Not surprisingly, I disagree with these things as being any kind of indicator as to the "world-classness" of a city. I would (and do) argue that these kinds of undertakings and endeavors actually do the opposite of what a truly world-class city would do. They glorify the flashy over the solid and dependable. They venerate highly paid entertainers rather than help out citizens in need. They confuse a marketing strategy with making the city a better place to live, for everyone.
The elected representatives of a truly world-class city would focus instead on the things that help their citizens the most, without worrying about image or notoriety. When you do the right thing, you don't have to worry about image or notoriety. So how about trying some of these 'world-class' things instead:
- expand public transit
- re-install public water fountains and encourage people to drink our excellent tap water rather than bottled water
- develop walkable and bike-able communities, saving the city's surrounding farmlands from being paved over
- build affordable public housing for the 3000+ homeless people in Edmonton
- protect the fertile farmland in/to the northeast of the city, and protect it for the generations to come
- maintain and retrofit existing infrastructure before building new, fancy, Dubai-esque monuments
- encourage businesses and citizens to investigate things like solar power, green roofs, geo-thermal for their businesses and residences
- Start converting city-owned buildings with some of the above-mentioned technologies
I doubt that Edmonton City Council reads Lao Tzu, but perhaps they should. Everyone benefits when society, and individuals, choose substance over style:
Return to the state of plain woodFrom Derek Lin's translation of the Tao Te Ching, Chapter 28.
Plain wood splits, then becomes tools
The sages utilize them
And then become leaders