Who's Your City?, by Richard Florida
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Looking at the Southwest… Albuquerque, for One

My husband and I are creative types who’ve lived in the less-than-creative area, Grand Rapids, Mich., and its greater metro area, West Michigan. We are not alone in this belief. We do, however, enjoy the walkability of many of the areas neighborhoods.Also, we want to leave cold, snowy winters for an arid, temperate climate. We’d prefer to be in a large metropolitan area, yet I’m not reading about any places in the warmer regions of the Southwest as places considered to be great for creatives. In the maps section, there is the Mega-region of Tucson-Phoenix, yet neither city is mentioned specifically as great for creatives. Could it be because they are major victims of urban sprawl? Also, does anyone have an experience with Albuquerque? Is it a good place for creative types who really need to live outside rigid boxes and social norms? Any other suggestions? We would consider small towns. Thank you very much for any suggestions.

Sent by Annieo from Grand Rapids, MI

4 Responses to “Looking at the Southwest… Albuquerque, for One”

  1. Libby Says:

    Have you considered Scottsdale, AZ? I have creative-type friends who moved there over a decade ago from the northeast and they absolutely adore it.

  2. annieo Says:

    Thanks, Libby, We’ll check it out. I guess Scottsdale has become a city unto itself, and it’s next to Phoenix. :)

  3. Geoffery Says:

    I have been in Tucson for nearly ten years, being an artist and arts organizer from the Twin cities, it has taken awhile to acclimate to the “manana” flavor of Tucson. We do have some sprawl but the downtown area has become more vibrant over the years. There are organized arts events in the downtown area throughout the year.

    A more difficult task is making social connections, it’s perhaps the transient nature of the west, but that has been my biggest challenge.

    Phoenix has become so congested, traffic wise, Maricopa county is up to 3.8 million people. I would look into Taos, which is north of Santa Fe, I suspect however that employment might be a challenge.

    Good luck to you

    Geoffery in Tucson

  4. annieo Says:


    Thanks for your thoughts on both Tucson and Phoenix. Those are helpful, especially for Tucson. It seems like Phoenix isn’t ready yet … or I’m not for Phoenix. Parts of it seem intriguing. Maybe we’ll have to explore the cities outside it.

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