I just finished reading urbanist Richard Florida's most recent book Who's Your City? How the Creative Economy is Making Where to Live the Most Important Decision in Your Life (Vintage, 2008). Florida takes his creative city idea one step farther. In a time when we worry about the impact of the recession on home ownership, blight, and crime Florida challenges us to think differently about how - and more importantly where - we live. He says our ability to work, play and innovate in a globalized and outsourced world has not made the world flatter. It has made it "spikier".
"Who's Your City? proves that choosing the place we live is the single most important decision we can make. It has profound impact on our lives:" our career paths, social networks, family and lifestyle choices, the wealth we accumulate, and our overall happiness."
I'd go one more. Quality-of-life is bound to safety. When it comes to finding safe places, building community cohesion, and quality municipal services, where we live has always mattered. Moreso today. Particularly intriguing are his notions of the rise of the mega-region, the difference between the mobile and the rooted, and Maslow's City. Check out his conclusions from the most recent Place and Happiness Survey. Florida's ideas point the way for those willing to look!
Who's Your City?