(KTVI)-Two hundred fifty years ago this weekend, Auguste Chouteau, just 14 years old, hopped out of a flat-bottomed skiff, notched two trees with an axe, and in an example of what one author called “rogue colonialism” founded St. Louis.
St. Louis grew and then shrank. St. Louisans, always with an eye to the past, are often nostalgic for the river-trading, metal-bending past when St. Louis was America’s fourth largest city and when the Catholic church anointed St. Louis the “Rome of the West”. But the worst of the past, white flight, abandoned buildings, national reputation for crime, has a flip side for the future. All of that means, St. Louis is relatively inexpensive. And in the world of technology start-ups and entrepreneurial businesses, that cost is very important.
Other cities have priced out the struggling start-up. A studio apartment in San Francisco can go for $3,000 a month. Apartments in New York sell for millions. Booming cities are priced for the rich. And expensive cities are killing creativity.
Charles sits down with the author of an online essay on Al Jazeera English’s website titled just that, “Expensive cities are killing creativity”. Sarah Kendzior is an author and blogger. She holds a PhD from Washington University and is an internationally known expert on central Asian dictatorships. She also writes about what she calls “the prestige economy” and how it takes care of elites at the expense of the rest of us. St. Louis Magazine listed her as one of St. Louis’ most inspirational people under 35.