From the Publisher
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
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.
From the Jacket
It's a mantra of the age of globalization that where we live
doesn't matter. We can innovate just as easily from a ski chalet in
Whistler or a beach house in the Caribbean as in the office.
According to Richard Florida, this is plain wrong. Globalization is
not flattening the world - it's making it "spikier." Place matters
more than ever to the global economy and to our individual lives.
Where we live determines the jobs and careers we have access to,
the people we meet, and the "mating markets" in which we
participate. Where we live determines where the good ideas come
from - and even whether they come at all. Everything we think we
know about cities and their economic role is up for grabs.
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
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
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.
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
4. Are you surprised by the findings of Richard Florida's Gallup
poll about the importance of aesthetics to people's rating of their
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 Who's Your
City? affect your decision process?
7. Richard Florida presents many personal stories about
migration in Who's Your City? - including his own
family history. Which story chimed with you most strongly, and
8. Do you agree that there are three major points in one's life
when one's decision about where to live is most important? If 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 Who's 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 book's 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 book's ideas?
14. How does Who's Your City? build on the
ideas of Richard Florida's previous books, particularly The
Rise of the Creative Class?
15. What map or statistic in Who's Your City?
surprised you the most?
16. If you met Richard Florida, what would you ask him about
Who's Your City?
17. Will you recommend this book to your friends? Why, or why