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.
Our mission is to create more innovative, inclusive and resilient cities
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.
Venture capital is the fuel that powers the entrepreneurial startup companies that drive innovation, define new industries, and disrupt existing ones. While venture capital financed companies used to cluster in suburban tech enclaves like Silicon Valley, venture capital investment and startup activity are taking on an increasingly urban orientation.
This research examines the new divides and changing structure of the modern city and metropolis. Ever since the classic Chicago School models of urban form, the metropolis has been conceived as divided by affluent suburbs surrounding a less advantaged core. More recently, the concept of a great inversion has been advanced to capture the return of more advantaged groups to the urban center and the outward shift of poverty and disadvantage to the suburbs. To gain insight into the actual changes in urban and metropolitan form, we map the locations of three major classes — the growing ranks of knowledge workers and professionals who make up the creative class, the declining blue collar working class and the rapidly rising low-wage class of service workers in routine jobs like food preparation, and clerical work — across a dozen of America’s largest metro areas and their core cities. We find a new pattern of class division and urban form that we refer to as the patchwork metropolis, where c
Once the province of American tech hubs like California’s Silicon Valley, venture capital has gone global. This report uses detailed data from Thomson Reuters to chart the world’s leading centers for venture capital investment.
Once the province of American tech hubs like California’s Silicon Valley, venture capital has gone global. Global venture capital investment amounted to $42 billion dollars in 2012, spread across more than 150 cities and metro regions around the world. The United States accounts for nearly 70 percent (68.6 percent) of total global venture capital, followed by Asia (14.4 percent), and Europe (13.5 percent).
But venture capital investment is concentrated and clustered in a relatively small number of cities and metros worldwide. The top 10 metros account for approximately 52 percent of global venture investment, the top 20 metros account for almost two-thirds, and the top 50 more than 90 percent.
Venture capital investment helps to fuel innovation, entrepreneurship and economic growth. But its geography remains extremely concentrated and spiky in just a few key regions across the United States.
A new Martin Prosperity Institute study on Spiky Venture Capital: The Geography of Venture Capital Investment by Metro and Zip Code by Richard Florida and Karen King uses detailed data from Thomson Reuters to identify and map the leading centers for venture capital activity across the United States.
Venture capital investment drives both innovation and high-tech companies, but it remains exclusive to just a handful of regions in the United States.
This report uses detailed data from Thomson Reuters to examine the geography of venture capital investment in the United States.
Venture capital financing fuels breakthrough innovations and entrepreneurial startup companies. From Intel and Apple to Google and Twitter, venture capital-backed companies give rise to the great gales of creative destruction that create entire new industries and redefine existing ones.
This report uses detailed data from Thomson Reuters to examine geographic clusters of venture capital investment and startup activity across five leading industries: software, biotechnology, media and entertainment, medical devices and equipment, and information technology services. It identifies the leading metros for venture capital investment as well as the leading neighborhoods or zip codes where such investment is clustered.
Venture capital financing fuels innovation and entrepreneurial startup companies, giving rise to the great gales of creative destruction that create new industries and redefine existing ones. Yet, across the top industries in the United States, venture capital investment is highly concentrated — the top five industries alone receive $25 billion, more than three-quarters of total venture investment. It is also concentrated in a relatively small number of geographic clusters.
These are some of the key findings of Venture Capital’s Leading Industrial Clusters, a new Martin Prosperity Institute study by Richard Florida and Karen M. King. The report uses detailed data from Thomson Reuters to identify the leading metros and neighborhoods or zip codes where venture capital investment and startup activity is clustered across five leading industries.
Venture capital has long powered new and innovative startup companies. For most of its history, venture capital investment has flowed to startups in suburban office parks. However, our research finds that venture capital investment and startup activity is experiencing a considerable reorientation toward urban areas.
This is just one of the key findings of Venture Capital Goes Urban, a new Martin Prosperity Institute study by Richard Florida and Karen M. King. The report uses detailed data from Thomson Reuters to identify which venture capital investments flow to urban and suburban neighborhoods. We further explore the location of venture capital investment and startup activity by the way people commute to work — looking at the share of workers who walk, bike, or use transit compared to those who drive their own cars to work.
Venture capital has long been the kind of finance that powers new and innovative startup companies. For most of its modern history, venture capital investment has flowed to startups located in suburban office parks. Using new and more detailed data at the zip code-level, our research finds a considerable shift in venture capital investment and startup activity toward urban areas.
Previous research on venture capital investment and startup activity has been hampered by a lack of data at the neighborhood level. Our research uses more granular data from Thomson Reuters to identify venture capital investments that flow to urban versus suburban neighborhoods based on zip codes. We further explore the location of venture capital investment and startup activity by the way people commute to work — looking at the share of workers who walk, bike, or use transit versus those who drive their own cars to work.
Venture capital is the fuel that powers high-tech innovation and entrepreneurial startup companies. Previous research has been hampered by a lack of data, or more specifically, by the availability of only highly aggregated data at the state or metro level. This study overcomes this hurdle by using more detailed zip code-level data to identify microclusters of venture capital investment and startup activity at the neighborhood level.
This paper seeks to put cities and regions at the very center of the processes of innovation and entrepreneurship. To do so, we marry the insights of Jane Jacobs and more urban and regional thinking and research on the role of the city and the region to the literature on innovation and entrepreneurship going back to Joseph Schumpeter. Theory and research on innovation and entrepreneurship and their geography privileges the firm, industry clusters and/or the individual and poses the city as a container for them. Jacobs famously theorized that it is the city that is the key organizing unit for innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic growth. Marrying Jacobs’ insights on cities to those of Schumpeter on innovation, we argue that innovation and entrepreneurship do not simply take in place in cities but in fact require them.
Recent years have seen increasing apprehension over rising inequality and the growth of the so-called “1 percent.” For all the concern expressed about the rise of the global super-rich, there is very little empirical research related to them, especially regarding their location across the cities and metro areas. Our research uses detailed data from Forbes on the more than 1,800 billionaires across the globe to examine the location of the super-rich across the world’s cities and metro areas.
There has been increasing concern over rising inequality and the growth of “the 1 percent” of super-rich people who sit atop the global economy.i Although the world’s 1,826 billionaires make up just 0.00003 percent of the global population, with a combined wealth of more than $7 trillion in 2015, they wield incredible purchasing power. Yet very little empirical research on them and the fortunes exists.
The Geography of the Global Super-Rich, a new Martin Prosperity Institute study by Richard Florida, Charlotta Mellander, and Isabel Ritchie, seeks to change that. Using detailed data from Forbes on the world’s billionaires, the report examines to examine the geography of the super-rich across cities and metro areas.ii
Previous research has identified the clustering of high-tech industries, entrepreneurial startups, and venture capital across metropolitan areas. Using new detailed zip code data on venture capital investment and startup activity, this research tests two hypotheses informed by urban theory regarding the geography startup activity and venture capital investment: (1) that venture capital investment and startup activity will be concentrated in much tighter neighborhood-level micro-clusters and (2) that venture capital investment and startup activity will gravitate to denser, mixed used, transit served locations. We find considerable evidence for both. Venture capital investment and startup activity is concentrated in a relatively small number of neighborhood-level micro-clusters in the United States, the majority of which are located in dense urban neighborhoods where significantly larger than average numbers of commuters walk, bike, or use transit to get to work. This is especially the c
Ontario, like many jurisdictions, is currently facing major economic upheaval due to rapid advances in technologies, increasing open borders, and shifting work practices. It is a time of significant anxiety but at the same time there is a sense of possibility. The way forward has been made abundantly clear, in order to succeed in the 21st century economy places must develop vibrant ‘knowledge economies’ underpinned by creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Turning the rhetoric into reality is the stumbling block for policy makers. Exactly how these things are achieved presents a series of difficult choices, which if not taken wisely, can prove to be costly mistakes. In the context of finite public resources the pressures to make efficient decisions with taxpayer dollars is ever increasing. When it comes to economic development strategy the term ‘picking winners’, meaning choosing to support and invest in certain industries and firms over others, is often derided. Yet, government
Over the past decade or so, there has been increasing concern over rising inequality and the growth of the 1 percent of super-rich people who sit atop the global economy. While studies have charted the super-rich by industry and nation, there is very little research on their location by city or metro area. Our research uses detailed data from Forbes (2015) on the world’s billionaires to test a series of hypotheses about the location of the super-rich across the world’s cities and metro areas. We find that the super-rich are concentrated in a small number of metros around the world and that their location is primarily related to the size of metros: Large metros offer more people bigger markets, more diversified industries and more opportunity that help produce and attract billionaires. The location of the super-rich is more modestly associated with living standards (measured as economic output per capita) and less so with the presence of finance and tech industries, and city competitive
Arts institutions, such as prominent, established museums and galleries, complement the inherent heterogeneity and the definitive dynamic mix of urbanity.1 As civic anchors, they are institutional entities that occupy sizeable amounts of land,2 real estate and social capital.3 Anchor institutions have an interdependent relationship with the communities they’re located in, interacting in various capacities such as service providers, workforce developers and community infrastructure builders. Anchor institutions drive shared value for both the institution and the neighbourhood.4 As destination landmarks that denote world-class status, these institutions are magnets for high profile investment, creating pockets of increased real estate values across the city.
Southeast Asia is currently at the center of a significant economic transformation. The region, which spans Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia, is undergoing rapid growth and urbanization. By 2030, the region’s urban population will swell by an estimated 100 million people, growing from 280 million today to 373 million people.
The Rise of the Urban Creative Class in Southeast Asia, a new Martin Prosperity report by Richard Florida and Melanie Fasche, examines the intersection of urbanization and the rise of the new middle class, or urban creative class, in Southeast Asia.
Southeast Asia is at the center of a significant economic transformation. The region, which spans Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, is undergoing rapid growth and urbanization. By 2030, Southeast Asia’s urban population will swell by an estimated 100 million people, growing from 280 million people today to 373 million people.
In recent years, the young, educated, and affluent have surged back into cities, reversing decades of suburban flight and urban decline. And yet all is not well. The very the same forces that power the growth of our great cities have generated a New Urban Crisis of gentrification, rising inequality, and increasingly unaffordable urban housing.
The New Urban Crisis is different from the older urban crisis of the 1960s and 1970s. That previous crisis was defined by the economic abandonment of cities and their loss of economic function. This New Urban Crisis is more all encompassing than its predecessor, hitting at both growing and declining cities as well as urban and suburban centres.
”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