I’m off to Paris on holiday tommorrow and, during the normal guide book frenzy that precedes a city break, I started to to think. How do cities or countries (or anything else that’s really big,) build up the kind of connotations that they do.

Obviously, there is not somebody in the Palais Royale who, with their fingure on the pulse of the international media, deftly guides the entire city through the media maze. But equally, I can’t quite accept that the links form arbitrarily and that Paris is simply made up of its constituent parts.

My only explanation is that in grand scale PR there is a reliance on something quite organic happening. Not having been to Paris since I was about 12, I can’t comment but I do remember thinking this about Prague. It seems that Prague’s image has grown not from a central vision but in a feedback cycle with the people at the heart of the city accepting and then living the city’s message, thus re-enforcing it.

By this I mean that the people seem to have bought into the “up and coming european capital” message, and by doing so, are turning it into an up and coming european capital.

So, taking the example of Prague, are people in Paris cosmopolitan because that’s how you sell an idea in Paris or, is Paris cosmopolitan because of the people and businesses at its heart?

It seems to me that there is something quite parasitic about it, both the image and the people living off one another.

Any way, just a thought.  

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