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Austin’s Economic Future: The Intersection of Innovation, Creativity and Quality of Life

October 17, 200517 October 2005

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Any report that recommends to keep a community “weird” is at least worth a glance. This report on economic development in Austin, Texas – the self-proclaimed “Live Music Capital of the World” –embraces culture as an economic engine. Indeed, the report argues that entertainment and performing arts are one of Austin’s fundamental assets. The report uses Richard Florida’s model for examining the creative component in the local labour force to show that Austin has a vital cultural life that contributes to the community’s quality of life (see Florida’s book The Rise of the Creative Class). Of course, having Dell computers located in your community can’t hurt your standing in Florida’s broad definition of the creative class. Still, with significant cultural offerings, it may be true that “Austin is blessed with an unusual interrelationship between creativity, innovation, and quality of life”. This report recommends that the city do more to recognize and support the cultural sector.

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