Even though Richard Florida wrote this book three years after The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It's Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life, he calls it a prequel. He covers the same theme: cities that show openness to people and new ideas thrive as they attract the Creative Class, which in turn creates new markets and cause economic growth.
The foundation of his Creative Capital theory is his 3 Ts of economic growth: tolerance, talent, and technology. For any city to be a thriving Creative Class cluster it needs all three. The Creative Class generates new ideas and products that cause creative centers to thrive. Those include San Francisco, Seattle, Washington D.C., Boston, Denver, and Austin. The cities that are less tolerant of people and new ideas do less well. Examples include Memphis, Cleveland, St. Louis, and Indianapolis.
The author goes into more statistics then in "The Rise of the Creative Class." Unfortunately, they are flawed. He shows many scatter plots with either High Technology or Software workers per million as the dependent variable on the Y axis. He tests those against many independent variables. But, he gets very different results. For instance, when he looks at Environmental Quality vs High Technology (figure 3.4) he gets a random relationship. Meanwhile, Environmental Quality vs Software workers shows a strong relationship. When focusing on Amenities, the reverse is true. Also, his scatter plots are flawed because they select different data. The ones with High Technology have 35 cities. The ones with Software workers have only 27. So, comparisons between the two data sets are invalid. For the one variable (Gay index) that does show strong correlation with both High Technology and Social workers, he may have cherry picked the data as he uses now only 24 cities. Thus, he could have eliminated outliers (11 cities from one data set and 3 from the other) that did not confirm the strong relationship. Later, when he studies the Bohemian Index he uses a different independent variable than the ones he used for the Gay Index rendering the comparison between both indexes moot.
When analyzing the impact of amenities in attracting the Creative Class the statistics and narratives contradict each other. Table 4.2 shows Cultural Amenities with a 0.493 correlation with High Tech. Yet, a similar scatter plot on page 70 shows complete randomness. On page 71, the author states there is no relationship between cultural amenities and the Creative Class, as they strongly prefer outdoor recreational amenities. But, on page 99 he states the opposite: "The results of the correlation analysis support that talented individuals appear to be attracted more by cultural amenities than by recreational amenities or climate." Finally, on page 167 he reverses course again: "The Creative Class prefers active, participatory forms of recreation... these workers enjoy active outdoor sports. " So, which is it?
The single best statistical evidence supporting his Creative Capital Theory is a correlation matrix (fig. 5.2) on page 119 that confirms that the Bohemian Index, Gay Index, Talent, and High Technology are all very highly correlated. Unfortunately, those high correlations are contradicted by a Path Analysis (fig. 4.5) on page 106 with path coefficients that are very small. This raises further confusion.
Semantics are also confusing. The author refers to the Gay Index or the Diversity Index or even the Diversity/Gay Index to refer to the same thing. Why doesn't he stick to just one name?
In the last two chapters, he gives us a lead into his next two books. In chapter 8, he focuses on New York city and the whole East Coast corridor going all the way to Boston. This is the first Meta-Region he focuses on. In chapter 9, he muses about international competition with many cutting edge foreign Meta-Regions (London, Sydney, Tokyo, Vancouver). This will lead to his next book I was not that fond off where he sells the U.S. short, The Flight of the Creative Class: The New Global Competition for Talent. But, ultimately this research will lead to his second outstanding book, Who's Your City?: How the Creative Economy Is Making Where to Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life where he will study the 50 or so leading Meta-Regions of the World that generate most of the World's GDP and new ideas. If only he had just written "The Creative Class" and "Who'se Your City?" his track record would have been impeccable.