Saturday, July 5, 2008

Who's Your City?

I picked up Who's Your City at the library today after hearing the author, Richard Florida, interviewed on NPR. He rates cities according to your stage in life, budgetary constraints, and lifestyle, i.e. straight or gay. The chapter on Superstar Cities which are cities that attract major talent but tend to be expensive because of huge price run-ups such as San Francisco, Boston, San Diego, Portland, etc. has an interesting argument at the end. I will quote part of it.

"I can't help but wonder whether this dream [home ownership] doesn't belong to a bygone industrial era.... Strangely, our system of home ownership dramatically limits mobility, and, in a country where nearly two-thirds of residents are tied to their houses, this means that the economy will suffer.

The creative age may well require alternative forms of housing-something between ownership and renting. In many markets today, it makes more financial sense to rent rather than own."

So, for those who feel excluded because they rent rather than own, take heart. Renting allows for more mobility. And, for those who own homes but feel that they are forsaking the American Dream if they want to rent, here's an argument that basically says mobility could allow for creativity.

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