Synopses & Reviews
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, Whos Your City? provides indispensable tools to help you choose the right place for you.
Its 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 its 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 Whos 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 isnt necessarily what a retiree is looking for. You have to find the place that suits you best: a boho-burb neighbourhood isnt likely to be the best fit for patio man.
So, for the first time, Whos 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 Floridas signature intellectual originality, Whos 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 peoples 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.
About the Author
Richard Florida, Author, Who's Your City? and Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.
Richard Florida is one of the world's leading public intellectuals. Esquire Magazine recently named him one of the 'Best and Brightest' in America. He is author of the national and international best-selling book, The Rise of the Creative Class, which received the Washington Monthly's Political Book Award and was cited as a major breakthrough idea by the Harvard Business Review. His ideas have been featured in major ad campaigns and such as BMW and are being used globally to change the way regions, nations, and companies compete.
He is founder of the Creative Class Group, an advisory services firm, charting new trends in business and community.
Richard is a regular columnist with the Globe and Mail newspaper and has written articles for the Atlantic Monthly, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Harvard Business Review, the Boston Globe and the Financial Times. His new book, Who's Your City? has been hailed a National Best-Seller, an International Best-Seller and Amazon Book of the Month.
Richard has also been appointed to the Business Innovation Factory's Research Advisory Council and recently named European Ambassador for Creativity and Innovation.
He is Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute and Professor of Business and Creativity at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. Previously, Florida held professorships at Carnegie Mellon University, a visiting professor at Harvard and MIT, and a visiting fellow of the Brookings Institution. Florida earned his Bachelor's degree from Rutgers College and his Ph.D. from Columbia University.
From the Hardcover edition.
Table of Contents
1 The Question of Where
Part I:Why Place Matters
2 Spiky World
3 Rise of the Mega-Region
4 The Clustering Force
Part II:The Wealth of Place
5 The Mobile and the Rooted
6 Where the Brains Are
8 Superstar Cities
Part III:The Geography of Happiness
9 Shiny Happy Places
10 Beyond Maslows City
Part IV:Where We Live Now
12 Three Big Moves
13 The Young and the Restless
14 Married with Children
15 When the Kids Are Gone
16 Place Yourself
From the Hardcover edition.
Reading Group Guide
1. Do you find Richard Floridas 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 books claim that places have personalities?
4. Are you surprised by the findings of Richard Floridas Gallup poll about the importance of aesthetics to peoples rating of their home city?
5. Richard Florida acknowledges the influence of thinkers like Jane Jacobs, disagreeing with others such as Thomas Friedman. How do his ideas relate to theirs, or to those of other scholars?
6. Are you thinking of moving? How will Whos Your City? affect your decision process?
7. Richard Florida presents many personal stories about migration in Whos Your City? — including his own family history. Which story chimed with you most strongly, and why?
8. Do you agree that there are three major points in ones life when ones decision about where to live is most important? If not, why not?
9. How do you see the urban trends Florida identifies — ethnic enclaves, boho-burbs — at work in your own city?
10. What brought you to where you live now? Does the analysis of place in Whos Your City? make you look differently at the trajectory of your life? How?
11. WhosYourCity.com hosts a variety of resources, including a lively discussion board about the merits of different cities. How do the opinions expressed there about your city, or a city you might move to, change your view of it?
12. How useful do you find the books appendices and its Place Finder in choosing a place to live, or in assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the place you live now?
13. Does the economic turmoil of 2009 have any effect your sense of the books ideas?
14. How does Whos Your City? build on the ideas of Richard Floridas previous books, particularly The Rise of the Creative Class?
15. What map or statistic in Whos Your City? surprised you the most?
16. If you met Richard Florida, what would you ask him about Whos Your City?
17. Will you recommend this book to your friends? Why, or why not?