Der Spiegel interviews urban researcher Charles Landry about how cities can harness their creative classes and stay competitive in the global market.
"Charles Landry, 58, is considered one of the world's leading urban researchers and is the author of 'The Creative City.' He talks to SPIEGEL about how cities can harness their inhabitants' skills so they show up on the international radar."
"SPIEGEL: What in particular do city officials have to take into account, and what should they focus on?
Landry: First, they must be conscious of the international competitive situation dictated by globalization. As industries migrate toward the Far East, the future of many Western cities will no longer lie in manufacturing products but ideas and patents. Young, mobile elites can choose where they want to live, and they can easily move, which means that cities are involved in a heated competition for the best people. Only the most attractive cities can benefit from this development.
SPIEGEL: But some cities just happen to be more attractive than others, perhaps because they're on the coast or in the mountains, or their history creates a certain atmosphere.
Landry: That's true, of course. Some remain great cities, but they shouldn't stand still. They should move in the direction of a knowledge-oriented society. Most cities have to do something to draw attention to themselves and make their particular assets visible on the international radar. I'm not talking about developing countries, but about the United States and Europe."