 hours a week with ample vacation time and having a 1 year paternity leave is what makes the city brag worthy. 

Tokyo, Japan

The mega city of Tokyo
Shimmering Tokyo in the gloaming

Tokyo is one of the most advanced countries in the world, both economically and technologically. As of 2018, the megacity ranked the most populous metropolitan area in Japan as well as in the world. Being one of the most economically strong countries in the world, Tokyo has also maintained its appearance as the world’s most organized country.

From the transport system to the convenience store, the city provides all the facilities to its denizens in the most structured way possible. Unlike many other countries in the world, a convenience store is actually convenient and you will find sorts of commodities including advanced  utility bill payment facilities!

The transportation system of Tokyo is unparalleled to other countries and its timeliness, speed, and convenience are known far and wide. The system is so good that many city denizens do not own a car, nor even a driver’s license.

Tokyo is also an amazingly clean city for the people who use public transportation and walk on the streets. Considering the population and the size, Tokyo is very safe. In fact, Tokyo was named the safest and one of the best planned cities on the planet. Another thing is, no matter where you are, nature is just a step away. Like these, there are many more reasons why Tokyo is the ideal planned city.

Singapore City, Singapore

Singapore city landscape
The magnificent city of Singapore

Like every other city mentioned here, Singapore city is also very advanced and well structured. The habitants of the city is blessed with an envious lifestyle. People do not hesitate to spend on the facilities since the scheme and planning around everything is top-notch.

According to Forbes, Singapore City was ranked in the top five most influential cities in the world. Singapore also has the best quality of life among all Asian cities. From transport, healthcare facilities, to the availability of goods and entertainment, everything is structured and well maintained.

Singapore is famous for its innovative architecture and its man-made green spaces that thrive in the midst of the high-density city. The city has unique ways of managing waste, sewage, and climate control. The current policy creates partly self-sufficient towns so that not everyone relies on the city’s central area. It maximizes land use by building up and down and by reclaiming land. 

You don’t need to own cars in Singapore; transport is very affordable, efficient, and safe. If you want to live in the most technologically advanced and planned cities on the planet, Singapore City is definitely worth considering.

These are our top five picks for the best planned cities in the world. The cities that we have mentioned here are all unique with respect to their planning and culture. But one thing they all have in common is that they are all extremely well planned and efficient so as to support the fast paced culture of those cities.

So what do you think of our list? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, we would love to know.

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