Article | March 21, 2022

Unraveling the Silicon Valley Consensus

The Silicon Valley consensus is that innovative cities grow faster than non-innovative ones: it’s an idea that has motivated billions of dollars in new economic development investments. However, there’s only scant evidence that cities can become the next Silicon Valley—or that becoming the next Silicon Valley would even be desirable. The consensus has suggested that struggling cities should look west if they wish to rise. It would be more promising for cities to look in all directions—and perhaps in the mirror—for lessons on how to grow.