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Dallas, You're an "Opportunity City"

Urban trends expert Joel Kotkin thinks Dallas has it going on. Houston too. And Atlanta. Charlotte also. But, still, Dallas, you're awesome.

You may have seen this story from the Dallas Business Journal on Wednesday, in which it says a new study shows that "Dallas, along with Houston, Phoenix, Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C., offer America's most compelling model for urban greatness." Only there's no link, far as I can tell, to the actual study itself -- a pretty fascinating read from Los Angeles-based global trend temperature-taker Joel Kotkin, the author of The City: A Global History, which documents, like, 10,000 years' worth of trends in urban living (or whatever they called it in Sumeria, which was rechristened Uptown 'bout 10 years ago).

The study -- Opportunity Urbanism: An Emerging Paradigm for the 21st Century -- was presented Tuesday at a Greater Houston Partnership luncheon. It's a great read (so far, only a few pages into its 43 packed pages), and it runs $30. In it, Kotkin and his colleagues refer to Dallas and Phoenix and Houston and a handful of other towns as "opportunity cities," as in:

We believe that “opportunity cities” represent the predominant model for America’s urban future, including for some of the more hard-pressed older, industrial cities. Because of widening differences in housing and other costs, there has been a decisive demographic tilt towards cities such as Phoenix, Dallas, Atlanta, Charlotte, and Houston. In a perhaps less-understood phenomenon, these cities are also showing marked gains in attracting high-wage employers and educated migrants, including members of the ballyhooed “creative class.” These are, of course, the very jobs and workers that are widely thought to be concentrating in more elite places.

You wanna keep reading? You can get the study for free from Kotkin's Web site, right here. --Robert Wilonsky

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