Friday, September 30, 2005

Philadelphia, The Next Great City

National Geographic Explorer calls Philly "The Next Great City." They obviously didn't finish that sentence; it should have finished up with " Get Yourself Killed In." I've done the Philly thing. I ain't impressed. Explorer has this to say:
Moreover, says urban planner Richard Florida, who wrote The Rise of the Creative Class, Philadelphia is showing itself to be an "open city," a term that separates America's urban dynamos like San Francisco and Miami from struggling cities like Cleveland and St. Louis. "Open cities welcome people—singles, gays, artists and individuals," he says. "They have excitement and a sense of creative energy."
A "Great City" is not made by homosexuals and free spirits alone. This is still a rather decayed city. Some of the suburbs have some good things going for them, and I'd agree that maybe Philly is undergoing a bit of a reanaissance. Great city? Not by a long shot. Booming economic growth often has as much to do with "Great City" status as being an open city. I'm not sure what makes Philly's economy so unique right now that it can reach that "Great" level. And those "Great" cities they mention were pretty clean, with lower crime rate, and shiny infrastructure (or at least shiny by Cleveland and St. Louis standards). Again, that isn't really Philly. At least not the Philly I grew to kind of know and generally loathe.

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