Urban Reflections: What’s Your Favorite City?


Paul Suchman, Derek Poulston, Martin Grahame-Dunn and Moray MacLennan, on the dynamic changes and soothing constants of their favorite cities.

Paul Suchman, Chief Marketing Officer, CBRE

paul-suchmanFavorite city: Los Angeles. For starters, the food. I could live on Japanese and Mexican for the rest of my life and be extremely happy. The freshness, authenticity and diversity of Japanese and Mexican dishes throughout the city are simply fantastic and unmatched. Second, the creative, strategic talent. LA has long been a magnet for the entertainment industry, but the broad diversity of talent across the spectrum of creative fields today is really inspiring. Third, the access to so many activities and adventures—from amazing culture, sports and music, to diverse topographies, consistent weather and good waves. You can surf and snowboard all in the same day! And, finally, my beloved USC Trojans.

What has changed in cities in your lifetime?

Los Angeles has become a truly global city, attracting influence and investment from Asia, Latin America and Europe. The diversity of people, culture and creativity has grown exponentially. More roads and infrastructure certainly mean more traffic. But it also means more access to an increasing number of places and opportunities. And, on a personal note, the LA Bay continues to become cleaner. That makes me very, very happy.

What has stayed the same? 

Congestion—and all that it brings in terms of air quality and mobility—continues to be a challenge. And with the best of Hollywood comes the worst of Hollywood. You have to work hard to find genuine and like-minded people. But they are there in force.

Derek Poulston, Managing Director, One Vision

FScreen Shot 2015-07-28 at 9.26.19 AMavorite city: Rome. It has everything a photographer needs: beauty, mystery, history, light and great food and wine! Plus, it’s only a short flight for me. But London and Paris are both right at the top of the list too—both have a great mix of old and new.Derek Poulston Portrait 1 copyDerek Poulston Portrait 1 copy

What has changed in cities in your lifetime?

I think it’s probably my own view of the cities that I have traveled to as I have got older—and the reasons for my travel, whether business or pleasure. This and the amount of time it takes to hear a siren—the longer the time, the nicer the city.

What has stayed the same?

They’re a nexus for humanity, culture, history, art and life.

Martin Grahame-Dunn, Chairman of Judges

mgdFavorite city: I have always loved the ancient cities of this world but M’dina on Malta would be right up there. I love the history and culture within its high, fortified walls. To me, it’s a bastion of culture and not simply an exquisite walled city with centuries of stories to tell.

What has changed in cities in your lifetime?

Overcrowding! I feel forced as an image-maker to watch people and their actions more than the environments we inhabit.

What has stayed the same?

This is a difficult one. I see so little that has stayed the same in a modern city. Take Dubai, for instance. It’s a constant metamorphosis that even in its tender years continues to sweep away the old in favor of the new. That’s why I love our ancient cities, where modern architecture has been forced to harmonize, wherever possible, with the new.

Moray MacLennan, Worldwide CEO at M&C Saatchi

masFavorite city: New York. You can walk everywhere, and the food is fantastic. Along with London, I feel it is the only truly global city.

What has changed in cities in your lifetime?

The increasing influence of the Western world—now so many places speak English and have signs in English.

What has stayed the same?

Cars continue to dominate the way we travel around cities and their infrastructure.

* Paul Suchman, Martin Grahame-Dunn and Moray MacLennan are judges of the 2015 Urban Photographer of the Year competition. Derek Poulston is managing director of One Vision, which is a sponsor.


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