Who's Your City?, by Richard Florida
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Archive for May, 2009

València

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Curiously the real estate boom that has given Madrid the chance to emerge in the Spanish context in this last decade has converted now in a mountain of billionaire debt. Barcelona and Valencia, the historic productive mega-region, became the periphery of Madrid losing, it seemed, for ever, the leadership…  Although it’ s true that from the urbanologist point of view Barcelona-Valencia conform a leading mega-region the super-powerhouse of Madrid has subordinated it through its huge train system and the natural Hispanoamerican connection (finance and Barajas mega airport, larger already than Frankfurt and Amsterdam).

There we have, then, a new mega region for Mr.Florida: EL CUANDRANTE NORESTE (the NORTH EASTERN SQUARE): Madrid retains the Sock Exchange for Spanish and Hispanics, the transport plans pass by the Spanish High Speed Train Stations and Barajas, the biggest gay community in the world (Chueca Neighbourhood) won’t move from there and the civil servants and media clusters will stay. The País Vasco mecanics centres (plus the La Rioja and Ribera del Duero food clusters) stays in good shape sending, as always, the innovative young people to Madrid. And on the other hand, the old and slave mega-region Valencia-Barcelona forgetting the real estate golden years to realize that or we give sense to our two energetic metropolis (Barcelona reaches around 4 million inhabitants,Valencia around 2 million) attracting creative business starters or we will be in a very strange and dangerous situation in this new context. Barcelona is already a world top bio farma cluster, an industrial design cluster and a 1st class food cluster. Valencia is trying to show its unique architectural evolution to the world while the creative clusters emerge very very slowly…

Sent by Iván from València

Creativity in a hive…

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

funchal2Funchal is a turbulent garden. A hive of creativity and ideas. But a big ocean in front prevents all those bees of talent to come out and unleash their pollen throughout the world. Once Funchal was named the “corner of the world”. People from the north coming to the south in arrogant suites and english accents; people from the south to the north dreaming awakened; people from the east to the west searching for hope and others from the west to the east desperate for adventure. Funchal was the meeting point. 500 years of global encounters, merging cultures, accents, languages and needs gave the city the stunning sense of a old hooker who only provides its clients with the q.b. of a cooking receipt and leaves the rest untouched for those who really wants to take the risk. So, if you want more of Funchal, if you want to seek deeply, if you want to dive further, you have to dig at your own risk and find the right affections to love a city of unleashed secrets and talents.

Sent by Mauricio from Funchal, Portugal

Oakville

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

oakvilleontarioOakville Ontario is one of this country’s best small cities. In addition to its excellent lakefront location in such close proximity to Toronto, it boasts a very high quality of life, a great downtown, 2 marinas, lots of parks and great schools.  Half of Oakville’s residents have a university degree which makes this a very interesting and dynamic place to live.

Sent by Ben from Oakville, Ontario