Indexed

Humans love putting things into lists and ranks. Psychologists have identified what they call a ‘top-10 effect’; an elite grouping where in one’s mind the jump from 9th to 10th is slight, but the jump from 10th to 11th is a chasm. Our interest in such rankings has led to the creation of many interesting (but perhaps unscientific) scorings, including various quality of life indices. Richard Florida’s assessment in 2002 that bohemian attitudes were correlated with human capital and tech-industry concentrations led for instance to the formation of the Boho Index. This typically positioned LA and New York at the top of the rankings. A modern incarnation, promoted this year by MoveHub, is ‘The Hipster Index’. The index is created around 5 data points: the number of vegan eateries, coffee shops, tattoo studios, vintage boutiques and record stores per 100,000 city residents. Beating the likes of Seattle, Portland, and Miami to the top of the global list of places you definitely don’t want to go if this sounds like a modern version of plaid-clad Purgatory, is our very own Brighton and Hove. Regardless of one’s social perspective, the ‘Flat White Economy’ has unarguably been responsible for the regeneration of swathes of our big cities, albeit not always to the benefit of their former residents. If it proves possible to identify the cultural markers of the next tribe of affluent youth, then these might serve as powerful lead indicators for future regeneration.