We've covered a lot of ground in this course. We began with the question- why do cities matter? And we talked about how cities basically are humankind's greatest creation. There are innovation and economic engines. They are the centers of social progress, of diversity, of tolerance. In the second section of the course, we went on to talk about the rise of a world of cities, and the fact that the majority of people live in cities. And more than 8 billion of us will live in cities over the course of the next century, as many as three quarters or maybe 85 percent of all the people around the world. We talked about the rise of the creative cities, driven by human knowledge, by human talent, by people, by us. We talked about that shift from the older industrial city, shaped by large ports, harbors and industrial factories and companies, to a city really where this human component, where the diversity of people, where the tapping-in and harnessing of human creativity matter. We talked about the new urban crisis. Who would have predicted 10 or 20 years ago, that our cities would become more divided and more segregated? That the old pattern of poor city surrounded by rich suburb would not only be inverted. But we'd see our whole metropolitan areas carved into limited areas of concentrated advantage surrounded by areas of concentrated poverty and disadvantage. I think you realized that choosing a place to live is really important. And, one of the things I've really built my life's work about, is not just trying to understand why cities matter or why urbanization is important, I thought it was really key to give you all some tools to help you make the choice of the best city or best community for you. So after I wrote Rise of The Creative Class and actually the follow on book The Flight of The Creative Class, trying to tackle this issue of inequality, I really wanted to put my mind to developing a book and a tool which could help you choose the right place for you. One of the things that stimulated me was, I was trying to make my own location choice. I've lived in Pittsburgh for 20 years and I love Pittsburgh, but I was beginning to think after 20 years, maybe there was another place for me. So what I did is I took out a notebook, took out a piece of paper like this, and I started sketching, you know, what the kind of place for me would be. And to be honest, I can show you what I did. I drew a matrix like this on a piece of paper, and I put some city names: Toronto, New York City, Los Angeles - I could go down - and across the top I put some characteristics of cities: Did they have good opportunities for me? Was there a great university? Did they have diversity? What was the weather and climate like? All of this. And I made that tool very crudely. It's very interesting. I thought New York would be my top choice. I'm from the New York area. Actually it was high but it wasn't my top choice. My two top choices were Washington D.C. and Toronto. They were the next two cities I moved to. I moved to Washington D.C. for several years, and then I moved to Toronto, and that wasn't by plan...that was just sort of by luck. I thought L.A. would fall off, the chart but L.A. actually came up quite high, probably because I'm outdoorsy and I'm a cyclist, but it helped me understand better the kind of city that would most fit me. The other thing that's important is that we change as we go through our life. So when we're young, we may want certain things in a community which change as we get older. When we're young, we might want to live in a very exciting, urban neighborhood. We don't have a family. We want to go out at night. We want to go to bars and clubs and restaurants. We don't want to have to drive. We want to be in where the action is. Well, as we get older, and I talk about three big moves, the first move coming you know when we begin to leave school and embark on our career- typically after college or graduate school. The next move happens, you know people say when you get married, but it's not when you get married or have a partner. It's when kids are of school age. And of course, virtually every parent wants what's best for their kids. So the point then comes from where are the schools and where is the community that is going to be the most family friendly. In the old days that move meant moving from a city in the United States to a suburb because the schools in the cities weren't great. There was more crime and violence. You know, when I adapted this book, and this is the Canadian edition for Canada, I actually had to create a new category of a city which I consider Toronto, I called it an urban family land. Different than the United States, where many people had to leave the city, but an urban family land like Toronto, where it's easy and safe and quite normal for people, affluent people, middle class people, and less advantaged people to raise families in the cities. And the third big move happening when kids leave the nest, where kids go off on their own and when you're an empty nester and you can choose where to live. And what we found there is that many empty nesters who may have moved to the suburbs, the big house, want to downsize. And many of those empty nesters are then coming back to the city and living in, well maybe not the same neighborhood where noisy or young people are, but they are living in a city, and maybe a quieter part of the city where they want to be. If you're really thinking about moving, so many of us just go on a whim. You know how many times I heard this: "I've got a boyfriend or a girlfriend and I moved there.", "Oh, I got a great job offer there and it was great and I decided to.", "Oh, I wanted to go someplace new and I went." The one thing I say in this book is you need to test drive that place. So go find a friend, find a rental apartment, go stay in a hotel, but go there and try it. You know, we do this - we go to job interviews, we go on dates, we actually test-drive our partners so to speak. People just up and move. It's the most expensive decision we'll make, to rip ourselves out of the place we live in to get a new place. So the one thing I talk about is please, do yourself a favor and go live in that city, test-drive that city, rent a place on the short term and see if you like it. Because one thing we know is that moving really suffers from this grass is greener effect. Go there, do your research, do your homework and test-drive the place to make sure, really and truly, it's the place that fits you best. Cities have been my life's passion, my life's work, and my life's mission - to create an awareness of cities, to create a media that talks about cities, to create advice that helps you pick the community. We have to build an awareness of cities. That's what this course is about for you. Just like business is something you're aware of, and economic opportunity is something you're aware of, and a political election is something you're aware of, and sex and biology and mating is something you're aware of...how many of us really think long and hard about the places we live and work? If cities are our key economic organizing unit, if cities and communities are the places that move us forward economically, allow us to get ahead, allow us to raise our families, allow us to find our partners, allow us to find good schools for our kids, allow us to age in place, then this category of life - along with business and politics and foreign policy and entertainment and lifestyle are really critical. So that's what this course is about. And that's what your focus needs to be, and that's why I think this is so important and I wanted to make this for you. It's to give you the wide understanding and the big picture, but to give you a few of the tools and the levers that enable you to think about cities and communities in a new way, and enable you to think strategically - to pick the place, or cities, or communities that is best for you over the course of your entire life.