Monday, March 5, 2012

Places Develop People


For talent migration, tolerance doesn't matter. The idea that London is a winner in the vote-with-feet competition because of its cosmopolitan disposition is amusing. No city is immune to parochial attitudes:

But London in 2012, like most other global cities, is in significant flux, much less beholden to sepia-tinged notions of what it used to be and much more a product of its new arrivals. Over the last decade, the foreign-born population reached 2.6 million, just about a third of the city. In addition to longstanding Irish, Indian, Jamaican and Bangladeshi communities, there are now many new immigrants from Nigeria, Slovenia, Ghana, Vietnam and Somalia. I’ve seen Russians fly in on their private jets, and Eastern Europeans breach the city limits in cars filled to the roof with suitcases and potted plants.

The changing population has inspired a certain amount of nativism in the city, sometimes good-natured, sometimes less so. There are those who believe that true Londoners are cockneys, and to be one of those you must be born within earshot of Bow Bells. Or: True Londoners are born within the ring of the M25 motorway. Others think that all it takes to be a Londoner is to have lived here for a great deal of time — at least 70 years, or 52 years, or 8 years, or, in one case, just over a month. “But it was a very good month,” this new Londoner told me, fresh from the north of England. “I’ve totally forgotten Macclesfield.”

Emphasis added. This reality check casts a pall over the slew of welcoming committees designed to increase immigration to shrinking cities. Rolling out the red carpet to any migrant won't do much to enhance talent attraction and boost population. The same is true for expensive urban amenities and transit boondoggles.

read the rest here:

Original Article

People are flocking to crowded and expensive locales. The traffic in Northern Virginia is awful. Yet, here I am. What makes you think that your cheaper and friendlier city with better public transit will change that?

Mark Neville for The New York Times
Revelers at Boujis, an exclusive private club in the wealthy neighborhood South Kensington.

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