Book review: Who’s your city? by Richard Florida

Who's your city? by Richard Florida
"How the Creative Economy is Making the Place Where You Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life"

As a new grad, you’re free of most strings and can move around a lot easier than you would be able to with dependants or a mortgage. But do you want to move? And to where? What would you move for: family, partner, career, weather? These are tough decisions to make. Are you willing root up and move internationally, stay in the country, back into the parent’s abode?

I recently read a book entitled Who’s Your City? by Richard Florida, which I am recommending to any new grad who is seriously considering relocation for whatever reason.

I strongly believe that you are product of the people you hang with and, interestingly, Florida touches on how you become a product of the place you live. We don’t give it much thought, at least I haven’t until now, but where we live dictates so much of our everyday life. Many of us might have moved for post-secondary school, picking our schools because of the school itself or maybe even for the location.

After we finish post-secondary, than what? Do we stay living in the city we went to school in, or relocate back to the city we grew up in?

Florida takes many economic theories and metrics in an approach to show how the location of where we situate ourselves can completely transform our professional and personal development. It makes sense though, people who enjoy similar things will likely cluster together. Thus, people who want to pursue the same items personally and professionally will likely cluster together.

The point I liked the most in the book was the emphasis on available opportunities based on where you are living. Living in a rural area affords you much different opportunities than living in or near a metropolitan hub.

At this point in my life – and maybe yours as well – as a new grad, professional and career development are really important to me, and thus should be taken into serious consideration when relocating. But another individual looking to start a family may need something entirely different.

Although most of Florida’s case studies are American-based, I think several of his points are so poignant. All new grads should pick up Who’s your city? especially since a Canadian edition was released earlier this year.

I would also love to hear from you – where are you now? Did you move? Why and how did you end up choosing where you live now? What are some important qualities in a place that you want to live your everyday life in?

About the author

Michelle C. Chan is a recent biological sciences and women's studies graduate from the University of Alberta. She's interested in medicine, specifically pursuing a career within women's health: obstetrics and gynecology. Her academic focuses have included microbiology, women studies, and immunology and infection. She has previous experience with community non-profits, academic research, project management and event planning. You can find her here