22 March 2008

What does your city say about you?

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Newsweek’s Katie Paul interviews Richard Florida to find out how new ‘creative classes’ are changing cities around the world and what our chosen cities say about us.

Here is the introduction:

Is it just a cultural quirk that the New York women in “Sex and the City” are constantly kvetching about their love lives? Not according to “urban expert” Richard Florida, a business professor at the University of Toronto who studies how place affects lifestyle. In a new book out this week, “Who’s Your City?,” Florida says the world is far from flat, as New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman has argued. In fact, it’s spiky, with money, innovation, and distinct personality types increasingly clustering in the world’s major metropolises. Using data collected from satellites and census surveys, Florida describes how a “creative class” of people is changing the economic landscape by congregating in a shrinking set of cities located farther and wider than ever before. What’s more, different types of these creative innovators are sticking with their own kind, molding each city’s distinct demographics, job markets, and mating markets (or dating scenes). So despite the gadgets that now allow us to work from anywhere, says Florida, choosing where to live is more important than ever before. And as to all the frustrations expressed in “Sex & the City”? Well, just blame the 210,820 more single women than men living in the New York metropolitan area.

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