This article in City Journal (Winter issue is out!) debunking Richard Florida’s Creative Class theory of the rise of cities rings true. There are all sorts of issues with Florida’s assertions, but the idea that creativity can be guided through city initiative, rather than coming up from the grass-roots seems most strange to me. Bike paths are not going to make many people move to Pittsburgh. When I lived in Portland, I met a non-trivial number of Pittsburghites, and they left the city even though Portland was tech-hell for the job market for programmers. Portland is a “hip” place, and a lot of creative people live there, but that doesn’t mean it’s an economic powerhouse. I encountered lots of underemployed people who made financial sacrifices to live there.
Posted by razib at 02:52 PM