Cool Book: Who’s Your City?

May 1, 2008

How did you end up living where you do?  Did you put a lot of thought into it, or did you relocate for your career, or to be near family?  Or have you always lived in the same general area?

Richard Florida’s (The Rise of the Creative Class) new book, Who’s Your City?, is based on the principle that living in the right place is central to one’s happiness and general satisfaction- that “choosing a spouse and choosing a career are important life decisions—but perhaps even more predictive of our all-round personal happiness is our choice of living location”. 

Although the book drags a little, he makes a really valid point – and I know that I’m much happier living in a major city than just about anywhere else (granted, I didn’t really need a book to figure that out).  And of course, I’m a freelancer who can work from anywhere with a decent internet connection, so I have more freedom of movement than most – but I would much rather live somewhere where the “creative class” clusters and is valued.

Richard also argues that the world isn’t so much flat as it is spiky – there are places where certain types of people gather –

“Today’s key economic factors—talent, innovation, and creativity—are not distributed evenly across the global economy. They concentrate in specific locations. It’s obvious how major new innovations in communications and transportation allow economic activity to spread out all over the world. What’s less obvious is the incredible power of what I call the clustering force. In today’s creative economy, the real source of economic growth comes from the clustering and concentration of talented and productive people. New ideas are generated and our productivity increases when we locate close to one another in cities and regions. The clustering force makes each of us more productive, which in turns makes the places we inhabit much more productive, generating great increases in output and wealth.”

You can read more excerpts and such from the book here, and there is a neat place finder tool on the site as well, and lots of other interesting information.

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2 Responses to “Cool Book: Who’s Your City?”

  1. I *so* believe this. How else would we have wound up in Marrakech otherwise?

  2. Jacqueline Zenn said

    Definitely! I’m still trying to figure out “who” my city is really, but I totally agree with the idea that where you live is as essential to your happiness as your career/choice of spouse/etc.

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