Thursday, April 9, 2015

Urbanism: Is New York City Massively Overrated?

(Drivebycuriosity) - "New York City is massively overrated", claims Peter Thiel (marginalrevolution). The famous investor and godfather of Facebook, PayPal and other technology companies asserts that New York`s importance and growth are based on finance & globalization. Thiel believes "that 2007 was not just the peak year of the finance boom, but also the peak year of globalization, like maybe 1913". That is quite nonsense.

It seems that Thiel is too much obsessed with what´s going on in Silicon Valley so he doesn´t notice what happens outside of his small world. Finance has been growing for centuries and will continue to advance for many years to com. Banking, stocks, loans and other financial issues are part of the whole economy and are interconnected with it, like muscles are affixed with the skeleton bones. As long as the global economy grows it will need more finance. And New York City will stay one of the most important centers of the expanding finance world because there is a lot of infrastructure & knowledge accumulated.

                             Universe Of Culture & Entertainment

Thiel´s claim that globalization has peaked is absurd. China for instance is still growing around 7% annually, India`s economic growth is catching up, many other countries are also advancing and Europe is recovering. I assume that the continuing or reviving economic growth of the important economic regions of the earth will continue fueling international trade, finance and globalization.

And New York City is not just a global center of finance & trade. The metropolis also is a hub of innovation, art and culture and a magnet of tourism, fashion, media and other industries. Megacities like New York give you ubiquitous choices.  They are universes of culture & entertainment. I believe that the huge selection raises the quality of life making the place more attractive. It increases the chance to find exactly what you want and makes your life more entertaining. New York city is home to some of the most important museums, opera houses, theaters, art galleries and owns a massive culturural infrastructure which is gaining importance in an increasingly sophisticated world. And don´t forget the myriads of nightclubs, cafes, bars, cinemas and other leisure places. New York City gives you a multiplicity of options which you won`t find in Silicon Valley.

Woody Allen praised - in the begin on his movie "Manhattan"- the "hustle bustle of the crowds and the traffic" and claimed that "New York meant beautiful women". Once I talked in a New York bar with an Mexican who told me that he comes frequently to Manattan because of the girls. He praised their variety: mango, vanilla, chocolade and more. 

 I assume New York City will continue to grow and gain more importance in a world which is more and more interconnected. Maybe Peter Thiel is massively overrated.

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