Archive for June, 2007

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Sat Jun 30th 2007 at 1:32pm UTC

Fast Cities

Saturday, June 30th, 2007


Fast Company on Fast Cities:

To find them, we started with data from Carnegie Mellon assistant
professor Kevin Stolarick, the numbers guru behind Richard Florida’s The Rise of the Creative Class, which helped define what makes great cities tick. We relied on CEOs for
Cities’ CityVitals survey, authored by Joseph Cortright of Portland,
Oregon–based Impresa Inc.; sustainability data from SustainLane; and
insights from the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto.

What makes a Fast City? It starts with opportunity. Not just bald
economic capacity, but a culture that nurtures creative action and
game-changing enterprise. Fast Cities are places where entrepreneurs
and employees alike can maximize their potential–where the number of
patents filed is high, for instance, or where the high-tech sector is

The second component: innovation. Fast Cities invest in physical,
cultural, and intellectual infrastructure that will sustain growth.
“The real forces for change in America and around the world are the
mayors and the local communities,” says Florida, now a professor of
public policy at George Mason University.

Finally, Fast Cities have energy, that ethereal thing that happens
when creative people collect in one place. The indicators can seem
obscure: number of ethnic restaurants, or the ratio of live-music
lovers to cable-TV subscribers. But they point to environments where
fresh thinking stimulates action and, by the way, attracts new talent
in a virtuous cycle of creativity.

Sifting through the data, we identified 30 Fast Cities around the
globe, which we’re presenting in nine categories, from Creative-Class
Meccas to Green Leaders. We’ve also noted 20 locales on the verge of
Fast City status, plus 5 Slow Cities–and 5 too fast for their own good.

Click here for the Fast Cities list; here for cities on the verge; here for slow cities; here for too-fast cities. Interactive maps here and here And a slide show here.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Jun 28th 2007 at 9:16pm UTC

An Urban World

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

The UN has just released a major report on world urbanization.

In 2008, the world reaches an invisible but
momentous milestone: For the first time in history, more than half its
human population, 3.3 billion people, will be living in urban areas. By
2030, this is expected to swell to almost 5 billion. Many of the new
urbanites will be poor. Their future, the future of cities in
developing countries, the future of humanity itself, all depend very
much on decisions made now in preparation for this growth.

While the world’s urban population grew very rapidly (from 220 million to 2.8
billion) over the 20th century, the next few decades will see an
unprecedented scale of urban growth in the developing world. This will
be particularly notable in Africa and Asia where the urban population
will double between 2000 and 2030: That is, the accumulated urban
growth of these two regions during the whole span of history will be
duplicated in a single generation. By 2030, the towns and cities of the
developing world will make up 81 per cent of urban humanity.

Urbanization—the increase in the urban share of total population—is inevitable, but it
can also be positive. The current concentration of poverty, slum growth
and social disruption in cities does paint a threatening picture: Yet
no country in the industrial age has ever achieved significant economic
growth without urbanization. Cities concentrate poverty, but they also
represent the best hope of escaping it.

Click here for the report. New York Times coverage is here.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Jun 28th 2007 at 9:08pm UTC

Disneyfication Marches On

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

$64 billion in Dubailand projects

The suburbanization of New York

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Jun 28th 2007 at 10:00am UTC

By the Numbers: Age Profiles

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

For this week’s By the Numbers, (with the assistance of data whiz Jim Kaminski) we look at national age profiles for those 25-30,  40-45, and 55-60.    For these groups, we have examined average salary, place of employment, educational attainment, and demographics.

Key takeaways:

  • Average salary for those 55 to 60 is approximately 58% higher than those 25 to 30.
  • 3/4 of those 25 to 30 work in the private sector.
  • As workers get older, self-employment identification rises.
  • 20% of those 25 to 30 are foreign born — compared to 12% of those 55 to 60.
  • Nearly 69% of those 55 to 60 are married compared to 46% of those 25 to 30.

Average Salary:

Ages (25-30): $29,342
Ages (40-45): $45,475
Ages (55-60): $46,487

Place of Employment:

Private Sector:

Ages (25-30): 76%
Ages (40-45): 66%
Ages (55-60): 56%

Non Profit:

Ages (25-30): 7%
Ages (40-45): 7%
Ages (55-60): 8%

Public Sector:

Ages (25-30): 12%
Ages (40-45): 15%
Ares (55-60):  21%


Ages (25-30): 5%
Ages (40-45): 12%
Ages (55-60): 15%

Educational Attainment:

Bachelor’s Degree:

Ages (25-30): 22%
Ages (40-45): 18%
Ages (55-60): 17%

Advanced Degree:

Ages (25-30): 7%
Ages (40-45): 10%
Ages (55-60): 13%


Foreign Born:

Ages (25-30): 20%
Ages (40-45): 17%
Ages (55-60): 12%


Ages (25-30): 46%
Ages (40-45): 67%
Ages (55-60): 69%

Any of these demographics differences surprising?

For more information about research services, contact David Miller

posted by: Steven 

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Jun 28th 2007 at 9:46am UTC

New York Still #1; Phoenix overtakes Philly

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

New numbers on the largest cities in the U.S. from the Census Bureau.


New York continued to be the nation’s most populous city, with 8.2 million residents. This was more than twice the population of Los Angeles, which ranked second at 3.8 million.  The estimates reveal that Phoenix moved into fifth place ahead of Philadelphia, the latest evidence of a decades-long population shift. Nearly a century ago, in 1910, each of the 10 most populous cities was within roughly 500 miles of the Canadian border. The 2006 estimates show that seven of the top 10 — and three of the top five — are in states that border Mexico.  Only three of the top 10 from 1910 remained on the list in 2006: New York, Chicago and Philadelphia. Conversely, three of the current top 10 cities (Phoenix; San Jose, Calif.; and San Diego) were not even among the 100 most populous in 1910, while three more (Dallas, Houston and San Antonio) had populations of less than 100,000.  California had seven cities among the 25 fastest growing, leading all states.  Phoenix had the largest population increase of any city between 2005 and 2006, adding more than 43,000 residents to reach 1.5 million. However, Texas dominated the list of the 10 highest numerical gainers, with San Antonio, Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and Dallas each making the top 10. North Las Vegas; Miami; Charlotte, N.C.; and San Jose, Calif., rounded out the list of the 10 biggest numerical gainers.  Overall, eight Texas cities were among the 25 biggest numerical gainers to lead all states.  (press release here)

posted by Kevin Stolarick

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Jun 28th 2007 at 7:55am UTC

Numbers on Science & Engineering Graduates

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

The State Science and Technology Institute has summarized information from the National Science Foundation’s Science and Engineering Indicators Project on graduation levels in science and technology by state.


Every year, the National Science Foundation releases Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in S&E, a report filled with detailed statistics about the characteristics of science and engineering graduates enrolled at U.S. institutions. Using the annual report, SSTI has prepared a table showing the total number of graduate students for each year from 2001 to 2005 in each state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Additionally, each state is ranked by the percent change in science and engineering graduate enrollment from 2001 to 2005.  For the U.S. as a whole, the country’s science and engineering graduate population increased by 11.5 percent over the five years. Among states, Minnesota experienced the largest increase at 61.8 percent, rising from 6,602 students in 2001 to 10,685 in 2005. North Dakota, Alaska, Idaho and Hawaii rounded out the states with the largest percent increase, all over 30 percent.

Of the states with a total S&E graduate student population over 10,000 in 2001, Ohio, Florida, California and North Carolina experienced increases over 15 percent. The average growth rate among the entities was 13.6 percent. Louisiana experienced the largest drop of S&E graduate enrollment during the five-year period, shrinking by 16.2 percent. Illinois, Michigan, and South Dakota were the only other states to witness a decrease in enrollment from 2001 to 2005. To see how each state ranks, visit SSTI’s table at:

Reports dating back to 1994 from the Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in S&E series are available at:

Not included is information on number of Science and Engineering (S&E) graduates per capita (2005 numbers and populations).  Top honors go to the District of Columbia with 16.8 S&E for every 1,000 residents.  Rounding out the top 10:

StateS&E per 1,000 residents

District of Columbia16.8


North Dakota2.48

New York2.27







Bottom honors(?) go to Maine with 0.53 S&E graduates per 1,000 residents

Of course, as we and others find time and time again, simply having them graduate from a college in your state doesn’t mean they will stay put. College graduates are the most mobile group.

posted by Kevin Stolarick

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Wed Jun 27th 2007 at 11:45pm UTC

Looking Inside Google from Inside Microsoft

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007


This is just so cool because it like being in a hall of mirrors.

An email making the rounds at Microsoft that purports to be an HR interview with a former Microsoft employee who ended up at Google and is now back at Microsoft.  So, it’s Microsoft takes a look at Google for internal marketing at Microsoft.

If that’s not confusing enough, read the whole memo here.

It says a lot about Google but probably says even more about Microsoft in the way that they have chosen to portray Google.  In any case, it’s a peek "under the covers" at a couple of major Creative Economy organizations.

posted by Kevin Stolarick

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Sun Jun 24th 2007 at 10:50am UTC

Why Cities?

Sunday, June 24th, 2007

Wendy, a  regular commenter on this site, has another super-insightful post over at her blog, All About Cities, which I strongly recommend as one of the very best city blogs out there.

Craig Thomas, economist at Torto Wheaton Research
(an investment real estate industry research firm), wrote a great essay
a couple weeks ago that reduces a city down to its economic essence.  Here are a few quotes.

So what is a city? What do these metropolitan areas do? They’re not there to look pretty, or because they’re historical landmarks or because they’re cool. Cities are market-makers. …

succeed, he insists, cities main role is to provide a dynamic place for
human, financial and physical capital to intermingle and flow — what
he calls liquidity.

Firms will form within or
relocate to a city if it provides three things: the physical
infrastructure that helps firms function, access to capital, and—most
important these days—ample suitable labor with which to support
production. Labor will come to the city if there is physical
infrastructure to occupy, ample choice of vocations and employers, and
access to capital. Developers and investors will provide physical and
financial capital if there are adequate firms and households to occupy
structures, and if there is a sufficient liquidity of capital when it
is time to monetize these assets. All parties’ motivation is to be as
productive as possible, and they will go to the cities that allow them
to trade their time and resources at the highest value.

Everything else happening in cities, he argues, is there to support the flow of labor and capital. Creating livable
neighbourhoods is about attracting and retaining talent. Building
infrastructure is about facilitating the flow of industry (capital) and
jobs, as well as making the region function for the residents.

Thomas’ approach Sounds more or less like Robert Lucas or Jane Jacobs. Wendy goes on to provide her perspective.

I’d say Thomas’ notion of cities as "market-makers" explains about all of what cities have done historically and about half to two-thirds of what cities do in today’s knowledge-driven, creative society.  I have lots more to say about this in Who’s Your City, but for now let me just add that cities provide a key function by organizing a vibrant mating market – (what’s more important to you:  your job or your significant other/ spouse) and also have enormous effects on psychological well-being.  Cities have a clear and important economic function, but they also do more.

Your thoughts?


Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Fri Jun 22nd 2007 at 9:35am UTC

Rise of the Local

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

Over at The Globalist (which I strongly recommend), Morgan Stanley’s Stephen Roach assesses the rise of local interests as backlash to globalization.

On the face of things, the world economy seems to be reaping the fruits of
globalization. However, Stephen Roach, chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia,
argues that rich countries are beginning to feel squeezed — which could
cause the collective interests of globalization to succumb to the
self-interests of “localization.”

The full story is here and after the jump. While you’re over on the Globalist site, check out this piece by Daniel Griswold on the benefits and costs of immigration. And this one providing a thumbnail history of American immigration

Globalist Perspective
Global Economy

From Globalization to Localization?

By Stephen S. Roach |
Tuesday, June 19, 2007

seems to be no stopping the powerful forces of globalization. Not only
has the world just completed four years of the strongest global growth
since the early 1970s, but in 2006, cross-border trade as a share of
world GDP pierced the 30% threshold for the first time ever.

The latter represents almost three times the portion prevailing
during the last global boom over 30 years ago. What a great testament
to the stunning successes of globalization!

New pressures

On another level, however, there are increasingly disquieting
signs. That’s because of a striking asymmetry in the benefits of
globalization. While living standards have improved

Unlike in Europe and Japan, in the United States real compensation has been going nowhere in a rising productivity climate.

in many segments of the developing world, a new set of pressures is bearing down on the rich countries of the developed world.

Most notably, an extraordinary squeeze on labor incomes has
occurred in the industrial world — an outcome that challenges the
fundamental premises of the so-called “win-win” models of

Ricardian comparative advantage tells us that the first win goes
to low-wage workers in developing economies who enter the global
economy — initially through their involvement in export production —
and eventually as a new class of consumers.

Second win

The second win is presumed to benefit the rich nations of the
developed world — where consumers can expand their standard of living
by buying low-cost, high-quality goods from poor countries and where
workers can ultimately gain from being involved in the production of
more sophisticated products exported to increasingly prosperous
developing economies.

It is a great theory — but it’s not working as advertised. The
first win is hard to dispute. China has led the way, with more than a
quadrupling of its per capita GDP since the early 1990s.

Progress for developing countries

Other developing countries have

extraordinary squeeze on labor incomes has occurred in the industrial
world — challenging the fundamental premises of the so-called “win-win”
models of globalization.

lagged the Chinese experience but have still made considerable progress
in boosting living standards. India’s standard of living, for example,
has more than doubled during the past 15 years.

Moreover, according to IMF statistics, per capita GDP in Eastern
and Central Europe is likely to have expanded at a 3.6% average annual
rate in the decade ending 2007 — a dramatic acceleration from the 0.3%
pace of the prior ten-year period.

In the Middle East, a 2.7% trend in the growth of per capita
output in the decade ending 2007 would be nearly double the 1.5% pace
of the previous ten years.

Wins and losses

Developing Asia stands out from the rest of the pack, with a
6.2% average annual increase in per capita GDP estimated over the 1998
to 2007 period — little changed from the vigorous 6.3% trend over the
1988-97 interval.

Moreover, the first win hasn’t just gone to labor. Four years of
extraordinary returns for emerging market stocks and bonds underscore
impressive returns to capital, as well. The problem lies with the
second win — the supposed benefits accruing to the rich countries of
the developed world.

Following the United States

That’s where the going has gotten especially tough. Following
the example of the United States, in recent years, the benefits of the
second win in major industrialized countries have accrued

labor costs easily accounting for the largest portion of business
expenses, this has proved to be a veritable bonanza for the return to

primarily to the owners of capital — at the expense of the providers of labor.

At work is a powerful asymmetry in the impacts of globalization
on the world’s major industrial economies — namely, record highs in the
returns accruing to capital and record lows in the rewards going to

The global labor arbitrage has put unrelenting pressure on
employment and real wages in the high-cost developed world — resulting
in a compression of the labor income share down to a record low of
53.7% of industrial world national income in mid-2006.

Unequal benefits

With labor costs easily accounting for the largest portion of
business expenses, this has proved to be a veritable bonanza for the
return to capital — pushing the profits share of national income in the
major countries of the industrial world to historical highs of 15.6% in
the second quarter of 2006. This asymmetry in the second win is not
without very important consequences.

In days of yore — when labor and its organized unions actually
had bargaining power — the current squeeze on labor income in the
developed world would have undoubtedly resulted in some form of a
“worker backlash.”

Less bargaining power

In today’s increasingly globalized world, however, workers have no such power.

partial backtracking is probably now at hand, as the collective
interests of globalization succumb to the self-interests of

Declining union membership throughout the major economies of the
industrial world underscores the loss of labor’s bargaining power in an
era of globalization.

Union members as a proportion of employed wage and salary
workers has fallen dramatically since the early 1970s. Sharp declines
are evident in the United States, Europe, Japan and the United Kingdom
— with a modest drop in Canada being the only real outlier.

The United States stands out with a unionized sector that is
less than half the size of that evident elsewhere in the major
developed economies.

Political response

The political response in the United States deserves special
attention. Most importantly, it has not arisen out of thin air. Rather,
there are important macro-analytic reasons behind this backlash.

Unlike in Europe and Japan, where relatively stagnant real wages
have matched up quite closely with weak or declining productivity, in
the United States, real compensation has been going nowhere in a rising
productivity climate.

Change in beliefs

Over the five-year period from 2001 through 2005, real
compensation per hour in the non-farm business sector expanded at just
a 1.4% average annual rate — less

era of localization will have some very different characteristics from
recent trends: Wages could go up, and corporate profits could come
under pressure.

than half the 3.1% pace of trend productivity over this same period.

While we have been taught that, over time, workers are rewarded
in accordance with their marginal product, that most assuredly has not
been the case during the United States’ newfound productivity

Moreover, recent research has pointed up the inequity of the
so-called productivity dividend that has accrued to U.S. workers. These
issues were not lost in the 2006 mid-term elections in the United
States. Nor is the United States alone in tilting to the pro-labor

Pro-labor politicians

Italy’s Prodi is pro-labor, and in Spain, Zapatero is certainly more sympathetic to the plight of labor than Aznar was.

Meanwhile, in Germany, Merkel has tilted increasingly toward
labor after she nearly lost the election running on a pro-market reform

Focusing on the worker

Similarly, the Abe government in Japan has teamed up with the center-right in support of the “second

union membership throughout the major economies of the industrial world
underscores the loss of labor’s bargaining power in an era of

society” — attempting to make certain that the victims in the
rough-and-tumble arena of global competition are given the opportunity
to come back.

And in Australia, Kevin Rudd, the opposition leader, seems set to center his platform on the struggle of the average worker.

I fully realize it is heresy to challenge the greatest
mega-trend of our lifetime. So let me state categorically that I am not
heralding the demise of globalization. What I suspect is that a partial
backtracking is probably now at hand, as the collective interests of
globalization succumb to the self-interests of “localization.”

Different times

An era of localization will undoubtedly have some very different
characteristics from trends of the recent past. The most obvious: Wages
could go up and corporate profits could come under pressure.

But it also seems reasonable to expect increased regulatory
scrutiny of excess returns on capital — focusing, in particular, on the
perceptions of excess returns in financial markets (i.e., hedge funds
and private equity) as well as on the inequities of rewards at the
upper end of the income distribution (i.e., tax cuts for wealthy
citizens and the excesses of executive compensation).

No extremes

Moreover, localization taken to its extreme could also spell
heightened risks of protectionism — especially if the global economy
slows and unemployment starts to rise at some point in the 2007-08

China has led the way, with more than a quadrupling of its per capita GDP since the early 1990s.

Under those circumstances, localization could ultimately give
rise to accelerating inflation, higher interest rates, greater
volatility in financial markets and a potentially vicious unwinding of
an over-extended credit cycle.

And, of course, the protectionist ramifications of localization
could prove equally challenging for the beneficiaries of
globalization’s first win: Dynamic new companies in the developing
world and the employment growth they generate.

No redeeming merit

Don’t confuse prognosis with advocacy. Many of these potential
developments, especially a drift toward protectionism, are without any
redeeming merit, in my view. But this is what happens when trends go to
extremes. In free-market systems, the pendulum of economic power then
invariably swings the other way.

An era of localization will undoubtedly have more frictions than
the unfettered strain of capitalism and globalization that has been so
dominant over the past decade.

The big question, in my view, pertains mainly to degree — how
far the pendulum swings from globalization to localization. The answer
rests with the body politic. The repercussions lie in economics and
financial markets.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Jun 21st 2007 at 11:10am UTC

By the Numbers: Working Mothers

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

For this week’s "By the Numbers," we examine the top and bottom regions with the highest percentage of working mothers.  Pulling the data from the U.S. Census (American Community Survey, 2005), we rank the top 10 metros and list the bottom three for each metro classification: large, medium, mid-size, and small.

EX: Washington, DC Metro (68.9%) -  represents the percentage of mothers in the Washington, DC metro who have children younger than 18 and are working.

Here’s a look at the top and bottom three for each metro classification:

Large Metros: Over 1 Million

Top three: (Highest Percentage of Working Mothers)

1. Minneapolis, MN  (73.0%)
2. Buffalo, NY (70.7%)
3. St. Louis (70.6%)

Bottom three: (Lowest Percentage of Working Mothers)

1. Riverside, CA (56.5%)
2. San Jose, CA (57.7%)
3. Los Angeles (57.8%)

Medium Metros: 500K to Million

Top three:

1. Des Moines, IA  (79.1%)
2. Madison, WI (75.0%)
3. Columbia, SC (74.2%)

Bottom three:

1. McAllen, TX (47.4%)
2. El Paso, TX (55.4%)
3. Bakersfield, CA (56.6%)

Mid-sized Metros: 250K-500K

Top three:

1. Lincoln, NE (76.3%)
2. Tallahassee, FL (75.8%)
3. Green Bay, WI (75.3%)

Bottom three:

1. Provo, UT (48.9%)
2. Brownsville, TX (51.4%)
3. Visalia, CA (52.1%)

Small Metros (Below 250K)

Top three:

1. Bismark, ND (84.9%)
2. Jefferson City, MO (83.0%)
3. Springfield, IL (81.9%)

Bottom three:

1. Florence, AL (51.3%)
2. Logan, UT (52.0%)
3. Yuma, AZ (53.0%)

To download the top 10 metros for each classification, Click here:Download CCGworkingmothers.pdf


For more information about CCG research services, contact David Miller.

Thanks to Jim for his assistance with data collection.

posted by steven