A report released by the Center for an Urban Future has positioned New York City as the fastest growing tech sector in the country, outpacing Boston to become the U.S.’s Tech Hub (only behind Silicon Valley). Its rapid growth – a 28.7% increase of tech-related jobs in five years and a 32% increase in venture capital deals (compare that to the national average of -11%) – has been attributed to the diversification of its startup tech companies, focused not on creating new technologies, but on providing technological solutions to existing industries. However (as we noted earlier this week in “The Next Silicon Valley(s)“) there is another “key” factor to the city’s burgeoning innovation and entrepreneur scene – the city itself. Read More on how New York City’s Urban lay-out is encouraging its technological boom, after the break.
HP, Apple, Google – they all found their success amongst the peach groves and Suburban houses of California. But why? What is it about Silicon Valley that makes it the site of technological innovation the world over? It’s tempting to assume that the Valley’s success must be, at least in part, due to its design. But how does innovation prosper? What kind of environment does it require? In a recent interview with The Atlantic Cities, Jonah Lehrer, author of Imagine: How Creativity Works, suggests that creativity is sparked from casual exchanges, the mingling of diversity, the constant interaction with the strange and new. In short, and as a recent study corroborates, innovation flourishes in dense metropolises. Seemingly then, Silicon Valley, a sprawl of highways and office parks, has become a hotspot of creativity in spite of its design. But let’s not write off design just yet. As technology makes location more and more irrelevant, many are looking to distill the magic of Silicon Valley and transplant it elsewhere. The key will be to design environments that can recreate the Valley’s culture of collaboration. The future Valleys of the world will be microsystems of creativity that imitate and utilize the structure of the city.