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June 20, 2008

Richard Florida

Who's Your Ottawa?

« Back from the 'Burbs | Main | Rise of the Renters »

Ken Gray at the Ottawa Citizen outlines the case in a very, very interesting article:

Cities do not consist of freeways, buildings, transit systems, houses, malls, sidewalks, hydro wires, sewers, water mains, snowplows, corporations or government.

Good cities consist of good people. Like a vibrant company, they tap their best people -- those with intelligence, energy, integrity, goodwill and a large well of experience -- to do the best things. With a critical mass of good people, all the other elements of urban living -- transit, wealth, a healthy environment ... the list goes on and on -- fall into place.

The key to successful cities in this age of increasingly specialized labour demand and a slowly eroding petroleum economy is to attract topnotch people who can adapt to the fundamental changes occurring in our community now.

I've been getting to visit and to know Canada's city-regions much better over the past nine months. Now working on the Canadian edition of Who's Your City? our team is amassing integrated North American data.  So Gray's column is most insightful and helpful. I'd love to see similar pieces on other Canadian cities and metros.  And promise to have more to say about this in the coming months ... and certainly with the release of the Canadian edition of the book.

The full story is here.


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The Globe and Mail had a good piece about Vancouver yesterday. The Vancouver and cascadia "lifestyle" company specialization you spoke of is spilling over into the race for mayor. An excerpt:

VANCOUVER — The next mayor of Vancouver is a bicycle-riding environmentalist who is super fit, loves the outdoors and has a passion for social justice. In his hippie phase, he went back to the land, became a farmer and grew organic produce. City councillor Peter Ladner winces at this list of typical West Coast clichés. Ruefully, he admits they're all true. The trouble is, they're also true of his opponent, Gregor Robertson. One or the other is going to be elected Vancouver's Olympics mayor this fall ...


When do the Canadian and global editions of "Who's Your City?" come out, incidentally?


Random House, my publisher, is suggesting around January 15, 2009.

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