I would like to live in a city--not necessarily a large one, but one with libraries, highways, Internet, a university, etc. I'm not really looking to withdraw from society.
My ideal community is 50,000 to 200,000 people, on or near the coast, with reasonably mild weather and a decent standard of living.
Well I don't know a great deal about IT startups and the like (you mentioned something about infotech earlier)... But just off the bat here are my impressions:
You might need to make some compromise between size of the city you want, and the quality of communications and/or cosmopolitanism it has. I can think of smaller cities and I can think of places that have a lot of international connections, but it's not so common that they are the same places. The more connected and accessible places also tend to be quite big
... Hong Kong, Bangkok, Tokyo or Osaka if you can afford it maybe... A city of 200 k is sort of well, barely an international city to my mind. Surely there are places I'm not thinking of, but how many of them have high-speed internet, a good university or several, and
all those libraries, bookstores, cafes, etc. you want. And then we get on to chances to meet in person whatever kind of people you might want, which could make the issue of scale much worse.
Hardly an exhaustive list but tossing out a few ideas...
Europe might be of interest if you have either the money, or unique enough skills to settle down there. They must have some reasonably good comm lines and plenty of smallish cities (though I still think 200 k is looking small -- back in the US, most of Seattle's "outlying" cities are larger than that if I'm not mistaken, and some of those are rather sleepy I think). For me, Europe or Canada are pretty daunting because they tend to have high and particular demands for unique skills, in order to become classified as a resident and enjoy many of the benefits. Of course, maybe if you simply have the money and don't need
so many benefits of early residency or citizenship, that isn't a big issue.
Perhaps you could look into less "popular" places that are developed but could have some smaller communities online -- I don't know, maybe Israel, New Zealand, South Africa I just wonder if they have some quieter areas that are still wired... Taipei is not actually that
small -- but smaller cities in Taiwan might do it? Or South Korea -- very wired, but again no idea about immigration rules for what you want. I don't know very much about the Philippines or Indonesia -- some other places that have certain
international ties, coastline and very mild weather, but politically and economically they seem very mixed bags to me.
Wanting a coast limits things quite a bit maybe, although many large, "global" cities are on the ocean. Do you mean specifically ocean, or would any sea or large lake do? Curious.