Richard Florida: Both brilliant and master of the obvious.
If you're the kind of person who likes to impress strangers with a proper-noun-heavy (if vague) understanding of social science, you may recognize the name Richard Florida.
Florida wrote Rise of the Creative Class
, a fairly groundbreaking piece of urban studies arguing that a city's health is largely tied to its ability to attract and keep guys and girls with Ph.D.s and chunky-framed glasses. Or as Florida himself put it: Why cities without gays and rock bands are losing the economic development race. To which you might say, Richard Florida must love Nashville! And yeah, he sort of does (at least more than Memphis, which ranked last amongst large cities in his creativity index).
Florida's newest book, Who's Your City?
, also makes an argument about place. This time he says that despite what you've been told about the Earth being flat, where you live matters more than ever. Think of it as the counterpunch to Thomas Friedman's 1-2 combo. And where does Florida's "New Geography of Work" point the hopeful who wants to break into music? You'll never guess.
To make the most of Who's
potential for cocktail-hour banter, we highly recommend poking around the website
(especially the maps
section). Although don't go consulting the map below if you're looking for anything new to say about Nashville. That's one nugget you can glean without shelling out $25 for a hardback.