InstagramAsset 1logo-3

More Competitive Cities, More Fulfilling Lives

Today, Jacobs joins the United Nations (U.N.) for World Cities Day, a day to draw the international community’s attention to global urbanization and the critical role cities serve by providing a foundation for social and economic development. According to the U.N., more than half of the global population reside in cities and human settlements. That number is expected to grow to two thirds by 2050, introducing unprecedented challenges in mobility, energy, infrastructure, water, exploration and security. 

The global observance of World Cities Day occurs each year on October 31 and this year’s theme is building sustainable and resilient cities. To help city leaders meet the demands of growth, Jacobs focuses on providing innovative, yet practical solutions to foster competitive, connected communities such as: 

This year for World Cities Day, we asked Jacobs employees to share why they love their cities. From a 9-night festival full of dance to 77 unique neighborhoods with heritage and culture as rich and deep as the city’s famous pizza, explore some of the responses below:

Placerville, California, USA

“Do you love a charming, friendly small town established during the Gold Rush era? Do you like having big city amenities close by? Do you enjoy outdoor activities and sports in clean, fresh air, including wine tasting, gold panning, river rafting, snow skiing/boarding, boating and hiking? Pick Placerville, California. 

Placerville is ‘above the fog, but below the snow line’ with many sunny days per year. The town is a beautiful gem nestled in the Sierra foothills surrounded by fragrant pine trees that produce pine cones the size of Halloween pumpkins. For those of you that are water babies, there is a nearby lake and the American River to dip your toes into on those warm summer days.

And if your toes prefer the granddaddy of lakes, Lake Tahoe is roughly one hour away. What about picking a winery (or two or three...) out of hundreds to spend a Saturday or weekend? Placerville has that, too. The best part about our wineries is that tastings are free, but, of course, purchasing a bottle of wine is always encouraged.”

– Jacobs’ Jodi Hempy

Gujarat (Vadodara), India

“Vadodara (Baroda), also known as 'Sanskari Nagari', i.e. Cultured city of Gujarat, India. Here we live with the royal family of Sayaji Rao Gaikwad. The royal family resides in Laxmi Vilas Palace. The tallest tower of palace has a Jyot (Torch), indicating the presence of Maharaja in the palace. 

Vadodara is also famous for its 9-night festival, Navaratri, where around 40,000 participants play Garba (traditional folk dance celebrated majorly by Gujaratis). Watch amazing drone footage of 2018’s celebration. 

We have a temple called Tapovan, a word that comes from the two Sanskrit root words: tapas, meaning penance, generally a spiritual practice, and vana, meaning forest. Tapovan then translates as forest of austerities or spiritual practice. 

There are many more places to hangout, which would require more time and space, so instead I’ll end with some quotes: 'Yaha khushbu hai Shiksha ki (Breathe in the education), Sanskritiyo ki (the culture), Ras Leela ki (the dance), yaha khushbu hai Gujarat ki (come breathe in a bit of Gujarat), Aap bhi aaye sab ke saath mai, Kuch din to gujariye Gujarat mai (Do come with everyone, do spend some time in Gujarat,)”

– Jacobs’ Varun Padia

Dordrecht, The Netherlands

“I'm living in Dordrecht, a very old (12th century) city in The Netherlands, located less than 30 kilometers from Rotterdam and has about 120,000 people.

As we all know, a picture is worth a thousand words. So, you could imagine what more than 200 pictures would tell you. Check out my Instagram and enjoy Dordrecht.”

– Jacobs’ Ger Heimans

Haripur Hazara, Pakistan

“Have you lived in a city near mustard fields? The yellow mustard stripes the landscape among mixed corn, wheat and veggie fields, at end of which is blue water lakes that run right up to where the green mountains start. The mountains are marked with water lines, which has happened naturally due to water levels rising and falling over the years. There are lots of trails and paragliding spots in the hills facing Tarbela Lake for adventurous souls.

A commute in the opposite direction reveals an industrial park where small and medium industries thrive, producing products like biscuits and other bakery items, juices, textiles and plastics and telephones.

My native small city is Haripur Hazara at the foothills of Margalla, which is 65 kilometers to the north of Islamabad, and has a beautiful spring season. It’s the last city on plain grounds when travelling to northern parts of Pakistan and it's awesomely beautiful.”

– Jacobs’ Tanveer Ahmed 

Chicago, Illinois, USA

“Carl Sandburg wrote, ‘Come and show me another city with lifted head singing so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.’ 

From a trading post on the Great Lakes, to the place where the skyscraper was born, Chicago was built on the shoulders of those who made no little plans. Vibrant, raucous, and unashamed, the city is illuminated by disparate energies channeled into a single current. A place to be who you are, it is a sanctuary for those seeking a better life. Lives that instill each of the 77 unique neighborhoods with heritage and culture as rich and as deep as our pizza.

The wind is always at our back, and we do things they don’t do on Broadway. While some of us wear blue or black, and others want to be like Mike, we’re all Monsters of the Midway. Connected by red lines, blue lines, green lines, pink lines and purple lines, we face our challenges head on with a force that could change the flow of a river. We are proud to be the ‘Hog Butcher for the World, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with Railroads, the Nation's Freight Handler and the City of the Big Shoulders.’”

– Jacobs’ Paul Lauricella

Melbourne, Australia

“I LOVE the street-level activation in Melbourne. Walking through our cities means wide paths, beautiful green trees, cute little boutique cafes, great shops and a million things to see and do. 

I never really appreciated it until I went to some North American cities and realized that in some places there is nothing to see and do at street level. Just a whole lot of building facades and carparking. It makes Melbourne pleasant, safe and interesting.”

– Jacobs’ Jayne Fraser


 Melbourne, Australia


Placerville, California, USA


Dordrecht, The Netherlands


Haripur Hazara, Pakistan


Chicago, Illinois, USA


Gujarat, India
Article options
Share Story