Who’s Your City?
How the Creative Economy Is Making Where to Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life
All places are not created equal.
In this groundbreaking book, Richard Florida shows that where we live is increasingly a crucial factor in our lives, one that fundamentally affects our professional and personal prospects. As well as explaining why place matters now more than ever, Who’s Your City? provides indispensable tools to help you choose the right place for you.
It’s a cliché of the information age that globalization has made place irrelevant, that one can telecommute as effectively from New Zealand as New York. But it’s not true, Richard Florida argues, relying on twenty years of innovative research in urban studies, creativity, and demographic trends. In fact, as new units of economic growth called mega-regions become increasingly specialized, the world is becoming more and more “spiky” — divided between flourishing clusters of talent, education and competitiveness, and moribund “valleys.”
All these places have personalities, Richard Florida explains in the second half of Who’s Your City?, and happiness depends on finding the city in which you can balance your personal and career goals to thrive. More people than ever before now have the opportunity to choose where to live, but at different points in our lives we need different kinds of places, he points out — what a couple of recent college graduates want from their city isn’t necessarily what a retiree is looking for. You have to find the place that suits you best: a boho-burb neighbourhood isn’t likely to be the best fit for patio man.
So, for the first time, Who’s Your City? ranks cities by their fitness for various life stages, rating the best places for singles, young families, and empty nesters. It summarizes the key factors that make place matter to different kinds of people, from professional opportunities to the closeness of family to how well it matches their lifestyle, and provides an in-depth series of steps to help you choose the right place wisely.
Sparkling with Richard Florida’s signature intellectual originality, Who’s Your City? moves from insights to studies to personal anecdotes, from a startling “Singles Map” of the United States to surprising data on the difference aesthetics makes to people’s sense of place. A perceptive and transformative book, it is both a brilliant exploration of the fundamental importance of place and an essential guide to making what may be the most important decision of your life.
From the Hardcover edition.
READ AN EXCERPT
There is one striking difference between U.S. and Canadian cities. In the U.S., many if not most families tend to leave the city when their children reach school age. Many U.S. urban areas suffer from lacklustre – to put it euphemistically – schools and relatively high rates of...
1. Do you find Richard Florida’s analysis of the new importance of place convincing? Why, or why not?
2. Is the world spiky, or flat, or both?
3. How do you feel about the book’s claim that places have personalities?
4. Are you surprised by the findings of Richard Florida’s Gallup...
—Tim Harford, Financial Times columnist and author of The Logic of Life
"This book says all that I could never put into words about why certain cities sing to certain people. If I could talk like Florida writes, I wouldn't have needed a campaign staff."
—John Hickenlooper, Mayor of the City of Denver
"Who’s Your City? is another breakthrough idea by urban life genius Richard Florida. The power of place has everything to do with our success well beyond our own recognition. If you are contemplating a move or know someone who is, or are even vaguely interested in the idea of place as self, this book is a must read."
—Mario Batali, Chef and Restaurateur
"The world is not flat. Three-dimensional 'place' matters more than ever, not less than before. Richard Florida gets it exactly right — again — in Who's Your City?. As a long time advocate of Florida's position here, I will send it to colleagues by the score!"
—Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence
"…the author opens up a complex, under examined subject…"
— Publishers Weekly (December 17, 2007)
"...this thought-provoking and seminal work will surely be studied, not only by scholars but more importantly by consumers pondering a move..."
From the Hardcover edition.