Monday, December 30, 2013

Suburban Sprawl Spurs Innovation

Want diversity and creativity? Moving to the suburbs at Pacific Standard magazine.

Theme: Innovation geography.

Subject Article: "The Young, the Restless and Economic Growth: Countries with a younger population have far higher rates of entrepreneurship."

Other Links: 1. "My Own Private Metropolis."
2. "The artsy pulse of a city: The beat is moving to the burbs."
3. "Urban Minor Leagues of Globalization."
4. "Every Artist's Studio Is a Future High End Rental."

Postscript: Saint of Urbanity, Jane Jacobs once wrote, “Old ideas can sometimes use new buildings. New ideas must use old buildings." Cities with good bones and the right density are centers of innovation. Jacobs privileges place over people. The diffusion of knowledge and subsequent innovation are considerably less romantic. People move and share ideas. City or suburb, old or new building, only migration matters.


Anonymous said...

But what causes migration? It isn't an independent variable, is it? If there are no clear disadvantages to lower density, why do high density areas still exist and thrive?

Jim Russell said...

"why do high density areas still exist and thrive?"

Good question. Why do people migrate to denser neighborhoods, which have many undesirable traits? Why do graduates pay high Washington, DC rents just to intern at a nonprofit?

People who can afford (i.e. maintain income) to move from higher density to lower density tend to do exactly that. That sprawl didn't kill innovation. If anything, innovation thrived while millions abandoned the city.

Anonymous said...

Because they don't perceive that they ARE
"just" interns at a non-profit.

Jim Russell said...

I agree. The valuation of residence is different from a fellow employee who now makes a decent salary and wants to start a family.

Allen said...

This morning I heard a short piece by MPR on housing units in MPLStown. Since these type of stories are rarely accurate, it got me looking at the Metropolitan Council's data. I saw that Bloomington, MN - the suburb that is the home of the Mall of America and fully built out long before 2010 - added nearly 1,000 new units of housing the last 3 years.

In fact, @45 cities in the Twin Cities all grew at a faster rate than Minneapolis. Over 100 municipalities and townships in the Twin Cities grew faster than sleepy St. Paul.

Some people may prefer the old inner cities but it's pretty clear most people are more than happy to live and work in the suburbs.