Richard Florida is famous for his works on the rise of the creative classes. Who is your city? is an exploration into how clusters develop wrapped up under the guise of a self-help book. Florida looks at the characteristics of different cities (predominantly in North America) and explores factors that attract people at different life stages. He provides some of the starting points to the age-old regional planning question ‘How do we make another Silicon Valley in <insert region name here>?’ by listing some of the factors involved.
Unlike many books he hasn’t fallen into the classic bad science trap that correlation and causality are the same thing. For instance: whilst no two neighbouring countries with a McDonald’s restaurant may have gone to war, that doesn’t make Ronald McDonald a prime candidate for the next United Nations secretary general.
The book is interesting in the way that a Malcolm Gladwell book is interesting. The section of questions at the back seem logical enough for someone thinking about relocating, there is no rocket science in them. At the end of it, I was left wondering how much utility did for the average European or Asian reader?