Fantastic quote on the relationship between the city and creativity - from David Bowie no less - dug up as part of a chronology of Bowie's 'most productive period' (1974-1980):
PM: You seem to be fascinated by cities like Berlin.
DB: Berlin, because of the friction. I've written songs in all the Western capitals, and I've always got to the stage where there isn't any friction between a city and me. That became nostalgic, vaguely decadent, and I left for another city. At the moment I'm incapable of composing in Los Angeles, New York or in London or Paris. There's something missing. Berlin has the strange ability to make you write only the important things - anything else you don't mention, you remain silent, and write nothing ... and in the end you produce Low.