Thursday, March 26, 2009

Vibrancy and cleanliness in London - is it mutually exclusive?

Cigarette+butts+london+litterYou can't accuse London of being clean.

It is definitely one of the major financial hub rivaling even New York. Its West End houses many major theatrical and musical productions and remains an inspiration to many budding artists. It is the seat of one of the few remaining reigning monarch and is the gateway to Europe for the English speaking world. It is in fact one of the most vibrant cities in the world.

But it's not clean. There seem to be this unspoken defiance among Londoners who are determined to keep their capital strewn with rubbish. Even the Tube trains are not spared. Some would blame the councils for not providing enough bins. Shame on those. Now, if you would just stop snickering. This is serious stuff that we're talking about.

Something must have gone wrong. I mean, the councils have apparently made some effort in trying to educate the public to no avail. Not only cigarette butts are carelessly discarded, the errant smokers even agree on the exact spot to collectively toss their smothered butts.

Then again, if the degree of littering is proportional to the vibrancy of a city, Singapore, which pride itself as a immaculate garden city, is still far from it.

Read also...
6 reasons why Singaporeans leave Singapore
5 reasons why Singaporeans return to Singapore

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::karinuslai:: said...

lol - i don't really think there's a direct correlative between cleanliness and vibrancy. but there's definitely a link between vibrance and a general culture of defiance towards authority and rules. And one thing I love about most of the English is the absolute refusal to accept anything anyone in authority says they should do unless they've made up their own minds to do it already. makes them bloody stubborn citizens to deal with, but great fun to be a part of :)

ket said...

Karinuslai: take that 'endearing' refusal attitude further and we get hooligans and yobs. not too fun to be around to be honest, unless like you said, be a part of them and terrorise everyone else. rose tinted glasses are a good thing sometimes though.

Martin In Bulgaria said...

I dn't thnk I will say anything on this one as Bulgaria is probably the most littered country the world.

Paolo said...

this story that Singapore is an "immaculate garden city" is also just a common belief.
It is true, when you go to the financial area, they would clean every single corner every few minutes. But as soon as you leave that area, it is a different story. When I am few km away from Orchard road, I can see roads which are more dirty than 3rd world country. I am worried to get sick when I walk there. I don't see this in London. said...

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Dutchie said...

Ciao Paolo,

Please drop a line to the National Environment Agency or the Singapore Tourism Board n let them know bec the latter do pride themselves in keeping the city clean. Singapore will always do its best. U will never see a situation like the garbage collectors' strike in Napoli where an accumulation of 10 months of garbage became a health hazard to all who passes by the streets !

Dutchie said...

The pix with the strewn cig butts really disgust me ! When the smoking ban was imposed last year in public venues, some PUBs were fighting against the new order, even after being penalised with a 12,000 euro fine per day !

I understand that most smokers had difficulty in quitting the habit but they should be a little considerate of the non-smokers. It's a daily irksome experience to breathe in the smoke (esp in confined places) or having it waffing right in one's face. The threat of my lungs being victimized is so real when encountering yet another smoker in close proximity !

On a footnote, my dad couldnt quit even when he suffered great pains with lung cancer *sigh*

Dutchie said...

sorry folks, I mean the former NEA instead of the latter Tourism board.

Xpresi Blogger said...

you find someone said London is the cleanest city?

Paolo said...

I doubt that they would listen to me.
I agree. Naples is more dirty than a 3rd world country. I guess we need to thank the Camorra+ bad government for that... But still no one in Naples was ever proud about the fact that the city is very clean.

Also, of course no one would be able to start any strike in Singapore. But this is a different story.

Anyway if you don't believe me and you live in Singapore, please just go to places like this one:,+Singapore,+Singapore&sll=1.324657,103.858824&sspn=0.014115,0.016458&ie=UTF8&ll=1.328878,103.85045&spn=0.003529,0.004115&t=h&z=18