Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Mon Mar 30th 2009 at 1:37pm UTC

Who’s Your (Canadian) City?

The new Canadian version of Who’s Your City? is now in print. Media starts this week. Here’s the first review – a nice one – by Canadian urbanist Michael Dudley in the Winnipeg Free Press.

[P]lace matters so much to Florida that, upon his arrival in Toronto (to assume his post as professor of business and creativity at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto), he decided to revise for a Canadian audience his most recent book, Who’s Your City?, released a year ago.

This is no quickie “Canadian edition” with token references to Toronto thrown in: it is extensively rewritten, so much so that it almost constitutes a new book.

To be sure, Florida’s principal ideas remain much the same. We are still dealing with a “spiky” world of concentrated talent and economic clustering, not Thomas Friedman’s “flat” world in which location is of little consequence.

Florida describes how the “clustering force” tends to draw people and economic activity into certain key regions rather than to others. As a result, we are becoming segregated according to economic class and chosen urban lifestyles.

To demonstrate how talent, opportunity and quality of life criteria are distributed (and concentrated) north of the 49th parallel, Florida and his team of collaborators generated (or took advantage of) new data, new maps and new analysis. These are augmented by more than 40 life histories by Canadians describing their own place-finding experiences.

Unsurprisingly, Canada’s main mega-regions of Toronto, Vancouver and Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa-Gatineau, and Montreal are most frequently cited as the best places to live. In fact, Florida’s new home of Toronto appears in the index no fewer than 57 times. Montreal follows with 31 page references, and Vancouver with 28.

Winnipeg, alas, is mentioned a mere three times, though two of these references emphasize our city’s creativity (did you know we boast 12 per cent of the country’s musicians with only 2.25 per cent of its population?).

More here.

2 Responses to “Who’s Your (Canadian) City?”

  1. Bruce Says:

    Dear Professor Florida,

    Thanks for this new edition – I bought a copy yesterday. I’m very interested to see more about Canada’s creative class.

  2. Jamie Bennett Says:

    Solid work there Florida. I look forward to comparing the changes but glad that this world class place will get better coverage. Actually, maybe we have to be careful what we wish for. As you stated recently on ‘the agenda’ http://www.tvo.org/TVO/WebObjects/TVO.woa?video?TAWSP_Dbt_20090330_779483_0 , Canada has proven itself solid, while other nations have buckled with the current economic crisis. Perhaps this Great White North is breeding more than the best musicians and artists, we’ve got finance going for us too. We do have to step up and build on this momentum to prove to ourselves and the world that we are leading edge.