There are some who want nothing more than a quiet home in the suburbs. A beautifully manicured lawn, a back garden in which to grow plants and shrubs and while away the carefree Sunday hours, a driveway with two cars and the quiet and uneventful cul de sac life. That’s absolutely fine for some, but for those who yearn for variety, adventure and excitement there’s simply no substitute for urban living. If the suburban life is a little on the quiet side for you, if you’re a young graduate looking to strike out on your own or if you’re simply curious about investing in a city centre apartment, you’ll find that city living has some scientifically proven advantages to its small-town counterpart.
Here we’ll take a close look at some of the benefits of city living. Some are glaringly obvious, but others are more nuanced and less self-evident. Although those who advocate and elevate the suburban or rural life will extol the evils of city living, characterising cities as breeding grounds for crime, danger and indifference the truth is that city living can be highly beneficial to your quality of life, your health and your career. Living in a city centre can have a pretty steep price tag, but it comes with so many benefits (many of which can save you money in the long term) that it’s hard to argue against city living…
You’ll be safer
The widely held belief that cities are hotbeds of danger, where hazards lurk around every corner is an unfortunate and inaccurate stereotype. The truth is that cities are actually safer than rural areas. Even living near a city is proven to be safer than the vaunted country life. According to the annals of emergency medicine injury-related mortality rates are actually lower in urban areas. In fact, the odds of death from injury are 1.22 times higher in rural counties and actually increase the further from a city you get. Of course, the details will vary dependent upon the city in question but cities are a good deal safer than many would expect.
Emergency care resources are more abundant in cities and city centres have a stronger sense of community than many give them credit for. Moreover, for those suffering from issues with anxiety and depression, city centre living can actually be very beneficial. Those living in secluded suburban environs are more likely to feel isolated and alone when they feel down, while urbanites are able to get out of the home and be amongst people, parks and public places which can aid mental health. While it flies in the face of most people’s assumptions, my experience is that city dwellers are generally happier and more fulfilled individuals.
You can sell your car
That slab of metal on your driveway could represent an ongoing expense that you can ill afford. It’s a widely held truth that cars are one of the worst investments in which one can sink their money, as they offer a rapidly diminishing return on your investment as your car ages. Between paying fuel costs, road tax, insurance, parking charges and any monthly instalments outstanding on the car itself, owning a car can be an extremely expensive enterprise.
City dwellers enjoy the benefits of having everything they could want on their doorstep, and those amenities which are not within walking distance can easily be accessed via the robust public transportation infrastructure in most cities. Many cities even offer free shuttle buses facilitating easy transportation within major conurbations. With all this in mind, the slight premium paid in city centre rental costs pales in comparison to all those mounting car costs.
You will eat better than you have in your whole life
There’s something uniquely wonderful about having a range of quality restaurants on your doorstep. Celebrating a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary becomes a snap when so many wonderful eateries are within easy reach. Even if you don’t dine at establishments like the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu in London on a regular basis, you can still eat better than your suburban counterparts on a regular basis. Moreover, those who embrace vegetarian or vegan diets know how frustrating it can be to find meat and dairy free alternatives in smaller town eateries. Living in a city centre offers a valuable commodity whatever your culinary preferences… Choice!
You have more job opportunities literally on your doorstep
If you don’t have access to a vehicle and live in a village or small town, job hunting can be extremely frustrating. City slickers, on the other hand, barely need walk more than a few blocks to distribute their CVs. Whatever your experience, skills and qualifications you’re far more likely to find gainful employment quickly when you have a city on your doorstep to canvas for employment opportunities.
While suburban types may find themselves collapsing in front of the TV night after night, urbanites have a wealth of wonderfully enlightening cultural activities within walking distance. Seeing live music, theatrical events and art shows not only enriches our cultural palette, it provides us with opportunities to meet and socialise with other like minded people. Many city slickers combine their access to cultural facilities and events with friendship apps to meet new people who share their artistic passions and expand their social circle. Whether you want to make a friend to go to the opera with once a month or join a book club, you’ll find more opportunities to do so in a city.
It keeps you fit
City dwellers find it far easier than their rural cousins to stay in shape. Firstly, you can’t throw a rock in most major conurbations without hitting a 25 hour gym nestled between storefronts or beneath office complexes. Even if joining a gym isn’t quite your speed, you’ll likely burn more calories than you would living in the suburbs because you’re walking to local stores and amenities rather than hopping in the car.
City living may not be for everyone, but it’s something that everyone should try, even if they ultimately decide they’d prefer a quieter life in the suburbs.