Thursday, March 06, 2008

Is Place Still Relevant?

I’ll admit to being biased because promoting a community’s identity is my job and has been for 35 years. But I regularly receive sermons that communities aren’t relevant anymore.

I don’t worry about the folks doing the preaching; they also have an agenda, and Durham’s identity for some reason is threatening. I worry more about the folks who parrot the comment.

But I have some powerful allies… the futurist John Naisbitt for one, who argued 20 years ago in Global Paradox that the more things become global, the more they will be local. Now Dr. Richard Florida argues in his new book Who’s Your City that “Globalization is not flattening the world; in fact, place is increasingly relevant to the global economy and our individual lives.” He goes so far as to argue that the place in which you choose to live is as important as who you marry.

It doesn’t matter if the outskirts of one community touch another. Or if they share an overlapping laborshed. Communities have unique cultural identities, and in some like Durham, residents are defiantly protective of that identity, regardless of who’s preaching that community is no longer relevant.

No comments: