Kotkin: The Myth of Superstar Cities

In an opinion piece for the WSJ, Joel Kotkin argues that famous, well-known urban centers like New York and San Francisco will probably not continue to see high growth and dynamism.

This is because middle-class families have been pushed out of these cities by soaring real-estate costs driven up by rich people there. And as the middle-class goes, jobs follow.

Over the past 15 years, it has been opportunistic newcomers — Houston, Charlotte, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Dallas, Riverside — that have created the most new jobs and gained the most net domestic migration. In contrast there has been virtually negligible long-term net growth in jobs or positive domestic migration to places like New York, Los Angeles, Boston or the San Francisco Bay Area.

So these are the urban centres to watch out for, but Kotkin doesn’t rule out the possibility that some “elite cities” might still have enough social and economic diversity to maintain their dynamism.

The WSJ doesn’t keep its pages up for long but the full commentary is on Kotkin’s website:

JoelKotkin.com – The Myth of Superstar Cities

Richard “Creative Class” Florida has a response, but it’s hardly dignified.

They’ve crossed swords before. Kotkin’s earlier article for Prospect basically suggests that Florida’s conclusions are based on obsolete phenomena.

Prospect.co.uk – Uncool Cities


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