Archive for May, 2010

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Sat May 29th 2010 at 12:31pm UTC

The Density of Smart People

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

Clusters of smart people of the highly educated sort that economists refer to as “human capital” are the key engine of economic growth and development. The standard way economists measure this is to take the percentage of people in a country, state, or metropolitan area with a bachelor’s degree or higher. Jane Jacobs argued that the clustering of talented and energetic in cities is the fundamental driving force of economic development. In a classic essay, “On the Mechanics of Economic Development,” the Nobel prize-winning, University of Chicago economist Robert Lucas formalized Jacobs’ insights and argued that human capital, or what can be called Jane Jacobs externalities, are indeed the key factor in economic growth and development. Still most scholars measure human capital in terms of population, not in terms of its geographic concentration.

So I was intrigued by this fascinating analysis by Rob Pitingolo (h/t: Don Peck) which takes this question head on. To get at the issue of human capital clustering, Pitingolo compiled a neat measure of what he calls “educational attainment density.” Instead of measuring human capital or college degree holders as a function of population, he measures it as a function of land area – that is, as college degree holders per square mile.  As he explains:

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Fri May 28th 2010 at 4:35pm UTC

The Indie Craft Movement and The Great Reset

Friday, May 28th, 2010

ScoutieGirl discusses how the indie craft movement fits The Great Reset.

To bring the concept into my own experience, the Great Reset is the shift that we are counting on to make the indie craft & design movement work. It’s the shift that provides a hope for creative people to find real value in work that represents their true passion and for others to accept the true value of passionate work…

Florida has a similar thought, ‘the Great Reset is not the result of overarching government policy – it’s the result of the multitude of tiny resets that individuals are making all over the world.

One of these tiny resets happens every time you – or a neighbor – decide to buy handmade instead of from a huge corporation…

The indie craft movement is full of people who have made the jump from work that pays the bills to work that pays the bills and feeds the soul.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Fri May 28th 2010 at 8:45am UTC

More Best Places for College Grads

Friday, May 28th, 2010


Here’s an update of our Top 25 Cities for College Graduates which ran earlier this week at The Daily Beast. Since my MPI team did the analysis for all 350-plus U.S. metros, we decided to break out the rankings by metro size. Below you’ll find the top 25 rankings for metros in three size groups – large metros (1 million and above), medium-size metros (between 250,000 and 1 million people), and small metros (those with under 250,000 people).

As we’ve said before, this is a data-driven analysis and small shifts in the weighting can make a significant difference in the final rankings. So treat these rankings as a broad guide to interesting places and try not get too bogged down by the specific ranks.

And do have a look at our Place-Finder tool to help find the place that’s best for you. Enjoy!

Large Metros (over 1 million people)

1. Austin-Round Rock, TX

2. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

3. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH

4. New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA

5. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA

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CCE Editor
by CCE Editor
Thu May 27th 2010 at 3:52pm UTC

Will Phoenix Rise from the Flames?

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

The Florida Report is an eight-part video series from The Atlantic featuring Richard Florida.

The sixth installment in The Florida Report is titled “Will Phoenix Rise from the Flames?” Richard reflects on whether or not the Sunbelt can make a comeback.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu May 27th 2010 at 1:52pm UTC

Housing Prices and The Great Reset

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Housing prices continue to reflect the geographic reordering of The Great Reset. The newly released Case-Shiller Home Price Index shows a very uneven housing market, with significant recovery in some places and continued decline in others. While the National Index is up 2 percent over the first quarter a year earlier, it is down 3.2 percent from the end of 2009. The map below, created by Zara Matheson of the MPI, shows the year-over-year change in home prices for the 20 metro areas covered by the Index.

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CCE Editor
by CCE Editor
Tue May 25th 2010 at 3:30pm UTC

Beyond Wall Street

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

The Florida Report is an eight-part video series from The Atlantic featuring Richard Florida.

The fifth installment in The Florida Report is titled “Beyond Wall Street.” Richard explains how the financial crisis might help New York find a new sense of balance.

CCE Editor
by CCE Editor
Tue May 25th 2010 at 8:00am UTC

Philips Livable Cities Award

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Our cities are our greatest invention. They are places where human diversity and talent cluster to foster unrivaled creativity, innovation, and prosperity. Home to half of the world’s population, housing more than three billion people globally, too many of our cities are disconnected from the global economy and even many of the most advanced cities have pockets of disadvantage and poverty. If we want to raise global living standards and improve the health and well-being of all our residents, we have to start by making our cities more prosperous and livable. We need simple solutions that can be replicated in any community.

That’s why we’re excited to announce the launch of the Philips Livable Cities Award. This year-long program honors outside-of-the-box thinkers who have ideas that demonstrate simple, practical solutions for improving the health and well-being of the people living, working, and playing in their city. Richard Florida will be joined by an international panel of experts to develop the award criteria.

The initiative was introduced to highlight the complex challenges faced by the residents of today’s cities and to encourage individuals, community groups, and businesses to develop novel strategies and solutions that can help their communities become more livable, sustainable, and prosperous, and can be readily executed and replicated in communities worldwide.

For more information about this award and to learn about eligibility for entering, please visit the Philips Livable Cities Award, CNN, or download the brochure (PDF).

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Sat May 22nd 2010 at 12:00pm UTC

Startups Surge in The Great Reset

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

Economic crises like the current one have devastating economic and social costs, but they also give rise to major rounds of technological innovation. That’s why I call them Great Resets. There was a significant spike in patents in the wake of the Panic and Long Depression of 1873 – and subsequent decades saw the rise of major new innovations from the light bulb, phonograph, and telephones to systems innovations like electric power, telephone systems, and urban transit (i.e. street cars, cable cars, and subway systems). The Great Depression was far and away the most “technologically progressive decade of the 20th century,” according to the detailed research of economic historian Alexander Field, outpacing the high-tech boom of the late 20th century by a considerable margin.

Joseph Schumpeter long ago showed how economic crises give rise to the gales of creative destruction – as new entrepreneurial individuals and enterprises seize the opportunity to forge new business models, and new industries revolutionize and transform the economy. The British economist of innovation, Christopher Freeman, found evidence that innovations not only accelerate but bunch up during economic downturns only to be unleashed as the economy begins to recover, ushering in powerful new waves of technological change. (more…)

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Sat May 22nd 2010 at 8:00am UTC

Toronto’s Challenge in The Great Reset

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

My op-ed in the Toronto Star.

I’ve lived in Toronto for three years. Every passing day, I’m discovering new dimensions to this great city. I count our decision to move here among the best of my life.

But the more I look at our city and region, the more I recognize the challenges we face, especially in light of how the tectonic economic events of the past 18 months are recasting the role of cities and regions worldwide, which I lay out in my new book, The Great Reset. I hold up Toronto as an example of an older Frost Belt city that has effectively made the transition to a new economy based on finance, media, service, technology and design-intensive manufacturing.

But resets are times when the fortunes of cities, regions and nations change dramatically. They are times of chaos and suffering, but also of tremendous innovation.

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CCE Editor
by CCE Editor
Thu May 20th 2010 at 3:29pm UTC

Megaregions of the Future

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

The Florida Report is an eight-part video series from The Atlantic featuring Richard Florida.

The fourth installment in The Florida Report is titled “Megaregions of the Future.” Richard describes the shift from suburbs to enormous metropolitan regions.