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Who's Your City?: How the Creative Economy Is Making Where to Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life
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Who's Your City?: How the Creative Economy Is Making Where to Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life

3.41  ·  Rating Details ·  1,133 Ratings  ·  191 Reviews
It’s a mantra of the age of globalization that where we live doesn’t matter. We can innovate just as easily from a ski chalet in Aspen or a beachhouse in Provence as in the office of a Silicon Valley startup.

According to Richard Florida, this is wrong. Globalization is not flattening the world; in fact, place is increasingly relevant to the global economy and our individu
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published March 10th 2008 by Basic Books (first published February 19th 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Esteban del Mal
What I learned from this book:

New York City is, statistically, the most neurotic space in the U.S.;

Bakersfield sucks (I already know that, book; thanks all the same);

There's something called the 'Gay/Bohemian Index' that you monied-types want your city to fall into because it means shit is about to get gentrified;

I should probably make every effort to be a goatherd someplace in the Third World (it's really all I'm qualified for with all these creative IT nerds running roughshod over everything a
Jan 21, 2011 Tyler rated it it was ok
Shelves: economics
Richard's "Who's Your City?" is a frenetic, sloppily edited, fact-filled book that suffers from identity crisis. Is it a self help, economics, business, city planning, popular psychology, or sociology book? By trying to be everywhere, Florida risks going nowhere. Despite an underlying manic confusion of ideas, however, Florida still manages to conjure up plenty of interesting demographic and economic facts in an entertaining and digestible way, making this, his latest installation, worth the ...more
Alissa Bach
Jan 03, 2014 Alissa Bach rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I picked this up because it looked interesting and because my husband and I don't intend to stay where we are our entire lives. This wanderlust led me to this book which, I hoped, would give us a starting place on (some idea) of where to go next. After all, it's a big world to be explored.... What I got was something akin to the textbooks that were forced upon me in college. And dry textbooks at that! I found myself skimming for the goods and even skipping entire sections. The book was far too ...more
I read this book quickly in an airport when it was first published, and dug it out again recently when a colleague reiterated the author's WHO, WHAT, WHERE theory to me at a conference when I was having a bit of a crisis of Place. He feels we often focus on the WHO (relationships) and WHAT (our jobs) of happiness, but neglect the WHERE. I thought maybe this would guide me to making a move. It didn't because I'm not so sure his theory is completely accurate. While some places are certainly more ...more
Feb 24, 2009 Erik rated it liked it
Florida is kind of a well-spoken but tragically bland guy. Maybe it's his subject matter. Either way, it wasn't going anywhere for me.

Essentially, Who's Your City analyzes what makes a city attractive or not, what qualities those attractive cities have that make them so and who's attracted to those qualities. At face value, it should be an alderman, mayor or city manager's Bible, but it's not. It's stats with some explanation - nothing your mom couldn't tell you.

That being said, this is not to d
Sep 14, 2016 Ardyn rated it liked it
Shelves: economics
Interesting book, and did a decent job at making it practical and personally applicable. I found the sections on the relationship between cities and different personality types a bit too abstract for my taste (the conclusion depended on so many conditions being true and was very hypothetical), but in general it's very well researched and well written.
Aug 31, 2015 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Rachel Giles, Tommy Giles
"Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert writes that 'most of us make at least three important decisions in our lives: where to live, what to do, and with whom to do it.' He happens to list the 'where' question first. But like most who study happiness, his book mostly focuses on the 'what' and the 'who.'" ...well, THIS book is about the 'where'.

I first became intrigued by this topic when reading a couple of essays by the software venture capitalist Paul Graham: Cities and Ambition and Can You Buy Si
Anne Bogel
Mar 16, 2012 Anne Bogel rated it liked it
Florida challenges the assumption that in this internet age, it doesn't matter where we live, since so many of us can work from anywhere. He says that simply isn't true, because the synergistic effects of likeminded people coming together to live, work, and play are huge and have far-reaching implications.

3 crucial decisions we all have to make are what we're going to do with our lives, who we're going to do it with, and where we're going to do it. Florida says we don't devote nearly enough ener
Jan 18, 2009 Grace rated it really liked it
It's an excellent companion read to The Big Sort. Unlike others, I found it a quick read (one day) and not overly technical.

I wrote long discussions about Who's Your City at and about The Big Sort at
Jul 26, 2015 Jess rated it liked it
An interesting agglomeration of statistics about place and personality. The surprising thing is how unsurprising the results are for the surveys and studies described. The most neurotic place is the U.S. is exactly where you think it is. The cities that offer the most amenities and are therefore the most desirable to live in are the same ones that everyone is already talking about moving to.

I can't say that I learned very much in that light, but it is still helpful to read and be reminded of a
I waited for this book for eons on my local library's wait list. Have to say I'm somewhat disappointed after such a high state of anticipation. The premise is solid and relevant, the research is there to prove the author's thesis, and the author also injects various anecdotes to keep it readable. Even with all that, it still reads a little bit like a users manual -- which is not a bad thing if you're looking for concrete information in terms of moving to a new city, but this isn't really the ...more
Darya Conmigo
I like the main idea, that the the geographic place influences us more than we care to admit and think through. The data is heavily US-centric but that's understandable since that's what the author's research is based on. The questionnaire at the end is quite helpful. I also like the author's voice and his push for better connected, more tolerant environments that lead to innovation.
Apr 16, 2014 Benny rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, school
This is the perfect subject for a magazine article but I'm not convinced it works as a book. Most of the chapters repeat the same basic points - that where we choose to live affects all other aspects of life. This may seem like common sense but it's good to hear that place does matter instead of the usual 'flat world' bullshit spewed out by Friedman and others.
Svitlana Kolodii
Apr 18, 2016 Svitlana Kolodii rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Книга must read для тих, хто цікавиться Містом. Як вибір місця для життя впливає на особистий рівень щастя? Як люди, які живуть поруч, впливають на розвиток середовищ?
Great stuff. The maps were fun to look at, the principles for choosing where to live are solid, and the reminders that what you want out of life now may not be true in 10 years' time are a nice plus. Also good was the acknowledgement that not everyone wants the same things out of life, which seems like a hard thing to explain across generations (in both directions).
Jan 12, 2011 Jill rated it liked it
Shelves: urbanology
In Who's Your City, Florida points out that most people spend a great deal of time thinking about the What and Who in their lives - What to do with you life and Who to spend it with. But we don't spend as much time thinking about Where to live with. Which doesn't quite make sense since it seems almost obvious to state that where you live matters.

Florida's book starts out compellingly enough, when he presents a robust case to counter Tom Friedman's thesis that "the world is flat". Florida argues
Rob Walter
Sep 13, 2016 Rob Walter rated it liked it
I can barely claim to have read this book, since I skimmed the first two parts pretty mercilessly, slowed down a bit in the third part and then read a couple of the chapters in the fourth part properly. The trouble is that so much of the early parts of the book are just about laying out the empirical evidence of something that seems pretty obvious - place is important, certain types of economic activity take place in certain locations.

Part III is entitled "The Geography of Happiness" and despite
Aug 05, 2009 Katherine rated it it was ok
There is certainly a lot of information in this book, and a lot of it is very interesting and helpful. It is however so badly organized that it reads like two or more different books blended rather haphazardly together.

The first half of Who’s Your City is really just a collection of data, from Florida’s own work and studies conducted by various others. Florida presents a global picture of the hotspots for wealth and innovation and then narrows his scope to focus primarily on areas and cities wi
Mar 04, 2009 Kelly rated it liked it
I liked Bishop's "The Big Sort" way more because it was more insightful and original. This isn't interesting nor is it really brain science. Obviously, college grads want to move where there are jobs. Likewise, the reason that big cities are happy with gay/bohemian lifestyles is that they're more traditionally liberal. So, yes, liberal cities want creative people and people graduating from college with dreams flock to cities where their creativity is welcome. Those places are liberal.

That said,
May 29, 2008 Heather rated it really liked it
Florida takes a long look at the reasons we end up living where we do and why certain places make us happier than others. It seems like a simple question to answer on the surface. But he shows that there are a lot of variables involved in finding the "right place" to live.

For one, the whole idea of finding the "right place" never used to exist -- we grew up, got married, and started families, usually in the same community. That's not the case today. Now it's normal to leave home for college and
Adam Wiggins
Sep 24, 2011 Adam Wiggins rated it liked it
When asked, most people will answer that the two most important things to their long-term happiness are career and mate. Florida argues (and provides supporting evidence) that a third matter is equally important: place.

Some of the points I found notable:

- National borders no longer define economies; instead, it's about the "mega-region." For example, San Diego + Orange County + Los Angeles. A mega-region is somewhere you can walk all the way across, carrying nothing but some money, without ever
Jul 16, 2008 Serena rated it liked it
Recommended to Serena by: the radio
Not quite what I expected, but I think my expectations were a bit misplaced. I first heard Richard Florida in a very interesting interview with Leonard Lopate ( which compelled me to read the book. (Good interview, a little more than a half hour long if you have the time.)

I found much of the writing a bit difficult to follow as I felt like it was largely a collection of citations and references, but ones that eventually lead to interesting nuggets of info
Paul Signorelli
Many of us, having incorporated online communities into our professional and personal lives, reach the moment when we decide that the idea of place is dead--that geography no longer matters. But it doesn't take us long to realize we're wrong. And reading and thinking about Richard Florida's "Who's Your City?: How the Creative Economy Is Making Where to Live the Most Important Decision in Your Life" (2008) drives the point home. Florida, continuing to focus on the role creativity plays in making ...more
Sep 16, 2013 Emily rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone in their 20s considering a relocation
Recommended to Emily by: Jaimie Anderson
Shelves: nonfiction
"With his classic pin factory example, in which he illustrated how ten workers each specializing in his own task can produce a far greater number of pins than could ten workers working independently, Smith captured how firms need specialization to become more efficient."

"... a doubling of population resulted in more than two times the creative and economic output. Unlike biological organisms, all of which slow down as they grow larger, cities become wealthier and more creative the bigger they ge
Feb 02, 2010 Alyn rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, marti
He's refuting some of the "World is Flat" book. Talking about the increasing divide between the wealthy booming cities and elsewhere. He's got a website with maps you can checkout. The book was a bit dry and dense, but enjoyable in it's way.

He also discusses some of the happiness studies. He feels we often focus on the WHO (relationships) and WHAT (our jobs) of happiness, but neglect the WHERE. His research shows that our PLACE is indeed significant in the modern world, and a key component of ou
Melissa Dwyer
Sep 16, 2015 Melissa Dwyer rated it liked it
Originally reviewed P(professional) by Dale J. Bizub
f you think that choosing a life partner or even finding the "ideal" job are the two most important decisions you'll ever make, Florida (business & creativity, Rotman Sch. Of Management, Univ. of Toronto; The Rise of the Creative Class) would like to add still a third consideration: choosing a place to live. He has done extensive research on the significance of one's location, marshaling extensive data to support his thesis that "where we l
Jun 10, 2008 Leo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, place matters. I've accepted that fact. There's some interesting ideas here about the value of mobility and the limited populations that have access to geographical (and economic) mobility. And the idea that cities have their own personalities seems reasonable, although the maps showing how they break down doesn't really convince.

I really like Richard Florida, but I found this book considerably less compelling than his previous two. In the last few chapters, it's obstensibly about helping
Chinarut Ruangchotvit
Dec 31, 2015 Chinarut Ruangchotvit rated it really liked it
Richard's research analyzing satellite images for the brightest, most concentrated spots on earth to locate where our creative class cluster independent of our geographical boundaries is fascinating. We often talk about how the Internet makes the world flat and he argues the world is *spiky* because creatives band together - they thrive off the spontaneity of bumping into each other and fusing ideas by cross-pollinating. As a result, what we find is our world is composed of "mega regions" ...more
May 08, 2012 Trena rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Job Hunters with Geographic Mobility
Recommended to Trena by: Grace
An interesting look at how geography is becoming more, not less, important in the digital age. Though some argue that the world has become flat with instant, constant connectivity, Florida looks at the actual demographics of the world and concludes that where you live matters very much indeed to your success and happiness.

The book opens with general statistics about the population, money, and power of the world, accompanied by a nice set of maps showing that the spikes are not coincidental. I fo
Dec 07, 2012 Vince rated it really liked it
While recent transport and comms revolutions may be argued to create a "flat world" of relatively easy access to talent and markets, Florida documents how the freedom to move and the benefits of physical proximity result in clustering of talent. His question: Are you physically located in the right location relative to the support network you need to thrive?

I recently read Bill Bishop's The Big Sort - so my thoughts are already contemplating the effects of migration going into Florida's book. I'
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Richard Florida (born 1957 in Newark, New Jersey) is an American urban studies theorist.
Richard Florida's focus is on social and economic theory. He is currently a professor and head of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School of Management, at the University of Toronto. He also heads a private consulting firm, the Creative Class Group.
Prof. Florida received a PhD from Columbia Univers
More about Richard Florida...

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