Do You Belong in Los Angeles?

Are you who you are because of where you live? Or do you choose the place you live to suit who you are? Follow that?

If you want to figure out if L.A. is really the place you should call home, check out this cool tool called the place finder. Author and professor Richard Florida (his new book, Who’s Your City was reviewed in this week’s L.A. Times), created it to help lost souls find their tribe. Florida argues that:

while improvements in communication technology make global commerce possible, that doesn’t make the world flat. In fact, he says that the newfound freedom to live and work almost anywhere is not only allowing people to select places that best match their personalities and life stages, but it’s also forcing cities to decide what types of residents and businesses they hope to attract.

The stakes are high: Cities able to recruit creative, scientific and entrepreneurial talent with tolerance and beauty (the San Francisco Bay Area, for example) rank as the world’s leading “mega regions,” while those rooted in long-standing traditions and resistant to change (many Rust Belt cities, for instance) tend to decline over time, exporting their best and brightest to New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and other such places.

Not surprisingly, it’s in these mega-regions that homeowners will have the best chance for long-term price appreciation, according to the author…….

Florida has also created a list of “best cities” in various categories, like best cities for young professionals, families, gays & lesbians. San Francisco makes the cut on almost every list, but L.A. makes only one: best cities for young singles.

One key reason the Los Angeles region doesn’t top Florida’s list for families: long commutes from the suburbs. In fact, the author forecasts a gradual decline for suburban areas that can’t compete with revitalizing urban cores.

“It’s not about the price of oil,” he said in an interview, “it’s about the time cost of commuting and meeting people.” The advantage of living closer to people with similar interests, he says, is in tapping personal networks and creating solid neighborhoods with specific personalities close to employment centers.

That’s one you really can’t argue with—I’ve always thought that hardest part of living in L.A. is having to travel to do just about anything, from going to the grocery to hanging out with friends. I took his place finder test and it recommended I think about San Francisco, a city I lived in and loved because you can literally walk out your door and do anything from having a great meal to hiking to a beautiful view. If it only had better weather!