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Complexcities: Locational Choices of Creative Knowledge Workers

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Much has been written recently about the importance of quality of place and soft infrastructure in attracting those who work in creative and knowledge-intensive activities to particular city locations. These factors relate both to the look and feel of the city as well as its social and cultural dimensions. Surprisingly, therefore, little empirical research has been undertaken to determine why individuals, rather than firms, make their decisions to locate in specific cities or the extent to which quality of place affects the ability of cities to attract and retain talented individuals. Furthermore, quality of place was conceptualized to measure the competitiveness of US cities, and there is a lack of knowledge about the extent to which soft factors influence the location decisions of individuals in Western European cities, with even less known in relation to Central European cities. Here, we compare the relative importance of selected hard and soft factors on the locational choices of creative and knowledge-intensive workers in Birmingham, UK and Poznan, Poland. We analyse a range of indicators in order to compare quality of place in both cities and how this may affect the ability of these two cities to compete in attracting and retaining the so-called creative class. We then draw conclusions about the role of quality of place for the future competitiveness of post-industrial European cities.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-06-24

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  • Built Environment is published quarterly in March, June, September and December. With an emphasis on crossing disciplinary boundaries and providing global perspective, each issue focuses on a single subject of contemporary interest to practitioners, academics and students working in a wide range of disciplines. Issues are guest-edited by established international experts who not only commission contributions, but also oversee the peer-reviewing process in collaboration with the Editors.

    Subject areas include: architecture; conservation; economic development; environmental planning; health; housing; regeneration; social issues; spatial planning; sustainability; urban design; and transport. All issues include reviews of recent publications.

    The journal is abstracted in Geo Abstracts, Sage Urban Studies Abstracts, and Journal of Planning Literature, and is indexed in the Avery Index to Architectural Publications.

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