Improvements in transportation and communication costs made it cost-effective to manufacture in low-cost areas, which led to the decline of older industrial cities like Detroit. But those same changes also increased the returns to innovation, and the free flow of ideas in cities make them natural hubs of innovation. Since the death of distance increased the scope for new innovation, idea-intensive innovating cities were helped by the same forces that hurt goods-producing cities.
Humanity is a social species and our greatest gift is our ability to learn from one another. Cities thrive by enabling that learning, and they have become only more important as knowledge has become more valuable. Understanding what makes cities work is more important than ever.
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