Thursday, June 30, 2011

Gays, creatives and densities

I found this at Marginal Revolution.  It includes a list of metro areas with the highest concentrations of gay coupples.  It also includes the following comment by Richard Florida:

The densest concentrations of such families are not necessarily in the places where you'd expect to find them. Especially surprising are the metros that don't make the cut -- like San Francisco and New York.
The mantra had been that (1) Gays tend to be prominent among the Creative Class; (2) Creative Class people go to the densest places: and (3) It is sufficient to estimate the densities of where the gays and/or creatives live or work by considering the metro area average density.  At least #2 and #3 are put in doubt by Florida's post.

Gay marriage supporters argued that gays are just like everyone else.  Why not leave it at that?  Why double back and buy into some stereoptype of the extra cool and hip.  And why take the next leap that the extra cool are the extraordinarily creative.  I imagine that some are and some are not. 
Many local governments clamor for a simple and magic formula for revitalization and prosperity.  Florida's approach caters to that.  But we know that knowledge is dispersed and highly specialized and we can guess that creativity is too.  It is much more dispersed than Florida's simple association with gayness suggests.