Summary of Future Cities

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New York, London and Paris are thriving cities that owe their reputations as much to their cultural output as to their financial sectors and corporate headquarters. But what about the planet’s striving second-tier cities? Can they ride the arts to fame and fortune, too? The Economist Intelligence Unit examines that topic in this engaging overview that singles out five metropolises – Austin, Berlin, Mexico City, Mumbai and Seoul – to highlight how the creative fields have affected their economies as well as their quality of life. Because of its brevity, the report glosses over urban challenges such as pollution, traffic and crime, but getAbstract suggests it to policy makers and urban planners for its insights into what makes urban centers flourish.

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The Economist Intelligence Unit is an independent research and analysis organization.



The world’s cities are vying for jobs and prestige, and the arts can play a major part in urban economic development. Five thriving cities – Austin, Berlin, Mexico City, Mumbai and Seoul – offer case studies in how to weave creativity into economies. Austin provides the backdrop for the US television music series “Austin City Limits,” which has been on the air since 1974. In the 1980s, Austin used incentives to land two major tech manufacturing hubs, and in 1987 the South by Southwest (SXSW) arts and technology festival launched; in 2014, SXSW added $315 million to the...

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