Posts Tagged ‘Joel Kotkin’

Steven Pedigo
by Steven Pedigo
Fri Jan 22nd 2010 at 8:31pm UTC

World’s Smartest Cities

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

magic city

This week, Forbes and Joel Kotkin released a  list of the “world’s smartest cities.”

“In today’s parlance a “smart” city often refers to a place with a “green” sustainable agenda. Yet this narrow definition of intelligence ignores many other factors–notably upward mobility and economic progress–that have characterized successful cities in the past.

The green-only litmus test dictates cities should emulate either places with less-than-dynamic economies, like Portland, Ore., or Honolulu, or one of the rather homogeneous and staid Scandinavian capitals. In contrast, I have determined my “smartest” cities not only by looking at infrastructure and livability, but also economic fundamentals.”

The list included:

1. Singapore
2. Hong Kong
3. Curitiba, Brazil
4. Monterrey, Mexico
5. Amsterdam
6. Seattle, Washington
7. Houston, Texas
8. Charleston, South Carolina
9. Huntsville, Alabama
10. Calgary, Alberta

Are these really the “smartest cities?

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Tue Mar 3rd 2009 at 12:50pm UTC

This Just In…

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

Joel Kotkin writing in Forbes has apparently just discovered that cities like New York and San Francisco are unequal and (get this) that such rising inequality threatens social cohesion and long-run economic prosperity.

Higher costs–manifested in everyday expenses like sales taxes and energy bills–now contribute in a large way to growing inequality even in the richest, most elite cities. When housing and other costs are factored in, notes researcher Deborah Reed of the left-leaning Public Policy Institute of California, deep-blue mainstays Los Angeles and San Francisco rank among the top 10 counties in America with respect to the percentage of people in poverty. Only New York and Washington, D.C., do worse.

Here’s a list of the most unequal large metro regions -those with over 1 million people – from way back in 2003.




San Jose, CA



Raleigh-Durham, NC



New York, NY



Middlesex, NJ



Orange County, CA



Dallas, TX



Boston, MA



San Francisco, CA



Washington, D.C.



Houston, TX



Could this be related to the world being… ahem… spiky?

David Miller
by David Miller
Fri Jan 30th 2009 at 11:00am UTC

The Rise of D.C.

Friday, January 30th, 2009

After the inauguration here, my wife joked/hoped that Oprah would be buying a home in D.C. In that vein, Joel Kotkin offered a really interesting piece in the WAPO highlighting the D.C. Metro’s ‘coronation’ as the undisputed power broker among U.S. metros.

Kotkin directly states his thesis: “For more than two centuries, it has been a wannabe among the great world capitals. But now, Washington is finally ready for its close-up.

While D.C. has been growing in stature (in terms of population, wealth, tech, and lifestyle) for the last 20 years or so, our current economic crisis and the submission of other great power centers has put the District at the ‘height of its power.’ From Kotkin,

No longer a jumped-up Canberra or, worse, Sacramento, it seems about to emerge as Pyongyang on the Potomac, the undisputed center of national power and influence. As a new president takes over the White House, the United States’ capacity for centralization has arguably never been greater. But it’s neither Barack Obama’s charm nor his intentions that are driving the centrifugal process that’s concentrating authority in the capital city. It’s the unprecedented collapse of rival centers of power.

This is most obvious in economic affairs, an area in which the nation’s great regions have previously enjoyed significant autonomy. But already the dukes of Wall Street and Detroit have submitted their papers to Washington for vassalage. Soon many other industries, from high-tech to agriculture and energy, will become subject to a Kremlin full of special czars. Even the most haughty boyar may have to genuflect to official orthodoxy on everything from social equity to sanctioned science.

At the same time, the notion of decentralized political power — the linchpin of federalism — is unraveling. Today, once proudly independent — even defiant — states, counties and cities sit on the verge of insolvency. New York and California, two megastates, face record deficits. From California to the Carolinas, local potentates with no power to print their own money will be forced to kiss Washington’s ring.

Kotkin goes on to explain that D.C. is ready for this moment with a huge talent base and a great amenity-driven metro. He also argues that those of us who live here will benefit from this concentration of power in D.C. via greater opportunities and rising real estate values. Although I may benefit from this personally, I have great concerns about what this will mean for innovation, growth, and entrepreneurship (sustainable growth) in the U.S. Any thoughts?