There’s something going on in the world today about cities being the be all and end all of human existence. Yes metropolis’s (metropli ?!!) will grow ever more but you have to be worried that the “creative classes” capture the whole story for their own benefit and supplant other narratives from rural poor to urban working class. Richard Florida highlights the dynamics in his book the Rise of the creative Class A great read and a positive story line around which a whole industry has arisen. The other day Richard Florida tweeted that: @richard_florida 18% of people in mega-regions account for 2/3 of global economic activity. With 140 characters it is admittedly a little difficult to expand on this statement but to leave it hanging there as some wholly obvious and accepted truth is naughty to say the least! Does that statistic make it right? Where is the political analysis that somehow is seeming to suggest that because this is the case it should be continued, encouraged etc.? I am concerned that the educated urban elite capture the lions share of this debate (as ever?) and there is no counterpoint.
A prime example is today’s tweet from: @UKTIAustralia: Experience the UK Pavilion at #Expo2010 in #Shanghai – a dramatic demonstration of UK creativity: http://ht.ly/1N5tS Again the creatives present the storyline with a narrative of greening of the cities as if somehow the rural environment is secondary or even non-existent to the dynamism of urban life. Marvellous to see that Kew Millenium Seed Bank is part of this grand design by Thomas Heatherwick at the Shanghai World Expo but we should not forget that the seed bank is actually situated in the countryside at Wakehurst Place, Sussex. No mention of that in this piece. This is the old old story of class interests appearing again on the radar of daily life, whether it be in Bangkok, Dorset or at media debates such as the Frontline Club @malbonster Second panellist at this event – OUT OF TWO SO FAR – declines to answer a question because it’s confidential As ever – gather “stuff” and maybe share or share “stuff” and working together for the great good? It’s popping up all over the place and no one has it tied now anymore. Interesting times to say the very least.