Joel Kotkin argues that the “superstar cities” (New York, LA, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco) are overrated and overpriced and that the real economic and social action in the US is happening in the more affordable cities (Charlotte, Houston, Las Vegas, Phoenix). This article contains a wealth of buzzwordy phrases…in addition to “superstar cities”, Kotkin refers to a “Bloombergian luxury product”, “trustafarians”, the “Vailization effect”, “neocon anti-urbanism”, and “Mayor Bloomberg’s luxury calculus”. (via biourbanist)
Joel Kotkin rebutts Richard Florida’s argument that what cities need to thrive are “gays, twentysomethings, and young creatives”. Florida’s ideas, which are laid down in The Rise of the Creative Class and Cities and the Creative Class, have been adopted in cities around the world with, Kotkin says, little success. Kotkin stresses that “great cities need schools for families, transport that works, jobs for the middle and the aspiring working classes”.
Ephermeral cities (SF, Paris, Berlin, NYC) provide alternative lifestyles to “nonfamilies and the nomadic rich”. “To retain an important role in the future, a city needs upwardly mobile people whose families and businesses identify them with a place. A great city is more about clean and workable neighborhoods, thriving business districts, and functioning schools than massive cultural buildings or hipster lofts.”
Urbanist Joel Kotkin (no relation) on what makes for a thriving city. “He argues that to be successful, today’s cities must still be places that are ‘sacred, safe, and busy.’”