A recent article on Quartz by Parag Khanna notes that our developing global economic infrastructure is aligning with mega-city connectors not within nations, per se. "Today cities have become the world’s dominant demographic and economic clusters." The arts rely on artists with the education and creativity to drive their respective sectors and audiences with the time and resources to demand and consume artistic products. Urban areas tend to be the natural hubs of artistic production and the largest producers of traditional artistic content. But is that actually good for the artists and the arts?
"Today the world’s top 20 richest cities have forged a super-circuit driven by capital, talent, and services: they are home to more than 75% of the largest companies, which in turn invest in expanding across those cities and adding more to expand the intercity network." Thus big begets bigger. Yet 2 of the 3 biggest metroplexes in the United States are also fighting for affordability and livability: the New York City corridor and the San Francisco/Silicon Valley corridor.
Ultimately, for the arts, the question becomes -- what are the driving factors for a climate of robust creativity? Scholars have increasingly linked the influx of ideas and through trade within a firm government structure as a unique factor that drove the creative growth of the Renaissance and, later, Elizabethan England. Something more akin to GCP (gross creative product) resulting from a diversity of thought and collisions of differing approaches. On a simple, practical landscape, where can the new artists of tomorrow afford to live and work to create the next generation of ideas? While economic data creates one story of mega-cities, would it look the same with data analysis of the cities with the most robust creative culture.