How to choose where to live, to rise your creativity

23 July 2008

Around 2003 I read an interesting book about creative class and how locations can influence a good quality of living based on the right amount of creative people living in a specific area.

The concept of the theory is easy: the economy developments depend on the human knowledge of the people that live in that specific city, and this is strictly related on the number of creative people that live inside that city.
It happens specifically when some factors that improve the quality of life are in the city: investment in techonology; culture that push to develop creativity; people open minded to diversity and to the new because is more tollerant; society that value the already exitent resources.

So when I decided to move away from England in May 2008 (because I started to feel uncomfortable with their society and rhytm of life) instinctively I chose a country that was more open minded, more multicultural, warmer (climate and people) and creative. That country for me was Spain.
Thinking at the time of that decision, I didn't wait more than one day to put wheels in motion to move away. Between all the city of Spain, Barcelona for me was the only one, and casually I anlaysed the same factors that the book was talking about.

The book is called "the rise of the creative class" of Richard Florida, and I found that he wrote more about his theory. One in particular attract my attention "Who's Your City?", and It was pretty clear to me what it was about.
Before look at his new book, I tried to search at the old one. So I took the book out from some abandoned boxes in Italy, and I removed dust, and started to read again some book's chapters.
He said that immigrants and gays where some of the big factors in the growth of creative cities, because they carry with them a different way to think and to approach to live. In Spain gay marriage is legalised since 2005, and with the big amount of travellers in Barcelona immigration is sure a constant. Considering that spanish is one of the most spoken languages in the world this will push a great melting pot of cultures all it sounded as the perfect place to live.

Even so I had my worries, the spanish language catch the attention of a particular segment of people of not high developed country such as South America.
Landing on Spain and looking at cities like Barcelona and Madrid or villages like Cadaqués and Figures did have a really good impression, I could see that advertising, and graphic appearance of the surrounding wasn't as impregnated of quality as it is in England.
I couldn't even find a proper magazine about web or graphic design.
Luckily this meant that when something is missing it could lead to new opportunity in that sector. I see the economy in Spain being better than Italy, and with the big immigration of rich people from England, Belgium and Germany, money keep moving in. Should I consider moving maybe in Gibraltar? Only if I am interested to do some gamble :)

After these thoughts I looked around at his website and I read a bit of his excerpts and I even found a very long and interesting speech at GoogleTalk
It was clear that it was a wise choice have a look at it. I had a new way to look at the world and society.
What are the biggest decisions of all in our lives? What you want to do (your job), with whom you want spent your time (your partner) and where do you want to live (location). Even so, it was pretty clear that the location define directly what are you aspiration for what kind of job, and even what kind of partner mentality you would find. So at the end location IS the real fundamental factor.

During this globalization era, jobs are becoming even more specific to do in particular cities, for example if you want work in fashion in Italy your only location is Milan, same thing if in America you want to work in entertainment or filmmaking business you must be in Los Angeles for Hollywood, other ways you just need to give up immediately on any aspiration of career.

So now I need to find not only the book, but analyse for a web/graphic designer like me where I can find the best place to carry on my job. I am sure that Barcelona it will be a really interesting place to live and growth. Learning a new language and culture are always a big buzz for me. Luckily I know where it is the biggest survey ever made about web design business worldwide
Results speak clearly, America and England.

The majority of the business it seems to be in the north east America where there are New York, Philadelphia and Boston, instead in England it's clearly London.

If in Barcelona anything will not go so well for me, New York or London they'll wait for me, other ways I can always run to Japan or Australia :)

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