What is this cry? Is it slogan or deperate argument?
ex) Now, as always, cities are desperate to create the impression that they lie at the center of something or other. This idea of centrality may be locational, namely that a city lies at the geographical center of England, Europe, and so on. This draws on a well-established notion that geographical centrality makes a place more accessible, easing communication and communication costs. However, now that the economy is characterized more by the exchange of information than by hard goods, geographical centrality has been replaced by attempts to create a sense of cultural centrality. Cultural centrality usually demonstrates itself as a cry that a city is at the center of the action. This means that the city has an abundance of cultural activities, such as restaurants, theater, ballet, music, sport, and scenery. The suggestion is that people will want for nothing in this city.
This figurative use of 'cry' is often found in the phrase 'cry for help': 'They recognized his attempted suicide as a cry for help'.
I think they're both a clear and urgent public announcement, although I agree that the context of 'cry for help' makes it seem more desperate (and it could also be a request - though I'd say it was more of a command: 'Look at me, I'm hurting here'.). But the city's cry is desperate as well - the text uses that very word in the first line.
Thanks v. much for the pat on the shoulder, by the way.