Kotkin: Back to Basics

December 7, 2009

I have been organizing all my notes and material, and I have found the very first notes. That was from my first day as  a PhD student when I went to a presentation of Joel Kotkin. As I explain it was partly done as a presentation to try to neutralize the influence of Richard Florida and the creative class theories, in the Danish local planning and economic development.  It was a good start for me.

Looking at the notes I google some of his words, and got it.

The decline of cities and regions come from:

  • Inability to absorb newcomers
  • Lack of upward mobility
  • Inattention to basic infrastructure
  • Lack of shared common culture
  • Decline of Family

Here is the link of his presentation (Back To Basics: A Return to the Essentials of Urban Growth)

This five points, according to Kotkin, are interesting. I agree to some extent with them. Regarding the first one, I wrote a paper for a PhD course in Economic Geography, and my conclussion was basically the same. Although I don’t think I was remembering him. Concerning the other points, I think he basically cut and pasted the conclussions from the U.S. and put it in Denmark. I already said that in the post in April 2008, though. But, anyways I find it interesting his thesis. I found a more updated presentation, from Sept. 2009. After the Bubble: Back to Basics. Coping with Hard TimesBack. I think the title is very appropriate, as I look back at my basic notes.
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2 Responses to “Kotkin: Back to Basics”


  1. Interesting posting. Regarding your point about attention to infrastructure, I came across http://www.fixmystreet.com/. What I like about the technology is that every person, who wants to, can participate in city development.

  2. Jason Says:

    You need to look at silicon valley and the decline of the family.


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