Sunday, June 24, 2007

Better than building a tech park?

What a surprise. Here all these years I've been hanging out with people who think that closer ties between government and corporation in pursuit of high tech competitive advantage was the key to urban and region prosperity. It turns out that the best strategy may be that of encouraging gays to move into town. Shocked, shocked, I say!

From The Raw Story:

Study: 'Gay-friendly' cities enjoy more economic prosperity
David Edwards and Josh Catone
Published: Saturday June 23, 2007

Richard Florida, a professor from George Mason University and author of the book The Rise of the Creative Class argued that the more "gay-friendly" a city is, the more economically prosperous it will be.

In his March 2007 paper "There Goes the Neighborhood," Florida uses something he calls the "Bohemian-Gay Index" to demonstrate that "artistic, bohemian, and gay populations" have a "substantial effects on housing values across all permutations of the model and across all region sizes." He also found that more open and "gay-friendly" areas generally support higher income levels. . . . .

This morning on CNN's In the Money, Florida argued that educated kids are generally moving to the most "gay-friendly" cities after graduating from college because those cities tend to have the best job markets.

After realizing that the top 5 "gay-friendly" cities in the US -- San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, Portland (Oregon), and Tampa -- are also prosperous centers of technological innovation, Florida decided to do a more thorough study. The results, he said, held up for other cities as well.

"Places that were open to gay and lesbian people were also the kind of places that could attract not only smart young people, but also Indian and Chinese immigrants who come here and start a lot of high tech companies," he said. "They were attracting people across the board, building up a talent base, and then innovating and starting these new enterprises."

The text of the paper in PDF is here.