19 December 2006

Livin' la buena vida

Avenida CorrientesI forgot to post this little thing the other day, but I thought I'd share. I love this city and I know it has many problems and shortcomings. However, a study conducted by a group of organizations based in Córdoba affirms that Rosario is the metropolitan area with the best quality of life in Argentina.

I found this coverage in La Capital and was surprised to find the same in Clarín. Even the Córdoba-based La Voz del Interior covered it. We really have no quarrel whatsoever with Córdoba (even though people love to compare), which is a very fine city, with a tradition and an overall style completely different from those of Rosario. Córdoba is larger, more populated (about 30% more so), and generally "wider". It has older historical buildings, it's a cultural capital and a provincial capital, and it's not a port city. In the 1990s, Córdoba was undoubtedly Argentina's second city, but even Córdoba's mayor has acknowledged that Rosario has retaken that position (I'll tell you about Rosario in the 1990s some other time -- read it during the day).

The study rated the quality of life of the largest metropolitan areas of Argentina in a scale of 1 to 7. The Greater Rosario area rated 5.96; Buenos Aires City, 4.32; Greater Córdoba, 3.26; Greater Mendoza, 3.16; and Greater Buenos Aires, 2.89. This number is based on several factors. One of them is healthcare centers: Rosario has 75 per 100,000 people, while Córdoba has 36. Rosario also fares better than Córdoba regarding income distribution, poverty and job creation. Finally, the study pointed out that Rosario produces 45% of the urban wealth in Santa Fe Province.

Nobody in the municipality made a big deal about this, except by smiling and (expectably) showing some pride in public, but a resentful pawn of governor Obeid was so angry that he actually claimed that Rosario's quality of life is supported ninety percent by the provincial government. It'd be mildly funny, if only this supposed representative of the people didn't earn a huge salary paid by moi and other 3 million santafesinos, apparently only to advertise his political patron and to raise his hand on command.

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