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In the wake of the success of Richard Florida in particular, concepts such as the “creative class” and “quality of place” have become growing topics of debate in urban economics and urban geography. Originally developed to assess the competitiveness of U.S. cities, quality of place was applied to a group of European countries. However, analyses of quality of place at the national level can produce only an indicative picture. The objective of this article is therefore to gain a more detailed insight into the meaning and applicability of quality of place in a context different from the one in which Florida developed his ideas. First, it focuses on what quality of place actually entails, how far it can be measured in various contexts, and the main criticisms that can be leveled against Florida's ideas. Second, it draws a comparison between competitiveness and quality of place in the two largest cities in the Netherlands, Amsterdam and Rotterdam, and discusses some of the main complications that arise from the analysis.
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Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

Publication date: 2007-12-01

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