The world’s 10 coolest neighborhoods, according to Time Out – CNN

London (CNN) This year we've all been spending more time than expected in our own neighborhoods.

While lockdown and safety measures have hit our city centers hard, in many places local communities have been thriving.

Proclaiming that "It's cool to be kind," the magazine's focus this year is on places where neighborliness is king, and communities and businesses have pulled together and prospered during this toughest of years.

Here are the top 10.

10. Marrickville, Sydney

Marrickville doesn't hold the monopoly on Australian cool, though: There's another Aussie entry later in the top 10.

9. Haut-Marais, Paris

Not to be confused with Marais proper -- delightful, of course, but rather touristy, darling -- Haut-Marais is the northern, bleeding edge of this historic district.

8. Dennistoun, Glasgow

The highest point of Alexandra Park offers views north to Ben Lomond mountain.

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In the East End of city, bordering the Necropolis -- Glasgow's Victorian-built "City of the Dead" -- the historically working-class neighborhood of Dennistoun has seen its young student population grow in recent years.

"Yet the tide of redevelopment is coming in slow," says Time Out, "and its charming blonde and red sandstone tenements remain affordable to most."

Editors single out the Zero Waste Market, "a refill grocery shop that prepped handy boxes of food essentials during lockdown," and Alexandra Park's Food Forest: "where locals of all backgrounds meet to plant and grow."

7. Shaanxi Bei Lu/Kangding Lu, Shanghai

Once part of the Shanghai International Settlement -- a Western enclave until 1941 -- this formerly sleepy neighborhood is "quickly morphing into a buzzing destination of new cafs, bars and restaurants," says Time Out.

6. Wedding, Berlin

No, don't have bridal gowns on the brain. Wedding is a neighborhood in the northwest section of Germany's capital.

Though the city is known as a place for 24-hour partying, Wedding's side streets are quiet enough to guarantee you'll get a good night's sleep once you're done hitting the beer halls.

By day, you can enjoy the great outdoors at Pltzensee lake and woodsy Volkspark Rehberge.

5. Yarraville, Melbourne

Yarraville: "The cross-section of food, drink and things to do here is pretty remarkable," says Time Out.

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Two lockdowns may have put Melbourne's culture scene into hibernation, but, says Time Out, "Melbourne's community spirit has never been stronger, and the neighborhood that best embodies that is the westside suburb of Yarraville."

Skater Belle Hadiwidjaja has been roller-skating through the neighborhood in an array of costumes to keep families entertained on their daily strolls, while local Lee Smith-Moir cheered up residents by adding "happy signs" on the area's walking tracks.

4. Bedford-Stuyvesant, New York

This Brooklyn neighborhood of Victorian brownstones this year became, according to Time Out, "New York's greatest incubator of the future."

During the Black Lives Matter protests, it served as a main hub, and as the city was gripped by the Covid-19 pandemic, "it gave birth to mutual aid networks like Bed-Stuy Strong to protect its most vulnerable members."

3. Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong

Sham Shui Po is one of Hong Kong's oldest working-class neighborhoods. Its rustic vibe is attracting creative souls, from street artists to coffee artisans.

CNN Travel called it back in 2018, when it described this working-class neighborhood, whose rustic vibe had been attracting creative souls from street artists to coffee artisans, as "Hong Kong's new cultural capital."

2. Downtown, Los Angeles

"This became the most painful year in L.A.'s recent history," says Time Out, "and in a city with no single, central gathering place, Downtown became its supportive soul."

It was in this resurgent city center that shocked residents gathered to mourn after the death of basketball legend Kobe Bryant.

And it was here that Angelenos came to make their voices heard after the death of George Floyd. "It wasn't without strife," says Time Out, "but there was a palpable pivot toward unity the day that thousands streamed through Downtown's streets."

1. Esquerra de l'Eixample, Barcelona

Catlan enginer Ildefons Cerd was a pioneer of urban planning.

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Eixample is Catalan for "expansion" and this sprawling neighborhood, on a strict grid pattern, falls into two distinct sections: The luxurious and touristy Dreta de l'Eixample, and the more down-to-earth, residential area, Esquerra de l'Eixample.

"During Barcelona's strict lockdown," says Time Out, the courtyards of Esquerra's apartment blocks "became focal points for the city's energy -- as in the pop-up Hidrogel Sessions, in which residents dressed up in costumes and organised mass dance parties from their balconies."

Time Out's full list of 40 coolest neighborhoods

1. Esquerra de l'Eixample, Barcelona

2. Downtown, Los Angeles

3. Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong

4. Bedford-Stuyvesant, New York

5. Yarraville, Melbourne

6. Wedding, Berlin

7. Shaanxi Bei Lu/Kangding Lu, Shanghai

8. Dennistoun, Glasgow

9. Haut-Marais, Paris

10. Marrickville, Sydney

11. Verdun, Montreal

12. Kalamaja, Tallinn

13. Hannam-dong, Seoul

14. Bonfim, Porto

15. Ghosttown, Oakland

16. Chula-Samyan, Bangkok

17. Alvalade, Lisbon

18. Noord, Amsterdam

19. Centro, So Paulo

20. Holeovice, Prague

21. Lavapis, Madrid

22. Opebi, Lagos

23. Narvarte, Mexico City

24. Uptown, Chicago

25. Little Five Points, Atlanta

26. Wynwood, Miami

27. Phibsboro, Dublin

28. Nrrebro, Copenhagen

29. Bugis, Singapore

30. Gongguan, Taipei

31. Soho, London

32. Binh Tanh, Ho Chi Minh City

33. Melville, Johannesburg

34. Kabutocho, Tokyo

35. Porta Venezia, Milan

36. Taman Paramount, Kuala Lumpur

37. Allston, Boston

38. Bandra West, Mumbai

39. Arnavutky, Istanbul

40. Banjar Nagi, Ubud

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The world's 10 coolest neighborhoods, according to Time Out - CNN

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