City life breeds the ideas that are essential to economic success. Economists are late to the party, but now working hard to incorporate the insights of Jane Jacobs. Here and here are some of the examples of recent progress by urban economists.
Some very smart people are making progress towards a better understanding of how economic growth, human capital, innovation, agglomeration, location and urban structure interact.
Richard Florida has also taken a crack at the problem. But his critics (notably Joel Kotkin) chide him for his focus on a "creative class" that is seemingly defined in terms of just the "hip, cool, single, culture-oriented". Some of my best friends are pretty creative, but not at all hip, cool, single, etc.
Now comes this via Pierre Desrochers. There are predictable criticisms and there are less predictable criticisms. But who among us is so skilled (or so lucky) that he is attacked from, both, the right and the left? Florida's star is still rising.