The “BOHO Creativity Index”:
What a ridiculous peice of newspaper fluff. Its slapdash methodology trivialises the work of Richard Florida, and demeans the good name of DEMOS. It’s the logical conclusion of forgetting that Florida’s work mostly works with measures of “correlation”; which don’t necessarily imply “causation”.

What would a serious ‘creativity index’ for British cities measure? I’d suggest things like: Number of graduates with 2:1’s and 1st’s in the arts, media and science produced in a city each year. Number of creative industries start-ups per year. Number of independent galleries and art cinemas. Number of ‘cultural tourists’ per year. Number of local bands signed to recognised labels in the previous three years. Affordability and number of studio/living spaces. Likelihood of getting a brick lobbed at you for ‘looking different’. House prices set against an average artist’s earnings. Maybe even the number of weblogs in relation to the population!

Even then, such a survey would be skewed by the antique boundaries that were set around towns and cities decades or even hundreds of years ago; such as the conceit that Solihull and West Bromwich don’t effectively form part of Birmingham. Or that Leamington Spa and Warwick are two towns, despite having long since blended into one conurbation. Or that Stoke-on-Trent has nothing to do with Newcastle-under-Lyme. In the USA a city is a clearly defined and measurable city, surrounded by a lot of empty space. In England they’re crammed in and squashed up against all sorts of neighbours; better to take a fifteen miles and/or “25-minutes travelling time” radius from the city centre, and call that ‘the city’.