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The coronavirus has run rampant around the world’s cities, bringing them to a complete standstill. The joys of city life have been upturned as restaurants, theaters, and workplaces have all become potential vectors for transmission of the virus.
This week’s episode looks at how cities could be transformed by the pandemic. Will urban residents flee to the suburbs, or will cities persist as they have through past epidemics? Do the world’s metropolises have a rare opportunity to reinvent themselves for a more equitable, sustainable future?
The dominant narrative in America today is that urban and rural face divergent futures. The belief that technology is driving urban prosperity and rural decline shapes this view. This perceived divide is also reflected in popular assumptions about the COVID- 19 pandemic as web searches for homes in rural communities have spiked, ostensibly driven by individuals seeking to flee the dangers of density.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought some of the world’s wealthiest global cities to their knees. In the current epicentre, New York, roughly one-fifth of all residents are infected and more than 20,000 have died. London has reported more than 55,000 cases and 6,000 fatalities. Yet the spread and impacts of the disease are an even greater threat to poorer cities and slums in developing countries.
It’s a calculated effort balancing the need to protect public health and the demand for economic activity. How long and lasting will this new normal be? It may be a balance between infection rates and unemployment rates — between epidemiology and economics.
Having ravaged some of the world’s wealthiest cities, the coronavirus pandemic is now spreading into the megacities of developing countries. Sprawling urban areas in Brazil, Nigeria and Bangladesh are all seeing COVID-19 infections rise rapidly.
For students attending a college or university in a city, the combination of the two can offer numerous benefits. For some, that might involve close proximity to a thriving artistic scene; for others, being near potential work opportunities might be appealing. But with COVID-19 temporarily closing campuses and pushing coursework into the remote learning realm, that’s led to a substantial change in this balance. And given that no one really knows when things will be back to something approaching normal, it’s worth considering that the future might hold for institutions of higher learning within cities.
History has unfolded in waves of profound depths followed by the relief of buoyant times, only for the depths to return with unsentimental speed. The French Revolution and the Reign of Terror gave way to Paris’ jolly Incroyables and Merveilleuses, young men and women who dressed ostentatiously and had a cathartic frolic — for about four years until Napoleon took power. After World War I and the pandemic Spanish Flu, the Roaring ’20s carried Berlin, London, and New York into a new age of hilarity. But then came the global Great Depression.
Richard Florida, PhD, came to Philadelphia for an up-close and personal look at how our city’s revival is reaching a tipping point, a “new urban crisis” brought on by success. Florida, one of the world’s leading scholars and observers of cities, is university professor at the University of Toronto’s School of Cities and Rotman School of Management, a distinguished fellow at NYU, and founder of CityLab. He is author of the best sellers The Rise of the Creative Class and The New Urban Crisis. MIT Technology Review named him one of the world’s most influential thinkers.
As we begin to take our first tentative steps to re-open its economy, it is important that we begin now to plan for our kids’ eventual return to school — not just the K through 12 students, whose parents need to go back to work, but college students. Protecting the lives of each and every individual — students, faculty, support staff, and their loved ones at home — must remain our principle focus.
Toronto’s prolonged rise on international “best of” lists has been paused, like so many things, by COVID-19. We asked Richard Florida, a renowned cities expert, what he expects after the shutdown.
The COVID-19 crisis has upended urban life as we know it. Cities are on lockdown, and the once bustling streets of Paris, New York, London, Rome, and more now sit virtually empty. Technology has been critical to the way cities and society have coped with the crisis. Online delivery companies have been essential for getting food and supplies to residents, while their restaurant delivery counterparts have helped keep restaurants up and running during the lockdown.
The city’s future depends on how it can best mobilize and marshal its assets to get back-up-and-running safely during this period. Even as the state and city are all out to mobilize to combat the virus, preparation for reopening and recovery must start now.
As the coronavirus outbreak hopefully begins to level off in New York and governors start developing plans for gradually reopening the economy, urban policy experts and economists have begun to reflect on how the pandemic will change American cities in the years ahead, even permanently.
Charles Kenny, author of a forthcoming book on pandemics, is cautiously optimistic that cities will prevail in the era of COVID-19. Here, he talks to Richard Florida about how infectious diseases have shaped cities throughout history, how COVID-19 could impact urbanization, and why preparedness is everything.
The coronavirus is exposing a longstanding class divide in the way Americans work — between the low-paid front-line workers and the stay-at-home professionals with more job security and benefits. The first group — the grocery clerks, delivery workers, transit workers, food service workers, emergency responders, physicians’ assistants, and nurses’ aides — are exposed to Covid-19 in their day-to-day jobs and often on long public transit commutes. The second group is dependent on of the very services provided by these workers.
As we grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic and how this will impact the social, environmental and economic landscape of our cities, we’ve enlisted globally renowned urbanist and economist, Richard Florida, to help make sense of the uncertainty. Join us for a live discussion with Richard, who will share his ten-point preparedness plan for how cities can survive – and even thrive – following a pandemic. It’s an event not to be missed.
The lockdown will end before scientists develop a working vaccine. Here’s a four-point plan for how companies should adapt.
The Covid-19 pandemic rages around the world, hitting cities in Asia, Europe and the U.S. in waves: first Wuhan, then Milan and Madrid, and now Seattle, New York City, Detroit and New Orleans. No place seems immune. But some cities seem more vulnerable to its devastating spread, and more vulnerable to the virus’s most insidious impacts.
As the coronavirus surges across Canada, the immediate response has been social distancing to damp down its spread. But our cities can’t stay locked-down indefinitely. The economic costs, never mind the toll it takes on our society, culture, and mental health, are too devastating. Sooner or later, they will need to reopen.If we want to reopen safely and securely, we have to start preparing now. In addition to widespread testing, careful monitoring and more precisely targeted interventions, here is a short list of practical things we can start to do now to get our cities and economy back up and running safely and securely.
LBJ Urban Lab Director Steven Pedigo sat down for a one-on-one conversation with Professor Richard Florida, one of the world’s leading thinkers in urban studies. Florida is the University Professor at the University of Toronto and the co-founder of City Lab.
This global pandemic is not to blame for a trend that was already in place — it has only accelerated it. While government stimulus and small business loans, financing and subsidies may provide some small businesses with a measure of relief, many won’t have the cash flow, the savings, or the time to wait. Rents, suppliers, and staffs have to be paid.So how can not just retailers, but restaurants, bars, galleries, book stores, hair and nail salons, florists, and fitness centers move quickly to mitigate their losses and stay afloat over the next difficult months?
As the dreaded coronavirus bolts across the globe, city after city has locked down, transforming urban business centers and suburban malls alike into veritable ghost towns. Our cities can’t stay in lockdown indefinitely. The economic costs — never mind the toll on our society and our mental health — is just too devastating. But the reality is we can’t just hit a reset button and revert to how things were before. This pandemic, like all great pandemics, threatens to reappear in subsequent waves over the next year to eighteen months, until we find a vaccine or develop herd immunity.
As the dreaded Coronavirus rips across the globe, city after city has locked down, transforming urban business centers and suburban malls alike into veritable ghost towns. Our cities can’t stay in lockdown indefinitely. The economic costs – never mind the toll on our society and our mental health – is just too devastating.
A ten-point preparedness plan for our communities based on detailed tracking of the current pandemic and historical accounts of previous ones, presenting some key measures to prepare our cities, economy, and workers for the next phase of the coronavirus crisis and beyond.
There is no more important time to study economic geography. As a field, economic geography encompasses two things. It is both the way economic activity is organized across space, and an academic discipline that develops theory, ideas, and research to explain why economic activity is organized the way it is. For most of human history, economic activity sprung up around natural resourcesd farms around fertile soil, trading activities around natural ports, harbors or nodes between cities, and later factories and industrial activity around natural resources like water power, coal, petroleum, or iron ore. But economic activity today faces few such
The idea behind this project to develop a matrix for Peterborough that shows which specific occupations are employed in which specific industries and then to compare the matrix for Peterborough with selected benchmark regions. If complete detailed employment data for all residents was available, such a matrix could be easily constructed. However, that is not that case. And while some sampled data is available, other more detailed information is limited to either industries or occupations.
The economic crisis has challenged popular conceptions of economic growth, both in terms of what it is and how to measure it. While engendering growth and bolstering competitiveness remain high on the agenda, immediate attention has shifted to creating jobs, lifting wages, addressing inequality, and fostering long-term, sustainable prosperity. This new edition of the Global Creativity Index (GCI), which we first introduced in 2004, provides a powerful lens through which to assess these issues.
Women have become an increasingly important force in the U.S. labor market and especially in its knowledge based creative economy. Some argue that the economic crisis has tilted the playing field away from men, who have borne the brunt of blue collar job losses, and towards women, who are more concentrated in knowledge and service work.
The results of Toronto Public Library’s economic impact study clearly demonstrate that Toronto Public Library delivers a strong Return on Investment, through the delivery of library services that enhance Toronto’s competitiveness and prosperity and contribute to a better quality of life for all. This study is the first Canadian public library study to measure in concrete economic terms the Return on Investment for library service.
Cities have always been the natural economic units of the world. But over the past several decades, clusters of cities and city regions have grown outward and into each other, forming mega-regions. More than just a collection of cities or one giant city, a mega-region is greater than the sum of its parts.
High tech startups are taking an urban turn. Manhattan and Brooklyn, downtown San Francisco, and Santa Monica are all becoming tech hubs. This is a new development. While large urban centers have historically been sources of venture capital, the high tech startups they funded were mainly, if not exclusively, located in suburban campuses in California’s Silicon Valley, Boston’s Route 128 corridor, the Research Triangle of North Carolina, and in the suburbs of Austin and Seattle. But high tech development, startup activity, and venture investment have recently begun to shift to urban centers and also to close-in, mixed-use, transit-oriented walkable suburbs. This report, which is based on unique data from the National Venture Capital Association, Thompson Reuters and Dow Jones, examines this emergent urban shift in high tech startup activity and venture capital investment.
Design is playing an increasingly vital role in innovation, competitiveness and the determination of economic value. However, assessing the impact of design or isolating the design factor can be a challenge for a number of reasons. Design is an enabling discipline, and designers working with professionals from other disciplines add value to the process and to the end result. Design is also a crucial factor in many activities that successful organizations do well, from innovation and new product development, to operations and human resource management, to communications and branding. And like most serious organizational strategies, design is not a quick fix. It requires investment over time and commitment from organizational leaders in order to deliver significant returns.
Class is an inescapable presence in America, one that influences almost every aspect of our lives—from our education and employment to our income, our politics, and even our health.
Class is also inscribed on our very geography.
Class is more than a socio-economic construct; its divides are inscribed on the geography of cities and metro areas.
Just as the rise of the knowledge economy has created a job market that is split between high wage knowledge jobs and lower wage service jobs, middle class neighborhoods have been hollowed out as the geography of cities and metropolitan areas has become increasingly divided between rich and poor neighborhoods. Recent research shows that Canada’s major metro areas, notably Toronto and Vancouver, have fallen victim to these urban class divides.
Our research examines the role of airports in regional development. Specifically, we examine two things: (1) the factors associated with whether or not a metro will have an airport, and (2) the effect of airport activities on regional economic development. Based on multiple regression analysis for U.S. metros, our research generates four key findings. First, airports are more likely to be located in larger metros with higher shares of cultural workers and warmer winters. Second, airports add significantly to regional development measured as economic output per capita. Third, the effect of airports on regional development occurs through two channels—their capacity to move both people and cargo, with the former being somewhat more important. Fourth, the impact of airports on regional development varies with their size and scale.
Americans have become increasingly sorted over the past couple of decades by income, education, and class. A large body of research has focused on the dual migrations of more affluent and skilled people and the less advantaged across the United States. Increasingly, Americans are sorting not just between cities and metro areas, but within them as well.
Cities and metro areas around the world are experiencing an uptick in economic inequality and Canada is not immune. Yet the country’s three largest metros remain substantially less divided than their U.S. counterparts.
Economic segregation—the separation of advantaged and disadvantage groups into separate enclaves—compounds this inequality, creating different levels of access to educational and economic resources for groups at the top, middle, and bottom of the economic ladder.
Rich or poor, the promise of social mobility always lay at the heart of the American Dream. But over the past two decades, many Americans have watched that dream slowly fade as the country becomes increasingly sorted by income, education, and class.
Segregated City, a new Martin Prosperity Institute study by Richard Florida and Charlotta Mellander, tracks the extent of economic segregation (the degree to which neighborhoods are made up of people of the same economic level) across America’s metropolitan areas. While most previous studies of economic segregation have focused exclusively on income, this study develops detailed measures of income, educational, and occupational segregation, which are then combined in an index of Overall Economic Segregation.
Overall Economic Segregation
In the 1990s, in the early days of the internet, the common prediction was that cities would become obsolete. New technologies would unshackle us from traditional work locations, allowing us to ‘telecommute’ from wherever we pleased. Twenty years later, not only are our largest cities generating the most and best new jobs, they are concentrated in very specific neighbourhoods depending on the industry.
Tourism is a major human activity in the modern age with significant impacts in many countries. Almost 1 billion people travel each year to a foreign destination and experience life in another place. Those who see tourists have a variety of feelings regarding the merits and problems associated with having strangers in their midst. Tourism is an important feature of life in many places in Mexico and a critical element in the economy of the country…
Creative occupations are now widely seen as a basis for urban economic prosperity. Yet the transitional pathways from a city’s current economy to a more creative economy are often difficult to discern or to navigate. Here we use a network perspective of occupational interdependencies to address questions of urban transitions to a creative economy. This perspective allows us to assess alternative pathways and to compare cities with regard to their progress along these pathways. We find that U.S. urban areas follow a general trajectory towards a creative economy that requires them to increasingly specialize, not only in creative occupations, but also in non-creative ones – presumably because certain non-creative occupations complement the tasks performed by related creative occupations. This secondary phenomenon creates a pull towards non-creative occupations that becomes ever stronger as a city moves more towards a creative economy. Thus, cities transitioning to more creative economies
Capitalism is in the midst of an epochal transformation from its previous industrial model to a new one based on creativity and knowledge. In place of the natural resources and large-scale industries that powered the growth of industrial capitalism, the growth of creative capitalism turns on knowledge, innovation, and talent. Growth and prosperity turn on a new model we term the 3Ts of economic development — talent, technology,and tolerance.
This paper examines references to race and ethnicity in 791 campaign flyers, brochures, door hangers, and direct mail pieces that 227 candidates for city council distributed during the 2014 Toronto and 2015 Chicago municipal elections. The findings pinpoint electoral campaigning as a major source of ethno-racial meaning. Candidates engaged race and ethnicity in five ways. They invoked ethno-racial stratification or cultural symbols and practices, cited endorsements from ethno-racial leaders and organizations, used heritage languages, and visually represented members of ethno- racial groups. The use of these references in Chicago and Toronto was consistent with the cities’ reputations, and the paper illuminates how these reputations are produced and reproduced. Black and Latino candidates in Chicago primarily mobilized perceptions of exclusion, discrimination, and conflict to promise political leadership in fighting these injustices. In Toronto, candidates of all backgrounds portrayed i
In September, 2015 Toronto Life released their October issue including a ranking of Toronto’s best neighbourhoods. The Martin Prosperity Institute contributed to this article by collecting and compiling the data behind this ranking, as well as defining the methodology for scoring and ranking Toronto’s 140 neighbourhoods. Data was acquired from a number of sources including the City of Toronto, Statistics Canada, the Fraser Institute, the Toronto Police Service, and the Centre for Research on Inner City Health.
Canada sits at an economic crossroads. Historically, the national economy was largely defined by its ability to extract and export natural resources. The country’s recent slide into recession, thanks to lagging world oil prices, is a stark reminder that busts accompany the booms associated with the nation’s dependence on natural endowments. Yet, for the past decade or so, Canada’s leadership has created a narrative that its resource-rich west is the primary source of long-run prosperity for the country.
Small in population but vast in physical endowments, Canada’s fortunes have long been tied to its natural resources.1 The country’s recent slide into recession, thanks to lagging world oil prices, is a stark reminder of the busts that come with the booms created by the nation’s dependence on its natural endowments.2 A well-known malady of resource-rich nations is the so-called “resource curse,” where the short-term wealth derived from resources inhibits the development of other, more long-running and sustainable sources of wealth-creation and economic development.3 And of course, resource-based economies are perpetually at the mercy of external economic-forces, exposing them to shocks that can quickly turn a boom into a bust. For the past decade or so, Canada’s leadership has created a narrative that its resource-rich west is the primary source of long-run prosperity for the country.
Entrepreneurial startup companies are the drivers of innovation in the new knowledge economy. Fueling their rise is investment from venture capital firms. Nearly two billion dollars in venture capital was invested in Canada in 2013. Across the world, Canada ranks fifth in global venture capital, behind the United States, China, India, and the United Kingdom, with less than five percent (4.7 percent) of total global venture capital activity.
”The Creativity index appeared to be one of the best metrics to understand sales performance at Cirque. And correlation are strong, therefor we will be now using this metric to anticipate sales performance and better forecast.Alexandre AlleMarket Insight Advisor, Cirque du Soleil