Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Too Slow Cities?

Recently I wrote two articles about "fast cities" according to Fast Company magazine. According to Fast Company, these cities are on the cutting edge of culture, entrepreneurship, innovation, and other areas that major progress. Fast Company's analysis didn't end there, however, they also have opinions about cities that they describe as "too fast" and "too slow." In this post I'm going to focus on this latter group.

Budapest, Hungary

"Breathtakingly romantic--but its economy is broken. Among the world's 150 biggest cities, last in predicted GDP growth, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers."
I have to agree. This is the most beautiful city I have ever seen and one very difficult to make a profit. I traveled extensively through out Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union following the fall of Communism and Budapest was one city I had a great deal of hope for and it is a city that has shown little progress. Very sad indeed.
St. Louis, Missouri

"Too normal for its own good. It ranks dead last on CityVitals' "Weirdness Index," a measure of passion and engagement."
My dad grew up near this once great city and he use to often sing its praises. It is sad to see that it to has reached such a lowly position.
New Orleans, Louisiana

"We wish it weren't so. But NOLA was slow before Katrina. The cleanup debacle has only reinforced that reality."
New Orleans is a tragedy that I believe we remain a shell of the city it once was. The political leadership in both the state and city have done everything they could, in my opinion, to prevent this community from turning around.
Detroit, Michigan

"Last one out, shut off the manufacturing line. Tragically, inevitably bound to the U.S. auto industry's failings."
When I left the Motor City in the 1970s the joke was "will the last person leaving Detroit please turn off the lights." Fast Company's statement may be better. In addition to being a slave to unions, the city hates innovation and seem to prefer dying a slow death than doing what is necessary to revive this once great city.
Havana, Cuba

Celebrating a half-century of economic decay. Thanks, Fidel. Seemingly no cars on the road made after 1968.
Well put.
I liked Fast Company's assessment of slow cities far more than those they described as "fast." What about those they deem too fast? Those will be examined in a future post.

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