NWA could be a victim of its own economic success if community leaders aren’t strategic about its future development.
In a recent OECD Dialogue on the future of regions: Getting creative about regional development, world-renowned expert on place-based development and author of The Rise of the Creative Class, Dr. Richard Florida shares his expertise on the relationship between a creative workforce and regional economic development. He encourages cities and regions to consider how diversity, creativity and innovation can contribute to attracting creative talent and investment, and shape inclusive and sustainable development. He then unpacks how non-metropolitan areas can benefit from a greater influx of creative people and capital, especially in the wake of the pandemic.
The metaverse isn’t the end of cities. Rather, this evolution of the digital world should be seen as a complement to the physical world, and companies should develop their location strategies to maximize the potential of both the megacities that have become…
America’s downtowns are in big trouble, or so the pundits tell us, thanks to the enduring effects of Covid-19 and the rise of remote and hybrid work. In 10 of the largest US cities, office occupancy averages are less than half, roughly 44% as of mid-August, of what they were back in 2020 before the pandemic hit. That’s better than they looked in May 2021, when the average stood at just 27%. But several big cities, including New York, Chicago and San Francisco, have been stalled at 40% or under for several months — a sign that the workplace disruptions of the Covid era are with us for the long haul.
Elon Musk announced this month that he will move Tesla’s corporate headquarters to Austin, making good on his earlier threat to move his HQ out of California’s Silicon Valley. The Tesla Inc. chief executive officer is hardly the first tech titan to trade the Bay Area for a red state. Peter Thiel and Keith Rabois are just two of the highest profile California venture capitalists who set up shop in Miami.
At long last, it appears that the worst days of the Covid-19 pandemic may finally be behind us. Despite early predictions of a lasting urban exodus, people are heading back to great cities. But the pandemic has brought many potentially lasting urban changes, including the attribution of streets once used for cars and parking to bike lanes, parklets and restaurants.
The U.S. is on the verge of the fourth revolution in urban technology. Where railroads, the electric grid, and the automobile defined previous eras, today, new strategies that integrate new technologies in our cities can unlock striking possibilities.
A year ago, just before the start of pandemic lockdowns, some 10% or less of the U.S. labor force worked remotely full-time. Within a month, according to Gallup and other surveys, around half of American workers were at distant desktops. Today, most of them still are. And surveys of employers and employees alike suggest a fundamental shift. While forecasts differ, as much as a quarter of the 160-million-strong U.S. labor force is expected to stay fully remote in the long term, and many more are likely to work remotely a significant part of the time.
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.
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.
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.
The lockdown will end before scientists develop a working vaccine. Here’s a four-point plan for how companies should adapt.
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.
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.
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.
We need to talk. We need a conversation about the real facts of cycling and pedestrian safety in this city. Where are the real problems? What are the realistic, evidence-based options to make our streets safer?
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Airports have a stronger connection to regional growth than high-tech industry and about the same impact as high-skill talent, writes Richard Florida. “The key lies in the way that global hub airports connect global cities.”
Runaway gentrification. Concentrated poverty. Racial and economic segregation. Cities in the United States today are struggling with some of their biggest challenges since the darkest days of the 1960s and 1970s, when “white flight,” deindustrialization, and crime were at their peaks. Together, these concerns add up to what I have dubbed the New Urban Crisis.
Elected officials and community leaders nationwide and those of Amazon HQ2 finalist cities support a non-aggression pact for Amazon’s HQ2 initiated by Richard Florida.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Toronto is a great city with many amazing things going for it. It’s time we make our streets safer for our people, especially the elderly and children who are at the highest risk.
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.
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.”
There is little doubt that the Greater Houston area will rebound and rebuild after Harvey. This has long been one of the world’s fastest-growing and most vibrant regions, with a population fast approaching 7 million and projected to pass 11 million by 2050. With an economic output of nearly $500 billion, Houston’s economy would place it among the 25 wealthiest nations in the world. It’s a center of high-tech energy production and medical research.
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.
Inclusive prosperity is the idea that the opportunity and benefits of economic growth should be widely shared by all segments of society. Most cities fall well short of that ideal. While urban areas continue to afford new opportunities to employees and businesses from all walks of life, they are increasingly split between wealthy, high-skill knowledge workers and low-paid service workers.
When Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines told an audience in London she was “ashamed” that President Bush came from Texas, she had no reason to think her words would cause country music stations in parts of the United States to boycott the trio’s latest album and their best-selling hit single, “Travelin’ Soldier.”
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.
We are undergoing several nested transformations at once that are causing incredible disruptions of the economic, social, and political order.
The best growth strategy for Ontario is to deepen the innovation and knowledge component of all industries, not just newer ones.
Toronto may be the nation’s largest metro and the main driver of its economy, but it barely punches its own weight when it comes to the members of Canada’s Olympic team. The real standouts of this Olympic Games are smaller metros like Kingston, London, Windsor, and Guelph, which are home to far greater concentrations of Olympians than one might expect given their size.
In total medal count, Canada is faring fairly well. But by other, more meaningful measures not so much.With the help of colleagues at the University of Toronto Martin Prosperity Institute Charlotta Mellander and Patrick Adler, Richard Florida ranked each nation’s overall medal performance by their population, size of their economy, and the number of athletes on their Olympic teams.
Whoever wins the mayoral election will need more devolved powers to deal with the “plutocratization” of London.
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.
The prevalence of lifestyle diseases such as type 2 diabetes is rising alarmingly in cities across the world. But the social factors driving this epidemic are complex and need our urgent attention, writes Richard Florida
To demonstrate its commitment to all these interwoven urban issues, it’s time for the government to create a new body – a “ministry of cities,” which would spearhead these interwoven initiatives while signalling to the world that this country is ready to lead the ongoing century of cities.
Newly released, our study, Canada’s Urban Competitive Agenda: Completing The Transition From Resources To A Knowledge Economy, shows that the Canadian economy is built on two distinct models with two distinct geographies. Natural resources drive the West, while knowledge and creativity propel development in the East.
A ranking of Toronto’s 140 neighborhoods—a definitive document that separates the great from the good, the average from the awful. We teamed up with the urbanists, economists, sociologists and information scientists at the Martin Prosperity Institute, a think tank at U of T’s Rotman School of Management. They crunched every stat they could drum up: census data, community health profiles, the Fraser Institute’s school report cards, the Toronto Police Service crime figures and independent studies.
Cities are the fundamental drivers of entrepreneurial innovation and economic growth. So why does Ottawa insist on ignoring them?
Study after study has shown that the Olympics cost cities substantially more than they bring in, and can drain local economies and government finances for years.
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.
Keeping the Gardiner East up is a false solution for Toronto’s worsening traffic woes. Tearing it down, meanwhile, would create a world of opportunity.Taking down the Gardiner East is the most fiscally prudent and economically viable option available to the city, writes Richard Florida.
In this op-ed Richard Florida examines the significant economic division between conservative “red states” and liberal “blue states.”
America’s great divide is not between poor cities and affluent suburbs; its great metropolitan areas are patchworks of concentrated advantage and concentrated disadvantage that stretch across both. Some of its suburbs are thriving; others are in a steep decline. In this new, fractured and divvied metropolitan geography, the traditional juxtaposition between “urban” and suburban” has lost much of its meaning.
As the election night map reminds us, Toronto remains a deeply divided city.
Acknowledging these problems is a step in the right direction, but it will take more than words to remedy these deep divides. Richard Florida weighs in.
America’s future can be even better than its past. But the key to getting there — to reigniting innovation, spurring long run prosperity and rebuilding our sagging middle class — lies in strengthening and empowering our system of cities, our greatest asset of all.
During your Caribbean Cruise, you may dream of living in paradise, of packing it all up and escaping to the islands. While that’s a great fantasy, the reality of trying to make a living makes it less attractive. But there’s always Miami. No, really, Miami. It’s a great place to live. Just ask Richard and Rana Florida, the power couple behind the Creative Class Group.
Just as our cities and urban centers are reviving, their growing class divisions threaten their further development in new and even more vexing ways.
San Francisco is one of the most innovative and creative places on the planet. But the very forces that are making San Francisco boom are also dividing it.
The reality is that incentives play little if any role in companies’ location decisions, which are based on more fundamental factors like labor costs, the quality of the workforce, proximity to markets and access to suppliers.
Knight Cities Challenge offers applicants a chance to share in $5 million by focusing on the question: “What’s your best idea to make cities more successful?” The contest will test the most innovative ideas in talent, opportunity and engagement in one or more of 26 Knight Foundation communities. Richard Florida writes about talent as a driver of city success.
Virtually all of the published research on the subject shows that most economic development incentives are a senseless waste of taxpayer money. My own analysis found no connection between incentive dollars spent per capita and such measures of economic success as wages, incomes, human capital levels or unemployment.It’s time to put an end to incentive madness once and for all.
Since the worst of the recession, New York City has gained back the jobs it lost and then some, surpassing its all-time high of over 4 million private-sector jobs by more than 5%. This is a resurgence to be sure, but it is a disappointingly uneven one.In short, the road to opportunity remains closed for far too many New Yorkers.
America’s largest metro areas, which are currently gaining population at impressive rates, are driving much of the population growth across the nation. But that growth is the result of two very different migrations–one coming from the location choices of Americans themselves, the other shaped by where new immigrants from outside the US are heading.
Richard Florida had the honor of returning to his undergraduate alma mater, Rutgers University, to address the newly minted graduates of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, who will be some of the leaders of this epochal undertaking. He shared a few of his stories about Rutgers with them, and about the importance of finding your passion and forging your own course through life. He’d like to share them with you as well.
Richard Florida gives the commencement speech at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers.
The Globe and Mail asks Richard Florida to pinpoint the most crucial principles for building a better city.
London has emerged from nearly a century of British decline to take its place at the very apex of global capitalism cannot be denied. In an era in which cities have become the principle organizing units of the global economy, London stands head and
shoulders above all but a handful of its urban peers.3 New investments have turned East London’s Tech City into a centre of start-up and venture capital activity. Talent has the most expensive places on the planet to live.
The Ontario government was right to raise its minimum wage, and to introduce legislation that would peg future increases to inflation. But the new legislation should also take into account the significant differences in costs of living across the province. It should include provisions to index the minimum wage on a geographic basis.
The mega-city has become the nerve centre of one of the world’s greatest mega- regions, a trans-border economic powerhouse that stretches from Buffalo to Quebec City. It’s important to recognize this, because mega-regions have replaced the nation state as the economic drivers of the global economy.
The rise of the ‘creative class’ as the motor of economic growth means that countries which promote technology, talent and tolerance will do best. Will this lead to higher inequality? Not necessarily argues Richard Florida.
Richard Florida discusses how the benefits of having and expanding Toronto’s island airport far exceed the costs.
For most of history, people lived in the same locations from birth until death; their lives revolved around their large extended families. Nowadays, Americans are much less likely to stay put for life – just as it’s less likely that they will have one job for life. In Jane Jacobs’s words, they are “federations of neighborhoods,” where virtually everyone, no matter their age, ethnicity, religion, level of education, sexual orientation or income, can find a niche where they feel welcome and comfortable.
Rob Ford will soon be gone. But even more important than who replaces him will be how soon and how thoroughly we can remake the office of the mayor. Canada’s strictly regulated banks have shown the world that government has a key role to play in the new economy. With a new city charter and a growth model for the 21st century, Toronto can set a new standard for municipal governance.
According to new research by the Social Science Research Council’s Measure of America project, for our nation’s 5.8 million “disconnected youth”—the one in seven Americans between the ages of sixteen and twenty-four who are neither working nor enrolled in school. This cohort, whose numbers were stable for a decade, surged by 800,000 after the Great Recession and includes not only children from poor and minority families but significant numbers of white, middle-class youth as well.
As entrepreneurs we are used to being our own one-stop-shop. Successful leaders know their own strengths and accept their weaknesses. Finding the right partners or teammates early on who can compliment your skills maximizes results and can often differentiate a successful business from a doomed one.
To kick off The Atlantic’s new special report on the past and future of the world’s global capitals, we begin with a survey of the surveys to answer that universal question: What city rules them all?
New York, Houston, Washington, D.C.—plus college towns and the energy belt—are all up, while much of the Sun Belt is (still) down. Mapping the winners and losers since the crash.
Creativity is at once our most precious resource and our most inexhaustible one. As anyone who has ever spent any time with children knows, every single human being is born creative; every human being is innately endowed with the ability to combine and recombine data, perceptions, materials and ideas, and devise new ways of thinking and doing. Cities are the true fonts of creativity.
Twenty-five years ago, Pittsburgh hosted the Remaking Cities Conference, an international gathering of architects, visionaries and dignitaries, including England’s Prince Charles, the honorary co-host and keynote speaker. This year, Oct. 15-–18, 2013, Carnegie Mellon University will host the Remaking Cities Congress, with 300 invited urbanists and thought leaders who will again focus on the post-industrial city in North America and Europe. In that context, they have asked 10 thought leaders to assess the Pittsburgh region’s strengths and weaknesses and to consider what they would like to see in the Pittsburgh of the future. The package begins with a foreword from noted urbanist Richard Florida.
As high-paying manufacturing work has declined over the past couple of decades, America’s economy has literally split in two. The large and rapidly growing mass of low-wage, low-skill service jobs in fields like food preparation, retail sales and personal care are much the same across the country and these workers have become largely stuck in place.
Leading up to Canada Day, the Huffington Post blog team asked prominent Canadians what they would change about one aspect of its country.
Long the epitome of a humane, prosperous, diverse, caring city, Toronto has at long last captured the world’s attention – but not in the way that anyone would want. Mayor Rob Ford’s latest scandal has drawn headlines in the New York Times, New York Magazine, and Vanity Fair, making him the butt of jokes on talk shows like Real Time with Bill Maher, and even on the sports network ESPN.
You don’t have to be a Marxist to wonder if capitalism has run its course. Though the stock market is soaring the economic recovery is jobless, millions remain un- or underemployed, and the economies of the world are mired in slow growth. At the same time, the gap between the rich and the poor is wider that it’s been in more than a century.Before we can treat capitalism’s symptoms, we have to understand its disease. We are in the midst of the greatest, most thorough economic transformation in all of history.
Considering the importance of immigration reform and the high emotions roused by the Boston bombing, it’s important to look at what we actually know about the connections (or the lack thereof) between immigration, crime and American cities.
The dustbin of history is littered with dire predictions about the effects of technology. They frequently come to the fore in periods in which economies and societies are in the throes of sweeping transformation—like today.The key to a broadly shared prosperity lies in new social and economic arrangements that more fully engage, not ignore and waste, the creative talents of all of our people.
While there is much to applaud about the recent revival of American industry, manufacturing is simply insufficient to help revive lagging industrial regions or power the job creation the nation so badly needs.
A “Great Reset”—the structural change following crisis—is underway. And there are some indicators of how metropolitan areas are evolving through a time of historic upheaval.
Richard Florida discusses President Obama’s ambitious proposal for the his second term: Create a new federal Department of Cities.
Entrepreneurial high-tech start-ups have taken an urban turn. Nowhere is this shift more apparent than New York City, which has emerged as the nation’s second-largest center of venture capital-financed high-tech start-ups, thanks to Google’s significant presence in the old Port Authority building in Chelsea and companies ranging from Foursquare to burgeoning tech-fashion players like Rent the Runway, Warby Parker, and Gilt Groupe.
Rob Ford’s downfall is stunning – and it opens up a bigger can of worms for Toronto’s future than even his contentious mayoralty did. In the short term, there are some daunting questions: Will he leave office in two weeks as ordered for violating conflict-of-interest rules? His lawyers have filed a request for a stay pending an appeal. If Mr. Ford does step down, will city council appoint his successor or will there be a by-election? If there’s an election, will Mr. Ford’s name be “the first one on the ballot”?
As we move into a spiky world dominated by cities, the winners and losers are becoming ever clearer. Cities show dramatic geographic divides by class, and some American metros have levels of inequality comparable to those in the poorest nations in the world. And the economic crisis and Great Recession has only compounded this situation.
As one of the world’s richest cities, New York has an obligation not just to rebuild but to show the world how to rebuild the right way — smarter, greener, more resilient than ever. New York is the very definition of resilience. It has absorbed several body blows in the past decade and bounced right back — the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the financial collapse of 2008 and now Hurricane Sandy.
Richard Florida examines a new vision for Toronto. The city’s great period of growth won’t continue if we don’t enlist the best and brightest minds from Bay Street, the universities and the public sector.
Income and wealth inequality have risen to record levels in the United States. Even as cities have become the new social and economic organizing units of our increasingly spiky world, their inequalities are approaching levels found in Third World nations.
Richard Florida explores why people—especially talented Creative Class people, who have lots of choices—opt to locate in certain places? What draws them to some places and not to others? Economists and social scientists have paid a great deal of attention to the location decisions of companies, but they have virtually ignored how people, especially creative people, make the same choices.
While both presidential candidates are quick to accuse the other of stooping to class warfare, neither will admit how class-ridden America has become. It’s ironic because this widening class divide represents one of the nation’s gravest dangers.
High-tech industries have flourished in the suburban office parks that are so ubiquitous in Silicon Valley, North Carolina’s Research Triangle and other “nerdistans.” But in recent years, high-tech has been taking a decidedly urban turn. Drawn by amenities and talent, tech firms are opting for cities.
Over the next 50 years we will spend trillions of dollars on city building. The question is: How should we build? For many economists, urbanists and developers, the answer is simple: We should build up. But the answer is more complex than that.
Four years after the great economic and financial crash of 2008, the U.S. economy continues to sputter and Europe teeters on the brink of economic collapse. Only one advanced nation has been able to rebound to pre-crisis levels of jobs and economic output: Canada.
Excerpted with permission from The Rise of the Creative Class Revisited: 10th Anniversary Edition, by Richard Florida. The tectonic upheavals our economy is enduring are the result not just of ﬁnancial shenanigans by the global One Percent, but of a deeper and more fundamental shift — the passing of the old industrial order as it gives way to the emerging Creative Economy. If we wish to build lasting prosperity we cannot rely on market forces and the Invisible Hand alone to guide us. The grand challenge of our time is to invent new institutional structures that will guide the emergence of a new economic order, while channeling its energies in ways that benefit society as a whole.
Richard Florida on how to help lower-income New Yorkers climb the city’s increasingly slippery economic ladder. Behind New York’s encouraging news is a troubling trend: Huge numbers of middle and especially lower income
people continue to struggle. To complete its transition, New York must develop strategies that enable many more of its workers to benefit from the ongoing transformation of its economy.
Creativity is now the main driver of America’s economy, and is more and more concentrated in and around cities. Richard Florida reports on the trend—and lists the nation’s most creative metro areas, from Boulder to metropolitan Austin to the Washington, D.C. region.
This article was adapted from Richard Florida’s new book “The Rise of the Creative Class Revisited” from Basic Books. His nitial research over a decade ago identified the rise of the creative class as a key factor in America’s cities and economy overall. What has struck him since is that the effects of class are not just limited to cities, jobs and the economy. Class increasingly structures virtually every aspect of our society, culture and daily lives — from our politics and religion to where we live and how we get to work, from the kind of education we can provide for our children to our very health and happiness.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s intolerance is damaging both the city’s reputation for fairness and its business climate.
Richard Florida discusses why bringing a casino to Toronto is a bad idea. He says gambling is one of the least productive economic activities imaginable — removing money from one set of pockets and putting it in another, without producing anything concrete as part of the exchange.
Richard Florida discusses how Toronto’s experience in basketball simply does not match up to the city’s growing size, wealth and stature. The outflow of basketball stars is no longer a metaphor for any larger talent drain, but an increasingly isolated and unique problem. Toronto’s sports franchises, need to start doing more of what it takes to compete on a global scale.
Richard Florida’s column in the Business Insider discussing our most important resource which is us – the creative potential that is in every human being.For perhaps the first time in human history, the further progress of our economy is inextricably tied up with the further development of our essential humanity.
The deepening social and economic divisions that are all too apparent in London are becoming evident in our own cities as well. Richard Florida argues that there is a real danger that riots like London’s will become a feature, not a mere bug, of global cities.
Richard Florida says that many of the nation’s urban areas are booming with new restaurants, parks and condos. All these areas are great to visit, he says, offering a slice of local urban life. He shares up-and-coming neighborhoods with Larry Bleiberg for USA TODAY.
London’s riots prompted commentators on the right to blame hooliganism, while those on the left cited frustrations with the UK’s faltering economy and fiscal austerity. But the causes run deeper and are linked fundamentally to the changing structure of the world’s economy. They are problems many of our global cities will soon face.
US crime levels have fallen to their lowest reported levels in nearly half a century despite major unemployment and the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Even more remarkably, the drop was steepest in America’s big cities – which are still popularly believed to be cauldrons of criminality. The question is: why?
Looking to meet someone to start the year off right? Richard Florida crunches the numbers for the best cities in America for single men and women to be this New Year’s Eve.
The pundits say Tuesday’s election was a repudiation of Obama’s handling of the recession, but Richard Florida says the data show something entirely different.
You may have your costume already picked out, but how does your city rate for celebrating Halloween? Richard Florida crunched the numbers for the ultimate list of the best cities to collect candy.
Barcelona has always been as commercial as it is creative. The city of Gaudi and Miro and the young Picasso is also a center of textile, chemical, pharmaceutical, and automotive manufacturing, publishing, finance, telecommunications and information technology, of technological innovation and entrepreneurship. It’s this combination that the city and region can build on to survive and prosper through the economic crisis and Great Reset.
Remaking our sprawling suburbs, with their enormous footprints, shoddy construction, hastily put up infrastructure, and dying malls, is shaping up to be the biggest urban revitalization challenge of modern times—far larger in scale, scope and cost than the revitalization of our inner cities.
Nearly one in four American homeowners are now underwater on their mortgage. Richard Florida crunches the numbers to find the 20 cities with the biggest debt and housing problems.
The fiscal and monetary fixes that have helped mature industrial economies like the United States get back on their feet since the Great Depression are not going to make the difference this time. Mortgage interest tax credits and massive highway investments are artifacts of our outmoded industrial age; in fact, our whole housing-auto complex is superannuated.
Which cities have the most immigrants and foreign born citizens in America? Richard Florida and his team crunch the numbers to come up with a surprising list and explore why these cities benefit from high immigrant populations.
Wondering where you earn the highest incomes? Richard Florida and his team have put together the definitive list of American’s 20 highest earning cities.
Periods of crisis and creative destruction such as the current one are when new categories of jobs are created as old categories of jobs are destroyed. The key to a sustained recovery is to turn as many of these – as well as existing lower-paying jobs – into better, family-supporting jobs.
People used to follow the jobs; they moved where the company sent them. But today, people often pick a place to live first and then look for work. Today, it may be where we live, rather than who’s employing us at the moment, that attaches us to our work and careers.
Richard Florida says owning a home may actually be a drawback given the economic flexibility required to power long-lasting recovery. He and his colleagues tracked homeownership levels across U.S. cities and regions to see how they correlate to other measurable demographic and economic factors.
There’s no question that this year’s 1.6 million college graduates are entering the job market during one of America’s worst economic crises. But this does not mean that college grads are facing unprecedented kinds of trouble.
The Class of 2010 is heading into the real world but where should they live? Urban guru Richard Florida and his team find the best cities for the young and ambitious.
Richard Florida examines the challenges Toronto and Canada face, especially in light of how the tectonic economic events of the past 18 months are recasting the role of cities and regions worldwide.
Richard Florida examines how in a broader creative sector, the United States will add 10 million jobs over the next decade. While the U.S. economy will add more than one million computer and engineering jobs, health care and education are expected to generate more than three times as many jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Richard Florida takes a look at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. When you account for population size, medal count reveals a crude measure of what’s behind national athletic excellence.
South Korea has clawed its way out of poverty by becoming a manufacturing powerhouse. But to stay a world-class economy will require the country to draw on a different set of skills. In the future, it will be the ability to create—as distinct from the ability to produce—that will foster innovation, and with it, sustainable economic growth. Whether it is new ideas, new business models, new cultural forms, new technologies, or new industries, it is creative capital that will drive the world economy. The ability to harness creativity will be the biggest challenge, as well as the biggest opportunity, for South Korea.
Why are Americans becoming less nomadic? Greater labor mobility helps the economy, but are there other kinds of effects — negative or positive — related to a more rooted population? Is there an upside to more Americans staying closer to their hometowns?
Today a highly significant demographic realignment is at work: the mass relocation of highly skilled, highly educated, and highly paid people to a relatively small number of metropolitan regions, and corresponding exodus of traditional lower- and middle-class people from those same places.
This spring’s 2.3 million newly minted college grads are understandably worried about their economic future. So where are this year’s college grads heading? A recent survey lists the best places for college grads to launch their careers.
Richard Florida has a new blog on the Atlantic website. His first post is about a new Pew poll on American consumption patterns that Felix Salmon and the Economist and others have commented on.
Will Wilkinson, a research fellow at Washington’s Cato Institute wrote this terrific essay on Toronto’s largely successful experiment in immigration – its global-straddling ethnic mosaic.
Less than a month after taking office, the Obama administration unveiled its massive stimulus package aimed at recharging the lagging American economy – a staggering three-quarters of a trillion dollars. As the Harper administration rushes to dole out a $40-billion stimulus of its own, it’s high time to ask a simple question: Are we stimulating the right things?
The crash of 2008 continues to reverberate loudly nationwide—destroying jobs, bankrupting businesses, and displacing homeowners. But already, it has damaged some places much more severely than others. On the other side of the crisis, America’s economic landscape will look very different than it does today. What fate will the coming years hold for New York, Charlotte, Detroit, Las Vegas? Will the suburbs be ineffably changed? Which cities and regions can come back strong? And which will never come back at all?
As part of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto, Richard Florida and Roger Martin delivered a report called “Ontario in the Creative Age,” commissioned by Premier Dalton McGuinty contemplating today’s challenge of moving from jobs oriented to routine to jobs that hinge on creativity.
Richard Florida visits Russia this month and discusses the country’s push to develop more of a market-based economy, having abandoned its state-run economy to the historical dustbin as well as drawing upon the similarities between the youth of both Russia and the U.S.
Restarting economic growth this time around will require a new social and economic framework that is in line with the new idea-driven economy.
Richard Florida and James Milay explore the the effects if a recession hits Canada suggesting that the continuing shift in Canada’s economy from traditional blue-collar, working-class jobs to creative and service jobs will dampen the effects of job losses over all, but those in the working class will feel the pain much more.
A popular economic development guru believes that a region’s tolerance and diversity, its quality of life and its support for what he describes as the “creative class” pave the way for economic and population growth. According to Richard Florida: “The distinguishing characteristic of the creative class is that its members engage in work whose function is to ‘create meaningful new forms.’ “
… but not for the reasons you think. One of the few things increasing as fast as the price of oil lately has been the amount of commentary linking higher energy costs to the death of suburbia. Clearly, higher gas prices have affected where people want – or can afford – to live. Just as the demand for SUVs plummets and consumers have finally begun to see the point of hybrids, people are turning away from sprawling exurbs toward urban neighbourhoods and inner suburbs.
A mega-region needs to think and act like a mega-region, not like a bunch of separate cities with empty space between them.
Fareed Zakaria: The end result will be a “landscape that is quite different from the one we have lived in until now – one defined and directed from many places and by many peoples.”
Leaders exploring new approaches to everything from education, crime and smoking bans to environment and climate change – even bringing modern management techniques to government. Their efforts and those of their peers have made their jurisdictions safer, smarter, greener, more aesthetic, more efficient, wealthier and more globally competitive.
WE ARE ALL familiar with the rough geography of the United States — the slash of the Rocky Mountains between two great coastlines, the bulge of Maine, the Florida peninsula, the Great Lakes, set in the heartland. But what about the country’s psychogeography?
The most overlooked — but most important — element of my theory and of the creative economy itself is that every human being is creative.
“The diversity, of whatever kind, that is generated by cities rests on the fact that in cities so many people are so close together, and among them contain so many different tastes, skills, needs, supplies, and bees in their bonnets.”
From where I sit, Philadelphia’s future looks very bright. Trust me: I know all about the issues that confront the city. I grew up in New Jersey, went to Rutgers, and spent much of my teens and 20s hanging out in Center City. I’ve seen the dark days and watched the recovery.
WE ARE ALL familiar with the rough geography of the United States – the slash of the Rocky Mountains between two great coastlines, the bulge of Maine, the Florida peninsula, the Great Lakes, set in the heartland. But what about the country’s psychogeography?
Over the past decade or so, greater Portland has developed a well-deserved reputation as one of the nation’s very best places to live.
When people talk about economic competitiveness, the focus tends to be on nation states. In the 1980s, many were obsessed with the rise of Japan. Today, our gaze has shifted to the phenomenal growth of Brazil, Russia, India and China. But this focus on nations is off the mark.
WHICH OF THESE two decisions do you think has a bigger impact on someone’s life: finding the right job, or finding the right significant other? No one’s going to argue with the notion that where you live affects your employment prospects. But the place you call home has a lot to do with your chances of finding the right partner as well. Having an enticing “mating market” matters as much or more than a vibrant labor market.
For the past two weeks, all eyes have focused on Barack Obama and race. A couple of weeks ago, it was Hillary Clinton’s gender. A month before that, it was all about the Obama surge among young voters.
The old model of a university pumping out research results and educated students, or even commercial innovations and start-ups, are no longer sufficient. Business and political leadership have taken technology seriously; now, they must do the same with talent and tolerance. The places that don’t will find that the discoveries and talent they produce will continue to migrate away.
Richard Florida on his adopted city’s central role in a new world order built not around nations but around mega-regions.