The Housing Chronicles Blog: Who's Your City?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Who's Your City?

It's almost like the now-famous line that Joan Rivers started throwing out when interviewing celebrities on the red carpet at the Oscars and other awards shows: "Who are you wearing?" Now Dr. Richard Florida -- author of "The Rise of the Creative Class" -- argues that individual personalities are also closely intertwined with specific cities in a new book, "Who's Your City?"(which I'll be reviewing for the L.A. Times and perhaps interviewing Dr. Florida for further insights). In contrast to "The World is Flat" theory espoused by Thomas Friedman, Florida states that place still matters no matter how much technology makes it easier to telecommute from anywhere:

It's a mantra of the age of globalization that where we live doesn't matter. We can innovate just as easily from a ski chalet in Aspen or a beachhouse in Provence as in the office of a Silicon Valley startup.

According to Richard Florida, this is wrong. Globalization is not flattening the world; in fact, place is increasingly relevant to the global economy and our individual lives. Where we live determines the jobs and careers we have access to, the people we meet, and the "mating markets" in which we participate. And everything we think we know about cities and their economic roles is up for grabs.

Who's Your City? offers the first available city rankings by life-stage, rating the best places for singles, families, and empty-nesters to reside. Florida's insights and data provide an essential guide for the more than 40 million Americans who move each year, illuminating everything from what those choices mean for our everyday lives to how we should go about making them.

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