The writer and urbanist Joel Kotkin has a fascinating piece in a recent Newsweek called “The Great Great Plains,” which looks at the way cities like Fargo and Bismarck — as well as most of Texas — are booming while much of the rest of the country languishes in a dead economy.
It got us here at the Misread City wondering: What are Omaha and Dallas doing right that Los Angeles and other West Coast cities are doing wrong? And why can’t the great state of California keep up with… North Dakota?
I’m a longtime admirer of the work of Kotkin, whose latest book is The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050. I spoke to him for a New York Times piece about bohemia and the recession, and while I suspect his politics and mine are not always congruent, he’s a formidable thinker and reporter. We’re happy to have him in a Misread City Q+A.
LA has the most diverse economy but needs to keep its traditional linchpins (manufacturing, trade and entertainment) going. Right now hard to see how this happens until there is a major political change.