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Opinion Editorials

Opinion EditorialsRichard Florida Columns

Bloomberg CityLab: How Suburbs Swung the 2020 Election

America’s political map is famously divided into shades of red and blue. But while most of America was anxiously watching screens and needles to see which hue the handful of crucial swing states would turn, the nation’s future was ultimately being decided at a far more granular scale—in the suburbs.

Geography’s defining role in how Americans vote has increased over the past decade or so, as people have sorted themselves by income, education and ideological outlook. More affluent and college-educated professionals and knowledge workers have clustered in larger cities, as many working-class people moved outward to the suburbs and rural America, widening the chasm between blue cities and red outlying areas.

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November 23, 2020
Covid CitiesOpinion EditorialsRichard Florida Columns

Elle Decor: How the Pandemic Will Make Living in New York City More Affordable

In “60 Seconds With,” ELLE Decor articles editor Charles Curkin chats with creatives and industry leaders, getting the scoop on their life and work in one minute or less. In this installment, he talks with the urbanist Richard Florida about how city life—New York City life, in particular—will change in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. His prognosis is decidedly good. Florida’s one minute starts…now.

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November 23, 2020
Opinion EditorialsRichard Florida Columns

The Globe and Mail : COVID-19 has shut down our cities. Here’s how we bring them back to life

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.

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April 3, 2020
Opinion EditorialsRichard Florida Columns

Toronto Life: Sidewalk Labs is the future of urban tech

A dozen or so years ago, I was recruited to Toronto to establish the Martin Prosperity Institute, a think tank focused on urban, regional and national competitiveness. My wife and I have grown to love this city we call home. But Toronto needs to compete with the best of the best, and that’s why I support Sidewalk Labs’ Quayside project.

Toronto has made it into the ranks of global cities. It tends to place highly in rankings of quality of life. It has strong banks and a world-class real estate market. But despite the hype about high-tech in Toronto, we lag significantly behind the world’s leading cities.

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September 16, 2019
Opinion EditorialsRana Florida - In the NewsRana Florida ColumnsRichard Florida Columns

The Star: The border problem at Pearson airport

Canada prides itself on its reputation as an open, tolerant and caring place. Especially at our border, where the image of Justin Trudeau greeting refugees turned away from the United States was seen around the world. But, over the dozen years that we have lived in Toronto, we have regularly encountered problems when coming back home to Canada at Pearson Airport.

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July 17, 2019
Opinion EditorialsRichard Florida Columns

The Globe and Mail: Sidewalk Labs could make Toronto a world leader in urban tech

Sidewalk Labs released its long-awaited plan on Monday, providing a detailed look at what it has in store for the city’s waterfront. To date, the controversy over the project has revolved around critical issues of privacy and the nature of its waterfront development. But there is another dimension to the initiative, one that has been largely missing from the conversation: the role of Sidewalk Labs’ project in Toronto and Canada’s future high-tech development.

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July 8, 2019
Opinion EditorialsRichard Florida Columns

The Star: Is Sidewalk Labs’ Quayside project right for Toronto?

Urbanists and privacy experts across the city have raised important concerns about the Sidewalk Labs’ project on Toronto’s waterfront. But something important remains missing from the conversation. We are failing to consider what Sidewalk Labs can do for our economic future. This is a project that holds the promise of vaulting Toronto to world leadership in one of the most important fields of high-tech industry.

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July 8, 2019
Opinion EditorialsRana Florida Columns

The Inquireer: Philadelphia’s next challenge: Stemming the tide of America’s new urban crisis

Philadelphia has long been one of my favorite cities. Having grown up in New Jersey and gone to college at Rutgers, I’ve been visiting, and tracking, the city since the mid-1970s. I saw it in perhaps its most hard-pressed days and cheered on the stunning revival of its downtown area over the past decade or so. I’ve been visiting even more now, as the inaugural Philadelphia Fellow sponsored by Drexel University, Thomas Jefferson University, and the University City Science Center, where I have been working with local stakeholders and academics to benchmark where the city stands on key metrics and to develop strategies for the future.

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April 11, 2019
Opinion EditorialsRichard Florida Columns

Harvard Business Review: How the Geography of Startups and Innovation Is Changing

We’re used to thinking of high-tech innovation and startups as generated and clustered predominantly in fertile U.S. ecosystems, such as Silicon Valley, Seattle, and New York. But as with so many aspects of American economic ingenuity, high-tech startups have now truly gone global. The past decade or so has seen the dramatic growth of startup ecosystems around the world, from Shanghai and Beijing, to Mumbai and Bangalore, to London, Berlin, Stockholm, Toronto and Tel Aviv. A number of U.S. cities continue to dominate the global landscape, including the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Boston, and Los Angeles, but the rest of the world is gaining ground rapidly.

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April 11, 2019
Opinion EditorialsRichard Florida Columns

The Star: A blueprint to help Mayor Tory get Toronto unstuck

Toronto Mayor John Tory’s resounding victory last month gave him an “historic mandate,” as he put it. He’ll need it, because the city he is leading is badly stuck, unable to address the deep challenges it faces. Indeed, the mayor must use his hard-won political capital to make headway on four key fronts.

First and foremost is affordable housing. Tory has said he will make housing and housing affordability a priority of his second term, declaring that “we must do more to speed up the increase in supply of affordable housing.”

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April 11, 2019
Opinion EditorialsRichard Florida Columns

Washington Post: The U.S. has lost its entrepreneurial advantage

lobalization strikes again. The latest target is entrepreneurship.

For decades, promoting start-up firms through venture capital and other methods of business investment seemed a peculiarly American strength. It has nurtured countless tech firms, including titans such as Facebook, Google and Apple. Americans have been duly proud. It reinforced a sense of national exceptionalism, because other countries couldn’t easily duplicate it, if at all.

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April 11, 2019
International publicationsOpinion EditorialsRichard Florida Columns

endi: Tribuna Invitada, El potencial creativo de América Latina

En estos tiempos, la clave para el desarrollo económico de América Latina ya no solamente incluye sus materias primas y sus manufacturas, sino también un recurso ilimitado aunque ignorado por muchos: el inmenso potencial creativo de la región. La creatividad forma indiscutiblemente parte del ADN de las sociedades, ciudades y barrios latinoamericanos,

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April 11, 2019
Opinion EditorialsRichard Florida Columns

Wall Street Journal : Can the U.S. Keep Its High-Tech Edge?

While recent headlines have blared about the Trump administration’s multi-front trade war with Canadian dairy farmers, Chinese manufacturers and the European Union’s steel, aluminum and automotive industries, a much larger economic threat has gone virtually unnoticed. The high-tech startups that have provided the U.S. with a powerful edge in fields such as computers, software, mobile devices, biotech, the internet and an array of digital platforms now face rapidly increasing pressures from foreign competition. This looming crisis of American innovation could undermine the nation’s long-running global advantage in bringing to market the next new technology, the next new industry, the next big thing. It may well be the gravest challenge yet to America’s century-plus hold on global economic hegemony.

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November 16, 2018
CanadaOpinion EditorialsRichard Florida Columns

The Globe and Mail : Solving Canada’s startup dilemma

Canada, we increasingly hear, is becoming a global leader in high-tech innovation and entrepreneurship. Report after report has ranked Toronto, Waterloo and Vancouver among the world’s most up-and-coming tech hubs. Toronto placed fourth in a ranking of North American tech talent this past summer, behind only the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle and Washington, and in 2017 its metro area added more tech jobs than those other three city-regions combined.

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November 16, 2018
Opinion EditorialsRichard Florida Columns

New York Daily News : Our real national divide: Local America vs. National America

It goes without saying: Ours is a divided nation. But the real boundary doesn’t run between Blue or Red states, liberal and conservative ideologies, or urban versus rural regions. No, the real divide in America is one of scale. Richard Florida and Mick Cornett belong to different political parties, and differ sharply on a number of policy views. But they share a core belief that our country’s future lies in Local America.

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November 16, 2018
Opinion EditorialsRichard Florida Columns

The Globe and Mail : How Toronto can curb gun violence

A shadow hangs over Toronto after Sunday’s shooting on the Danforth. The recent killing spree follows on the heels of a vehicle attack on Yonge Street this spring and a raft of shootings, including one with small children in the crossfire last month. The city’s international reputation as a multicultural success story seems at risk, as Torontonians fear they are succumbing to the twin threats of gun violence and terrorism vexing other global cities.

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November 15, 2018
Opinion EditorialsRichard Florida Columns

Medium : Toronto’s Deadly Car Crisis

Torontonians like to sound off on Americans’ inability to deal with guns and gun deaths. But Toronto’ s inability to deal with the car creates its own killing fields. Today, more Torontonians die from being hit by cars than from being killed by guns. In 2016, nearly 2,000 pedestrians and 1,000 cyclists in the city were hit by cars. Of these, 43 resulted in fatalities.

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November 15, 2018
Opinion EditorialsRichard Florida Columns

The Globe and Mail : The economic price of electing Doug Ford

Ontario’s recent economic success is the product of longer-run investments in universities, arts and culture; advanced research in key fields like artificial intelligence; openness to immigrants; and a growing commitment to place-making and city-building. This economic advantage will be significantly diminished if Doug Ford becomes premier of Ontario. Comparisons are already being made between Mr. Ford and Mr. Trump, as well as between Mr. Trump and Mr. Ford’s late younger brother, Rob, the original North American populist. All three positioned themselves as advocates for the “little guy,” slashing taxes and cutting back government. Like Mr. Trump, Doug Ford has even hired actors for campaign events.

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November 15, 2018
Opinion EditorialsRichard Florida Columns

Toronto Star : Canada should be winning even more Olympic gold

With the help of his colleagues at the University of Toronto’s Martin Prosperity Institute, Patrick Adler and Charlotta Mellander, Richard Florida ranked Canada’s, and each nation’s Olympic medal performance relative to their population, size of their economy and number of athletes on their Olympic teams. So, how does Canada’s performance measure up on metrics like these?

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November 15, 2018
CitiesOpinion EditorialsRichard Florida Columns

CNN : The disturbing part about Amazon’s HQ2 competition

Amazon’s short list of contenders for its much ballyhooed HQ2 reads like a who’s who of the most economically vibrant and dynamic cities in North America. There’s one part of Amazon’s HQ2 competition that is deeply disturbing — pitting city against city in a wasteful and economically unproductive bidding war for tax and other incentives. As one of the world’s most valuable companies, Amazon does not need — and should not be going after — taxpayer dollars that could be better used on schools, parks, transit, housing or other much needed public goods.

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February 6, 2018
Opinion EditorialsRichard Florida Columns

The Financial Times : The downside of the race to be Amazon’s second home

The bids to host Amazon’s much ballyhooed second headquarters are in from dozens of cities across the US and Canada. With its promise of 50,000-plus jobs and billions in investment, it has been hailed as one of the biggest urban development opportunities in recent memory. However, things are not working out exactly as the ecommerce group may have hoped. Resentment among city leaders is growing at what looks like a big, well-capitalised company taking advantage of cities and their taxpayers.

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October 25, 2017
Opinion EditorialsRichard Florida Columns

Nature : Comment: Where the streets are paved with ideas

Most of the world’s research and entrepreneurship is concentrated in a few megacities.Innovation is geographically uneven. The world’s 40 richest mega-regions — expansive conurbations such as the Boston–New York–Washington DC corridor, Greater London, or the passage that runs from Shanghai to Beijing — account for more than 85% of the world’s patents, and 83% of the most-cited scientists. And yet, only 18% of the world’s population lives in them.

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October 19, 2017
Opinion EditorialsRichard Florida Columns

The Globe and Mail : The Trump effect: It’s Canada’s moment to win the global race for talent

Google’s Sidewalk Labs subsidiary has apparently chosen the Toronto waterfront as the place it will create a veritable city of the future, developing and prototyping new technology-enabled ways of working, living and getting around. And Toronto is placed at or near the top of many short lists for Amazon’s new second headquarters, over which more than 50 communities across North America are competing.Why have Toronto, and Canada more broadly, suddenly become so attractive to major U.S. tech companies? The election of Donald Trump may be the veritable tipping point, but Canada’s ability to compete for top global talent has been growing for a while.

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October 10, 2017
CitiesOpinion EditorialsRichard Florida ColumnsThe New Urban Crisis Press

Crains New York Business : How to grow New York and other cities—while reducing inequality

As the world’s most economically powerful financial center and a budding hub for high-tech industry, New York City has grown increasingly segregated and unequal—particularly in areas surrounding new development. Now more than ever, the city has become a contested ground for space, spurring a local backlash among community members who can no longer afford to live where they are. With the current presidential administration and Republican majority on Capitol Hill unlikely to lend their support, New York must now turn to its local leaders, communities, and anchor institutions—universities, medical centers, real estate developers and large corporations—to mitigate this new urban crisis.

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September 26, 2017
Opinion EditorialsRana Florida Columns: WorkRichard Florida Columns

Toronto Star: Building six million good jobs in Canada

Today, more than six million Canadians — 40 per cent of Canada’s workers — toil in low-paying routine service jobs, preparing and serving our food, waiting on us in stores and retail shops, doing office work, and providing a wide range of personal and health care service, from cutting our hair and giving us massages, to taking care of our kids and aging parents.

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September 20, 2017
Opinion Editorials

The Star: Building six million good jobs in Canada

Today, more than six million Canadians — 40 per cent of Canada’s workers — toil in low-paying routine service jobs, preparing and serving our food, waiting on us in stores and retail shops, doing office work, and providing a wide range of personal and health care service, from cutting our hair and giving us massages, to taking care of our kids and aging parents.

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September 20, 2017
Opinion EditorialsRichard Florida Columns

New York Daily News: Stop giving away the store, N.Y.: Aetna shouldn’t get big tax breaks to come to Manhattan

Last June, Aetna announced that it was moving its headquarters from Hartford, Conn., where it has been located since 1853, to the Meatpacking District in New York City. New York, Aetna’s CEO Mark Bertolini told The New York Times, offers “the ecosystem of having people in the knowledge economy, working in a town they want to be living in, and we want to attract those folks, and we want to have them on our team. It’s very hard to recruit people like that to Hartford.”

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September 20, 2017
Opinion EditorialsRichard Florida Columns

The New York Times : The Urban Revival Is Over

For all the concern about the gentrification, rising housing prices and the growing gap between the rich and poor in our leading cities, an even bigger threat lies on the horizon: The urban revival that swept across America over the past decade or two may be in danger. As it turns out, the much-ballyhooed new age of the city might be giving way to a great urban stall-out.

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September 1, 2017
Opinion Editorials

New York Daily News: Two nations, red & blue: Urban giants have less and less in common with the rest of America, leaving U.S. politics beyond repair

Does the looming special counsel investigation into potential collusion between Donald Trump’s campaign and the Kremlin presage a less-than-four-year incumbency for this President? One can always hope. Certainly, resignation, impeachment or a 25th Amendment solution seem much more likely today than they did a year ago, when the very idea of a Trump presidency strained credulity.

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July 13, 2017
Opinion EditorialsRichard Florida Columns

Evonomics: Richard Florida: It’s Not (Just) the Working Class. It’s the Service Class.

The Service Class, not the Working Class, is the key to the Democrats’ future. Members of the blue-collar Working Class are largely white men, working in declining industries like manufacturing, as well as construction, transportation, and other manual trades. Members of the Service Class work in rapidly growing industries like food service, clerical and office work, retail stores, hospitality, personal assistance, and the caring industries. The Service Class has more than double the members of the Working Class – 65 million versus 30 million members, and is made up disproportionately of women and members of ethnic and racial minorities.

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June 14, 2017
Opinion EditorialsThe New Urban Crisis Press

Los Angeles Times: L.A. and New York are expensive, but they’re not about to become creative deserts

“If the 1 percent stifles New York’s creative talent, I’m out of here,” musician David Byrne threatened several years ago. New York City’s incredible economic success, he wrote, would be its cultural undoing. “Most of Manhattan and many parts of Brooklyn are virtual walled communities, pleasure domes for the rich,” he continued. “Middle-class people can barely afford to live here anymore, so forget about emerging artists, musicians, actors, dancers, writers, journalists and small business people. Bit by bit, the resources that keep the city vibrant are being eliminated.”

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April 17, 2017
Opinion EditorialsThe New Urban Crisis Press

NY Daily News: The new urban crisis is upon us: Success squeezing out the middle class

I was born in Newark in 1957, and witnessed the riots that tipped that city into its long-running decline. As a college student in the 1970s, when New York City was still teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, I observed the first tender shoots of revival that were visible in SoHo, Tribeca and other parts of lower Manhattan, as artists began to colonize its abandoned industrial spaces.

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April 11, 2017
Opinion Editorials

Miami Herald : Initiative aims to make Greater Miami an even greater city

Opinion Editorial by FIU President Mark Rosenberg and CCG Founder, Richard Florida. To get a clearer understanding of the Miami region’s opportunities and challenges, Florida International University and the Creative Class Group launched the FIU-Miami Creative City Initiative. The first major report of that project, released today, enumerates the region’s challenges and opportunities, while identifying several key areas that will help ensure a broader shared prosperity for Greater Miami.

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June 16, 2016
Opinion Editorials

PENN Institute for Urban Research : Expert Voices 2016: Urban Policy and the Presidential Election

With all eyes focused on the presidential race, now is the time to discuss the great challenges that our nation faces. The candidates have a unique opportunity to address the issues that affect the lives of their fellow Americans, but what are those issues and how should they think about them? What major urban policy issues should the candidates address? They posed this question to our Penn IUR Faculty Fellows and Scholars.

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March 16, 2016
Opinion EditorialsRichard Florida Columns

The Boston Globe : Congress could ensure tax money is put to better use

Perhaps it’s finally time for Congress to step in and stop the incentive arms race among states by invoking its constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce. In the meantime, GE could always do the right thing and give taxpayers back their money. For a company that wants to be seen as both cutting edge and a good corporate citizen, such a move would set an important precedent.

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January 31, 2016
CanadaOpinion EditorialsRichard Florida ColumnsTalent, Technology and Tolerance

The Globe and Mail : Still lacking technology and talent, Canada’s tolerance offers creative edge

Canada ranks fourth in the world in a new ranking of the world’s most creative and economically competitive countries. The survey, put together by my research team at the University of Toronto’s Martin Prosperity Institute, places Canada behind only first-place Australia, the United States and New Zealand. This is the third version of these rankings we’ve done, and Canada is up from its seventh-place finish in 2011.

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August 5, 2015
CitiesOpinion Editorials

Comeback Cities

Cities are not declining — many are even coming back. The past decade has witnessed an unforeseen rebirth in urban America, according to the newly released figures from the 2000 Census.

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October 30, 2014
EventsOpinion Editorials

The Dallas Morning News : Richard Florida and James Spaniolo: North Texas is stronger together

North Texas will be more competitive and its economic future stronger by
working together.The University of Texas at Arlington and the Creative Class Group have been leading an
effort involving regional stakeholders including major chambers of commerce; local elected officials; Vision North Texas; community and civic groups; and UTA faculty, staff and students to help to inform a broad conversation about the path toward a sustainable, shared prosperity.

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April 5, 2012