Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Atlanta - creative, extroverted, agreeable, conscientious and a tough place for a girl to find a boy to date?

The newest city in the United States is the City of Dunwoody, GA; a close in suburb of Atlanta that is already going though a Comprehensive Land Use Plan to figure out what type of city we want to be just 30 years from now. Today I found an excerpt from the book, The Rise of the Creative Class by Richard Florida which made me question what Dunwoody can do in our 30 year plan to attract the kind of people that will help us grow and compete in the Atlanta economy by attracting young, bright talent that will want to not only work but also live in the City of Dunwoody? It appears the Mr. Florida has the answer of what Dunwoody needs to provide and on the surface it looks as if we are headed in the right direction with the city's aesthetics, values, leadership, basic services and we are working on improving economic opportunities.

After reviewing his website, I discovered that his new box, "Who's your City" has classified the Atlanta region (Char-Lanta) the eighth largest economic mega region in the world with the highest concentration of residents aged 25 and 34 in the United States thereby predicting great things for the region if we can just attract and maintain those in the creative class that the author sees as so desirable.

Mr. Florida also mentions that personality types are not spread evenly across the country, instead they cluster around like minded individuals and on his website he has described Char-lanta as being creative, extroverted, agreeable, conscientious and a tough place for a girl to find a boy to date?

I am not completely sold on Mr. Florida's theories but I like what he says enough to actually go out and read the books.



Pattie Baker said...

For our city to embrace the creative class would require a mind-set change to allow additional freedoms of expression and reductions of barriers to diverse viewpoints and actions. The alternative, of course, is the possibility of stagnation and the long-term inability to maximize human assets and financial potential, so this is a conversation definitely worth having as part of our "vision for the future."

A middle ground might be the encouragement of green businesses and major corporations that are increasingly committed to triple-bottom-line sustainability. By making a concerted effort to welcome and provide incentives for these types of businesses, we attract innovators and will increasingly involve the younger generation. Additionally, by creating a bikeable, walkable community with places for public gathering, community gardens, other eco-savvy features, we encourage economic and social sustainability as well.

The City of Atlanta is already a hotbed for green entrepreneurs. As these smart, highly-educated go-getters look for places with good schools and nice homes to raise their families, we have the opportunity to position Dunwoody as a choice that is not disjointed from their values. This would be a win-win for them and our city’s future.

Mark said...

I can't speak much to the substance of his ideas, though I have added his book to my list to be read.

His pyramid seems reasonable and I can vouch for his map showing Atlanta Metro has a difficult place for women who are dating. After my wife's death, I started dating without any clear idea of what might attract women to me. I learned that the number of eligible, worthwhile women far outnumbered the men so the women I met often dated men who were not very nice, polite, and often seemed as if they were doing the women a favor by even showing up for a meeting. Despite having found a very nice woman who now resides with me, I remain in touch with many of the women friends I made via dating. I still hear the same tales of awfulness, and have witnessed some when out and watching/listening to couples I observe near us.