Capital Culture Capitols
Throughout time, cities have acted as centers of commerce, culture, and creativity. Out of need, for work, for shelter, or for safety, people flock to cities and bring with them a rich diversity of thought and way-of-life. When ancient Greeks left the countryside for cities like Thebes, Athens, and Sparta, those city-states produced some of the best art, writing, and democratic thought ever recorded. Cities like Paris and London began growing in population in the early 1500s and haven’t stopped since. From that growth and diversity has come some of the finest art, literature, fashion, and thought in our world.
Cities grow as their resources allow, and in many ways its people are a city’s greatest resource. In cities innovation springs not only from the individual, but from the collaborative efforts encouraged by proximity in place and purpose. Though people, or their parents, may hail from opposite sides of the world, in cities they find that those differences in background serve to benefit any number of common causes found within its limits. Today, a number of United States cities are growing with greater fervor and purpose than others, providing the same platform for collaborative creativity and innovation seen through history. Here are four of America’s fastest growing culture capitols:
Boise isn’t exactly known for its culture or diversity. As the city continues to emerge as a burgeoning tech capital, that may change sooner than expected. Home to companies like HP, Micron, and Kickstand, Boise is rapidly growing in both economics and population. While Boise’s picturesque surroundings are partly to blame for the recent increase in population, more influential is the ‘tech exodus’ from expensive cities like Seattle and San Francisco coupled with Boise’s fertile, blossoming tech industry. Forbes listed Boise as the fastest growing city in the United States, and the city shows no sign of slowing down.
San Antonio is just plain beautiful. Its aesthetic majesty and history have long made it a tourist destination, but San Antonio has pushed beyond its traditional industry. Fueled in large part by its proximity to the Eagle Ford Shale, San Antonio is flush with oil and natural gas. More than an energy economy, the river gem is home to strong Aerotech, IT, Finance and Education industries. Paired with rich cultural diversity and blossoming culinary and craft beer scene, this strong, balanced economy is attracting newcomers in flocks. After hosting this year’s NCAA Final Four, San Antonio glows brighter and continues to add residents at a feverish clip.
Raleigh sits in the heart of the research triangle, an area of the Piedmont in North Carolina defined by the presence of North Carolina State, North Carolina, and Duke University. As such, it’s one of America’s most technologically advanced cities. Coupled with a large IT presence (Cisco, IBM) and a strong aerotech industry, Raleigh has been a city on the rise for some time. Things were on the rise until last year’s HB2 fiasco cost the state a PayPal facility, NCAA hosting privileges, a Ringo Starr concert, and an estimated $300M-$3B in business and tourism. The city has bounced back strong, playing host to NCAA Golf and Baseball end of season tournaments and watching a steady rise in tourism and outside business. With its academic and tech-savvy culture, Raleigh will continue to climb.
Last but not least, our home city of Houston was in the news, and underwater, for much of 2017. That didn’t stop this bayou gem from hosting a Super Bowl, winning a World Series, and growing by about 100,000 people. Houston has long prospered as a center of industry, home to the world’s largest medical center and a massive oil and gas industry. The Texas jewel also boasts booming tech entrepreneurial communities and will soon be home to the world’s largest startup incubator. America is known as the great melting pot, and Houston holds the crown as the United States’ most diverse city. Fusions like Viet-cajun food and music from bands like Khruangbin reflect the thriving cultural collaboration at work in the city. Its industry and diversity make Houston a hotspot for commerce and culture, and people are flocking here in droves to take part.