Archive for October, 2010

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Sun Oct 31st 2010 at 12:33pm UTC

NPR Weekend Edition – Best Cities for Trick-or-Treaters

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

Click here to listen to the fun segment on today’s show.

As NPR describes it:

Professor Richard Florida, director of the University of Toronto’s Martin Prosperity Institute, has released his Trick or Treat Index for 2010. It’s a kind of Lonely Planet guide for hobgoblins. He gives us his top-five list of the best U.S. cities for Halloween trick-or-treating.

Here’s the original list, a map, and the list for Canada.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Fri Oct 29th 2010 at 5:20pm UTC

The Trick-or-Treater Map

Friday, October 29th, 2010

This map, courtesy of my MPI colleague Zara Matheson, shows how all U.S. metros stack up on my Trick-or-Treater Index. It expands the top 20 list I posted earlier this week at The Daily Beast and covers all metro regions across the United States.

(more…)

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Fri Oct 29th 2010 at 1:39pm UTC

More Toronto Election Maps

Friday, October 29th, 2010

They keep rolling in (h/t Chris Hardwicke). And they continue to reinforce the depth of the class divide.

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Fri Oct 29th 2010 at 12:35pm UTC

Canada’s Trick-or-Treater Index

Friday, October 29th, 2010

In keeping with the spirit of this holiday weekend, here’s a fun list of how Canada’s metros stack up on our Trick-or-Treater Index. While of course all the metros are likely to have great neighborhoods for trick-or-treating, the original index we did for the United States generated so much interest that my MPI colleagues and I decided to do a similar one for Canada.

It’s based on five key criteria, all similar to the ones we used for the U.S. index.

(more…)

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Oct 28th 2010 at 3:14pm UTC

Who’s Your Mayor?

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Here’s a map of the final vote count for Toronto’s mayoral election this past Monday (via Torontoist). It shows the share of votes by ward. Note the strong inverted T pattern radiating out from the center.

Check out more maps being posted at Torontoist. Even more maps here.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Oct 28th 2010 at 12:30pm UTC

The Spiky Social Network

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Social media is redefining the landscape of everything we do, from the way we connect to family and friends, how brands and celebrities capture attention, to the way business and journalism function. Hundreds of millions of people across the world use social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. If any technology promised to shatter the constraint of geography, overcome distance, and flatten the world, social media would be it.

But a quick look at the map below, from the NetProspex 2010 Social Business Report, shows this is not the case at all, certainly not for the United States.

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Tue Oct 26th 2010 at 8:00am UTC

It’s Not the Economy, Stupid

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

With the midterm elections only two weeks away and the Democrats in jeopardy, the prevailing wisdom is that the election will be a referendum on the Obama administration’s stewardship of the economy. A large fraction of 2008 Obama voters now cite the economy and jobs as the key reason they will vote Republican this year, according to an October 17 AP poll. “The president must zero in on the economy if he wants to help himself and his party,” writes Eleanor Clift. The basic notion here, promulgated by pundits and political analysts, is that the current political environment turns on the vagaries of the economy. This amounts to a cyclical theory of American politics. And, in fact, several decades ago, the political scientist Douglas Hibbs advanced his seminal theory of the “political business cycle” which argues that economic movements have a sizable effect on American elections.

But another line of thinking suggests that American politics turns on deeper structural changes in economy and society. In the influential Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State, Columbia University’s Andrew Gelman and his colleagues uncovered a paradox that both confirms and defies the conventional wisdom about American elections. While rich voters trend Republican, rich states trend Democratic, he found. The opposite holds as well. Though poor and minority voters overwhelmingly pull the lever for Democrats, poor states consistently end up in the Republican column. A second version of the structural approach comes from John Judis and Ruy Teixeira, who argue in The Emerging Democratic Majority that the rise of the post-industrial economy has tilted the playing field toward Democrats who gain advantage in wealthier urban “ideopolises” while holding onto the votes of the poor and minorities. A third perspective comes from Ronald Inglehart of the University of Michigan, whose detailed World Values Surveys identify a shift in political culture from the more traditional, religious, and materialist orientations of the industrial age to post-materialist values of self-expression, openness to diversity, secularism, and broad public goods like concern for the environment.

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Fri Oct 22nd 2010 at 9:17am UTC

No Longer One Toronto

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Here’s the long version of my column published in today’s The Globe and Mail.

Canadians often point to the angry red versus blue divide that is such a hallmark of American politics, with higher-income, more economically advanced places voting Democratic and less-affluent, more working class locales trending Republican, as a problem that Canada has risen above. But this same kind of cleavage has become increasingly apparent in Canada – glaringly so in Toronto’s upcoming mayoral election.

The most recent Nanos poll shows Rob Ford leading in Etobicoke, North York, and Scarborough, while George Smitherman leads in old Toronto. The conventional wisdom is that this is a product of amalgamation and the rise of the mega-city, which brought two distinct constituencies into one political jurisdiction in 1998. But it runs far deeper than that. (more…)

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Oct 21st 2010 at 4:00pm UTC

Naheed Nenshi, Calgary’s New Mayor

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

This week, Calgary elected a new mayor. His name is Naheed Nenshi. I met him almost a decade ago when he was a participant in a forum on building the creative economy I helped catalyze with CEOs for Cities, Carol Coletta. Here’s one of his first interviews since being elected.

Here’s his recent TEDxCalgary talk:

(more…)

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Oct 21st 2010 at 12:25pm UTC

The Creative Class and Happiness

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

My new paper with Charlotta Mellander and Jason Rentfrow examines the role of the creative class and other markers of post-industrial societies and happiness. Here’s the abstract:

Our research examines the role of post-industrial structures and values on happiness across the nations of the world. We argue that these structures and values shape happiness in ways that go beyond the previously examined effects of income. Drawing from previous theory and research, we measured post-industrial structures in terms of higher level education and the share of the workforce engaged in knowledge-based/ creative work. Post-industrial values were measured in terms of acceptance of racial and ethnic minorities and of gays and lesbians. Our measure of happiness is derived from a large-scale global survey of life satisfaction conducted by the Gallup Organization. We controlled for income in our analyses and divided our sample into high- and low-income countries to explore whether income has different effects on countries at different stages of economic development. Our results indicate that post-industrial structures and values have a stronger effect on happiness in higher-income countries, where the standard of living has surpassed a certain level. Income, on the other hand, has a stronger impact on happiness in low-income countries. Thus, we propose that when income rises beyond a certain level, a new system of post-industrial values centered on education, creativity, and openness become better predictors of happiness than income.

The full paper is here.