May 29, 2005
The Myth of the Creative Class?
Regarding our recent discussion on suburbs and cities, here’s an interesting article from Joel Kotkin debunking many of the “creative cities” ideas that have been so popular in the wake of Richard Florida. (Suburbs vs. urbs roundup: Tim | Terrance | Kevin.) According to Kotkin:
The renaissance of American cities has been greatly overstated—and this unwarranted optimism is doing a disservice to cities themselves. Urban politics has become self-satisfied and triumphalist, content to see cities promote the appearance of thriving while failing to serve the very people—families, immigrants, often minorities—who most need cities to be decent, livable places. The myths that have grown up surrounding the urban renaissance are now often treated as fact. As an urban historian who lives in a major city, I believe that recognizing these myths for what they are is a critical first step towards the redemption of urban America.
Related: Peak oil doomsayer James Howard Kunstler and natural capitalist Amory Lovins have a go at the question of whether the ‘burbs end with a bang or a whimper. The resultant thread on WorldChanging is better.