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Who's Your City?: How the Creative Economy Is Making Where to Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life Paperback – June 30, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0465018093 ISBN-10: 0465018092 Edition: Reprint

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Choosing a spouse and choosing a career are important life decisions—but perhaps even more predictive of our all-round personal happiness is our choice of living location, argues Florida (The Rise of the Creative Class) in this informative if somewhat dry tome. As globalization makes the world effectively smaller, economic growth concentrates in certain mega-regions of large superstar cities, leaving other regions in the proverbial dust. The areas where we live are also affected by our increasingly mobile culture, housing priorities that change as we age (from starter homes to family-friendly suburbs to empty nests and finally retirement centers) and the global economy. Few of the author's conclusions are new—people gather where they can make friends with others like them, personality types tend to cluster—type A to urban areas, type B to rural—and the book's tone wanders from broad, Friedmanesque discussion of the world economy to home-buying advice as well as statistic-and-theory-heavy text as though unsure of its intended audience. Yet the author opens up a complex, underexamined subject along the way. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"The world is not flat, and Richard Florida is the man to tell you why where you choose to live is more important than ever. Passionate and thoughtful, this book is an indispensable guide to the way our cities really work. The spirit of Jane Jacobs lives on."--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..."--"Washington Post"
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; Reprint edition (June 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465018092
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465018093
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,107 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Author of the bestselling The Rise of the Creative Class and Who's Your City? Richard Florida is a regular columnist for The Atlantic. He has written for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and other publications. His multiple awards and accolades include the Harvard Business Review's Breakthrough Idea of the Year. He was named one of Esquire magazine's Best and Brightest (2005) and one of BusinessWeek's Voices of Innovation (2006). He lives in Toronto, Canada.

Customer Reviews

This book is an absolute must read for everyone.
Jeffrey Lehmann
Because people's happiness does depend a great deal on where they live, how far they commute to work, the general feel of a city and their stage in life.
Kcorn
If you find this review interesting, you'll find the book fascinating.
Gaetan Lion

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

216 of 221 people found the following review helpful By T. Stroll on September 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
It's frustrating to read books like this. Florida's insightful observations are undermined by the number of errors in this book.

Florida melds psychology, sociology, and economics to try to determine the importance of humanity's displacement from rural areas to cities and, now, megalopolises. Some of the ground he covers is well-trod, but he comes up with a number of ideas that I find insightful. I particularly liked his categorization of urban districts into such places as, e.g., strollervilles (wealthy neighborhoods full of two-year-olds being strolled around by nannies while Daddy is at the law firm and Mommy is either working or doing something else), designer digs (e.g., Aspen, La Jolla), ethnic enclaves (think Fremont, Calif.), preservation-burgs, and boho-burbs (chic neighborhoods, often on old streetcar lines, with lively shopping areas; e.g., the Sellwood district and N.W. 23rd Ave. in Portland, Ore.). The Rockridge neighborhood in Oakland, Calif., is both a strollerville and a boho-burb. Florida goes beyond the usual accolades one might expect to be conferred on such places to point out their drawbacks. It's very well done.

If only Florida and his publisher had taken better care to vet the manuscript before publishing it! I'd read only a few pages before I started noticing typos: paarticular, New "Dehli" (must have excellent pastrami sandwiches), São "Paolo," Brazil (must have changed its official language to Italian). Then I started noticing factual oddities: Seoul, Korea, described in two different and seemingly mutually exclusive categories; San Francisco described as a place in which single women predominate when the accompanying map shows just the opposite.
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124 of 135 people found the following review helpful By Michael Wells on February 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Richard Florida does it again. In his bestselling "Rise of the Creative Class", he demonstrated the world's move to a creativity-based economy. But also that this emerging economy is increasingly concentrated in about a dozen cities in the US, and two or three dozen worldwide.

In "Who's Your City", Florida goes in two directions. First he lays the groundwork, expanding on his research of a clustering force of creative people that is making some regions economic and cultural winners. He explores the emerging "Mega-regions" (Bos-Wash, Northern California, Greater London) that are replacing nations as the organizing force of economic activity. He also plays with the idea that cities have personalities that attract different kinds of people.

Then in the last section Florida brings it all together, and shows why the book got its name. He says where we live is one of three major life decisions (along with choosing a mate and a career), and in fact can have a strong effect on the other two. But most people give it little thought, especially compared to love and work.

Then he gets personal. He gives us a 10-step process for deciding on a new home. To his credit, Florida doesn't assume we should all move to creative class Mecca's like Austin or Seattle. He recognizes that for many people, staying near family and friends is paramount, and that the search for experience isn't for everyone. What he does do is say that this can be a conscious decision.

But if you ARE looking for a new place to live, Florida's 10-point list is certainly the best tool for organizing your thinking -- from identifying what's important to you to generating a short list, researching the options and making a final decision.

Even if you're happy with your city and not planning to move, "Who's Your City" is a fascinating study of how the world is changing, from macroeconomics to popular culture. Recommended for everyone.
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54 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Gaetan Lion on May 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book. R. Florida counters the theories of the The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century. At the beginning, he outlines how just 40 Mega-Regions dominate the World economy. While those account for just 17% of the World's population, they generate two thirds of its GDP and over 85% of its innovation (measured by patents and scientific papers). Additionally, the GDP of those Mega-Regions are growing faster. So, the concentration of economic power in those centers is accelerating. He calls this the "clustering effect." Thus, the World is not flat. It is spiky and getting spikier. Risk taking, creative, and talented people represent the "creative class" a concept he introduced in The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It's Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life. The creative class members have strong incentives to cluster where the action is (the Mega-Regions). He demonstrates how the main economic scale has shifted from Nations to Mega-Regions and MSA level. The first two Mega-Regions (greater Tokyo and the D.C., New York, Boston corridor) both generate GDPs greater than $2 trillion. They would rank as the 3d and 4th largest World economies second only to the U.S. and Japan.

With other eminent social scientists, he studies the allocation of human resources in the U.S. in many ways. He shares the resulting maps of: a) the U.S. Mega-Regions, b) areas by % of college graduates, c) areas by income, d) areas by % belonging to creative class, e) areas by home prices.
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