Two of America's cities are considered to be on top when it comes to their economies. L.A. is beaming with culture and entertainment while San Francisco is a leading place for startups and new technology-related companies. However, in terms of key metrics for economic development, San Francisco has shown to be performing better than L.A., especially in the past decades.
The Rise and Fall of Urban Economies, a book authored by economic geographer Michael Storper, Thomas Kemeny, Naji P. Makarem, and Taner Osman, talks about how these two cities performed and why one has outperformed the other.
The authors "examine several key factors that shaped the different growth trajectories of these two cities and metro areas and what that means for their ongoing development," Richard Florida wrote.
According to Storper, one of the factors that led San Francisco to perform better than L.A. is the industrial differences. "The Bay Area captured key New Economy industries such as information technology and biotechnology, and greater L.A. did not."
Another factor is the leadership structures.
"What L.A. lacked as the New Economy came into being was the interconnections between different groups that would have allowed it to transform its pre-existing skills and organizations into New Economy industries.... In the Bay Area, different technology communities came together and transformed the pre-existing communications industry (also Pentagon-oriented) into the user-friendly IT industry of tomorrow."
The author further noted that in order to keep its status or earn achieve a better one, these key cities have to move forward. For the Bay Area, has to continue with its technological ventures. On the other hand, L.A. has to do steps that would make it a "more integrated and inter-connected region," both in terms of transportation and human networks.