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.
Urbanist Richard Florida popularised the idea that the creativity economy spurs urban regeneration with his 2002 book
The Rise of the Creative Class. Fifteen years later, creative cities have revived but are plagued with inequality. He tells Dinesh Naidu about his new book, The New Urban Crisis, and how cities can spread the benefits for inclusive urbanism.
The title of urbanism theorist Richard Florida’s latest book–The New Urban Crisis: How Our Cities are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Class and What We Can Do About It–outlines the defining tensions in our cities today. In earlier writing, Florida defined many of the progressive notions about how the creative class could drive social and economic progress, but these notions have fallen short. In this book, he reckons with the failings and promise of his theories, and suggests course corrections to help cities become more equitable.
In the spirit of the winter reading season, The Hill Times trotted down to the Hill to ask Parliamentarians what books they were plowing through, some of which may appear in our upcoming books special Dec. 18.
Economic inequality is a well-known issue in the United States and around the developed world. Not only has a gulf grown between the haves and the have-nots, but so has the gap between the haves and the have-mores.
Nearly 20 years ago, urban theorist Richard Florida identified a group of highly-skilled workers whose outsized contributions were driving economic change and development in cities around the globe. His book, “the Rise of the Creative Class” detailed the characteristics of this type of worker and more importantly how to nurture and attract them. Its core findings were adopted by mayors worldwide. The trends identified in Florida’s research contributed to the seismic shifts, growth and revitalization in downtowns large and small. Those changes have not been painless for all involved and have lead to what Florida, in his new book, calls the “New Urban Crisis.” So when Richard Florida asks What the Future, he wonders if developers are recognizing the new realities.
Fortunately, when it comes to cities, there is Richard Florida, director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and author of The Rise of the Creative Class, which explained how a new generation of people was reviving ailing industrial centres. Now, he is explaining how that trend is, among other factors, helping to intensify the issues confronting many urban centres. The New Urban Crisis is subtitled “Gentrification, Housing Bubbles, Growing Inequality and What We Can Do About It”, and, while Florida’s analysis of how we got here is unsurprisingly insightful, it is that last bit that is crucial.
Interview with Richard Florida on his most recent book The New Urban Crisis with the Italian daily newspaper la Repubblica.