Opportunity knocks

By Sean Hua

One of the prime benefits of living in a city is the dense concentration of human capital. Among others are the economies of scale associated with larger populations, and the increased density facilitating easier service provision.

All that comes from a governance perspective. Not as widely considered however, is the intense amount of competition for ideas and attention for “the next big thing”. Untapped potential may always remain so if an opportunity to display talent isn’t there.

For this reason, architecture firm De Leon and Primmer Architecture Workshop relocated to a second-tier city to practice. The decision was business-based, but their presence is taking advantage of, and contributing to, the transition of a city from industry to a service economy.
The firm benefits from greater freedom to express themselves, easier access to influential people, and very likely a lower cost of living. To the city, the resultant new architecture will be an attractive selling point especially if it’s from locally-based. It speaks of aspiration: we have talent, and we can be great with it.

With fresh, skilled graduates making their way into smaller cities for the very same reasons this architecture firm did, aspiration could be the key for a new wave of city and economic development from the second-tier.

We may be on the cusp of urbanisation unlike what we've seen before: the brain drain and the best urban laboratories may no longer be the biggest and brightest cities, but rather the smaller, quieter ones with room to grow in a manner of its own choosing.

Read more here: http://www.citylab.com/design/2015/01/why-architects-and-second-tier-cities-need-each-other/384770/


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