Who's Your City?, by Richard Florida
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Archive for April, 2010

Melbourne vs Vancouver vs Portland???

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Hi there. My husband and I are tossing up between Melbourne/Vancouver/Portland as a next possible long-term move (in the next couple of years). Each has pros and cons it seems, and we tend to go round and round in circles, never quite sure which city is the best choice for us. So I thought why not put the question to all you intrepid globe-trotters out there who may have experienced one or more of these cities to ask what you think? I summarise below what my husband and I think distinguishes these cities based on their perceived pros/cons – I welcome your opinion on whether you agree or not with these assumptions:

MELBOURNE PROS – Progressive and open towards difference; Curious and enjoy debate; Relatively low crime; Pedestrian friendly and great public transport; Cultural/literary scene; Good job opportunities (our backgrounds are in public sector and writing/ psychology).

CONS – Major water and sustainability issues; Rising crime?; Anti-Indian/Muslim sentiment?; Expensive rental options.

VANCOUVER PROS – Progressive and open towards difference; Pedestrian friendly with great public transport; Relatively low crime; OK economy/jobs.

CONS – Too politically correct/afraid of conflict and debate; Tame to point of slightly boring?; Expensive rental options; High cost of living; Cultural/literary scene not as good as Melbourne/Portland?

PORTLAND PROS – Progressive; Pedestrian friendly and great public transport; Great cultural/literary scene; Low crime; Good cheap organic produce; Rental options cheaper than Melbourne/Vancouver?

CONS – No jobs; Culturally homogenous by comparison

Sent by Kaye


Monday, April 12th, 2010

VirratVirrat is a small countryside town located in the province of Pirkanmaa, Finland. The atmosphere of the town could be described as peaceful but sparkling, with chilly winter breeze and warm summer sunshine. Virrat is full of innovative people and artful enterprises. Don’t forget to visit the sandy beach near the town centre and the rocks near Lake Toriseva.

Sent by Joona from Virrat, Finland

Santa Clara, CA

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

Old Santa Clara isn’t posh, but it’s solid, with a medium-sized city art museum & a smaller Jesuit college, too; the remnants of the 1777 Spanish colonial mission are incorporated into the Jesuit college campus. Musical groups abound: from opera to symphony, choral groups, even a poetry in song annual concert producing/performance group at the one Episcopal Church. For kids & sensation-seekers, there’s Great America amusement park.

Sent by Bill from Santa Clara, CA

Seattle arts scene & collaborations

Monday, April 5th, 2010

I was very happy to read that Seattle was ranked #5 on the Creativity Index, but surprised we didn’t have a listing here yet! I’m wondering if the Creativity Index has been updated since the booked was published, as I’m guessing we’ve moved up a notch or two.

The creativity coming out of Seattle right now is really amazing. We’re focusing a lot on collaborative arts events with musicians, dancers, live painters, slam poets, and more. Fremont Abbey Arts Center is one place those sorts of events have been nurtured but there are many other venues and nonprofits supporting the ‘multi-arts experience’. Youth Speaks, Seattle Poetry Slam, Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, not to mention lots of fun gallery and art spaces in Georgetown and Beacon Hill. Come visit!

Sent by Nathan from Seattle