Monday, November 05, 2007

Fast Cities Continued

In my last post I reviewed Fast Company's comments on the fast cities and reviewed several categories. In this post that review continues with a look at "Urban Innovators," "Culture Centers," "Unexpected Oases," and "Startup Hubs."

In the "Urban Innovators" section we find "Salt Lake City" as the only US representative of the list. Salt Lake City, urban? Yes, it is a city, but as a person who grew up next to 10 Mile near Detroit, I have a very difficult time considering a city like Salt Lake, an urban area. It doesn't have the social or economic demographics pervasive in most large cities. When I think of Urban innovators, I have a hard time not seeing Houston on such a list. This town was largely dead two decades ago and after several years has brought entertainment into the downtown areas to encourage night life and the conversion of old buildings into popular and successful lofts, Houston is one of the nation's most vital cities. It has incredible opportunities, it is a great place for entrepreneurs, and enjoys low unemployment.
When it comes to "Culture Centers," we find Miami, Florida making the cut from the US among the three cities cited. I'm sorry, but my first exposure to Miami was Miami Vice (the TV series), so I have a very difficult time seeing it outside that prism. I'll have to take their word for it.

No US Cities made it to the "Unexpected Oases" categories. I would think that with all that water that Miami would make the cut, but... Oh well. Instead cities like Dubai, Istanbul, and Sydney. Istanbul...Turkey (see video)? My primary exposure to Turkey was the movie Midnight Express (starring Brad Davis). Enough said.

Finally, there are the "Startup Hubs" that feature Austin, TX; Tuscon, AZ; and Madison, WI. This might surprise you, but I have no argument here. They are all noted for being cutting edge in entrepreneurship.
I have been a little rough on Fast Company's choices because they seem so predictable and so political. The choices were "sexy," "diverse," and "surprising." But are they accurate? I would have produced a different list. That will have to be done on a later post.

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