Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Coalition for a Leadbeater Memphis

Community Garden, Galloway Church, Cooper-Young, Memphis
I think at the moment the traditional [philosophy], by which I mean over the last 10 years, [is] heavily influenced by Richard Florida's work. The implication is that if you can attract cultural and creative talent, that can sometimes create the environment in which other knowledge workers and services, business services and others, like to congregate, and then you've got the core of a kind of knowledge economy in a city and that then creates jobs in personal services and so on and so forth.

The truth is, for me, that is too narrow and can be too elitist a view of what really generates a really successful city. And I think the really successful cities are marked by the way they engage everyone and their sense of talent is a talent for doing things that are local, or doing things with kids, or a talent in care services. You can imagine talent being a much more broadly spread kind of capacity. Rather than looking for a savior class to come along and save the city.

Actually the most successful cities, I think Portland is a really good example in the United States, Curitiba in Brazil is another very good example, where you get this mass welling up of creativity from all sorts of sources, not just from a single source. And so as a result these cities are more adaptive, they're stronger, and they've got a broadly spread kind of engagement that is constantly stimulating.
Charles Leadbeater,
speaking with Carol Coletta
Smart City Radio about
the philosophy of talent and cities.

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