Blog Master G

Word. And photos, too.

Blog Master G random header image

The Ephemeral City

Tuesday, May 10th, 2005 · No Comments

The ephemeral city / San Francisco has lost its middle class, become a ‘theme park for restaurants,’ and is the playground of the nomadic rich and restless leeches living off them:

San Francisco today represents the ultimate expression of a new kind of urban area — the ephemeral city. This urban form, dominated by the nomadic rich, the restless young and those living off them, has emerged across the advanced industrial world, but perhaps nowhere more clearly and arguably nowhere more successfully than in the city by the bay.

San Francisco is not alone in building an ephemeral economy. Montreal, Berlin, Boston and Portland, Ore., all display signs of constructing an urbanity based on hipness, art and culture. Like San Francisco, these cities attract large numbers of young, educated people with their notable street life, entertainments and nice architecture.

Less reasonable are the attempts of other, less favored cities — places like Detroit, Cleveland, Baltimore, Manchester, Vt., and Oklahoma City , even Aarhus in Denmark — to peg their futures on becoming hip cultural centers. Some, adopting popular development guru Richard Florida’s notions that having lots of gays is key to making your city successful, have decided that they, too, need to get more gay.

Tags: san francisco