Waterloo Region needs to start planning now for the negative impacts of an urban renaissance driven by an expanding technology sector, says renowned urban thinker and writer Richard Florida.
Back for a second year, Start-Up City: Miami, presented by The Atlantic and The Atlantic Cities, will explore the national urban tech revolution and its impact on South Florida. The Miami Herald spoke with Florida last year about his views on building a tech hub here, and they decided to find out how he thinks Miami is doing now. They also wanted to get the lowdown on Start-Up City (Version 2.0).
High tech startups are taking an urban turn. 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.
In the following interview, Florida talks about the latest workplace and economic trends affecting business owners and employees, the impact of technology and automation, why we need a new social compact and gives his best career advice.
Cities are playing a greater role than expected in corporate innovation. Even as technology has enabled a more mobile workforce to find more bucolic settings, the workers most responsible for this kind of development are choosing to live and work in densely populated places such as New York and San Francisco.
Richard Florida believes central Scotland has what it takes to be one of the world’s 40 or so mega-regions. It’s got the population density, income generation, skills, universities and creativity. What it also needs is a modern, fast rail network. The 20th century city sprawled with the motorcar, so further expansion will require high-speed trains.