Sign in or Join FriendFeed
FriendFeed is the easiest way to share online. Learn more »
The Rise of the Creative Class. Why cities without gays and rock bands are losing the economic development race -
The Rise of the Creative Class. Why cities without gays and rock bands are losing the economic development race
"Talented people seek an environment open to differences. Many highly creative people, regardless of ethnic background or sexual orientation, grew up feeling like outsiders, different in some way from most of their schoolmates. When they are sizing up a new company and community, acceptance of diversity and of gays in particular is a sign that reads “non-standard people welcome here.” The creative class people I study use the word “diversity” a lot, but not to press any political hot buttons. Diversity is simply something they value in all its manifestations. This is spoken of so often, and so matter-of-factly, that I take it to be a fundamental marker of creative class values. Creative-minded people enjoy a mix of influences. They want to hear different kinds of music and try different kinds of food. They want to meet and socialize with people unlike themselves, trade views and spar over issues. (...) What makes most cities unable to even imagine devoting those kinds of resources or political will to do the things that people say really matter to them? The answer is simple. These cities are trapped by their past. Despite the lip service they might pay, they are unwilling or unable to do what it takes to attract the creative class. The late economist Mancur Olson long ago noted that the decline of nations and regions is a product of an organizational and cultural hardening of the arteries he called “institutional sclerosis.” Places that grow up and prosper in one era, Olson argued, find it difficult and often times impossible to adopt new organizational and cultural patterns, regardless of how beneficial they might be. Consequently, innovation and growth shift to new places, which can adapt to and harness these shifts for their benefit. This phenomenon, he contends, is how England got trapped and how the U.S. became the world’s great economic power. It also accounts for the shift in economic activity from the old industrial cities to newer cities in the South and... more... - Amira from Bookmarklet