Archive for November, 2010

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Nov 25th 2010 at 11:00am UTC

The Social Advantage of Large Cities

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

From Silicon Valley to Shanghai, cities are increasingly seen as engines of economic progress. Cities bring together diverse groups of people and companies in ways that increase productivity and create the networks, clusters, and chance interactions that lead to the discovery of new innovations and the creations of new entrepreneurial businesses. Up until now, the economic performance of cities has been gauged in terms of the education or human capital level of residents or the kinds of work they do.

But new research by my colleagues at the Martin Prosperity Institute sheds lights on the relationship between cities and three underlying types of workforce skills – physical skills of the sort used in manufacturing, analytical or cognitive skills, and social intelligence skills like the ability to direct teams, form entrepreneurial new businesses and organizations, and mobilize both people and resources behind common causes and objectives. The chart below plots the distribution of these three sets of skills by city size. (more…)

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Tue Nov 23rd 2010 at 3:32pm UTC

Damn That (Holiday) Traffic Jam

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

It’s that time of the year again: More than 40 million Americans are expected to be traveling on the roads this Wednesday before Thanksgiving, according to AAAthe busiest travel day of the year.

Hope you’re not traveling on one of the roads listed below, from a ranking of the roads with the “slowest typical rush hour” in the United States and Canada. It’s based on data from NAVTEQ, the digital traffic and location data company (via TechCrunch/GreenTech). New York City tops the list, but Montreal is a close second. Philly, L.A., Boston, Dallas, and Toronto make the list.

Freeways with the Slowest Typical Rush Hour

1. New York City – Brooklyn Battery Tunnel (northbound)

2. New York City – Washington Bridge (eastbound)

3. Montreal – AUT-15 (eastbound)

4. Philadelphia – US-202 (southbound)

5. Montreal – RTE-138 (westbound)


Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Mon Nov 22nd 2010 at 3:14pm UTC

Fiat Targets the Creative Class

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Fiat is looking to follow Mini’s lead when it comes to customization for consumers. “The personalization is something that customers want.” The design centers inside the dealership will be a lot like the ones you’d find in a new subdivision, with lots of choices. “Those are all of the different 14 interiors, exteriors,” Soave said, “but you can mix and match, and that’s part of the deal.”  … these design centers are not strictly up-sell areas. Depending on the shopper, though, they can be.

The full story is here.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Nov 18th 2010 at 12:00pm UTC

Urban Arts Gives Community Life

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

On a hillside in a Rio slum, artists are working to transform the community – not just to beautify it – by tapping the incredible local creative energy. The video above (via CNN International’s Urban Planet series) shows how residents of the Santa Marta slum are transforming their community itself into a work of art. Led by two Dutch artists and the energy of local creatives, the main square has become an artwork itself. A CNN story provides more background on the  project. (more…)

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Wed Nov 17th 2010 at 10:34am UTC

The Power of Cities

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

My interview yesterday on CNN International’s Urban Planet Series:

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Nov 11th 2010 at 1:45pm UTC

Corruption and the Wealth of Nations

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

The United States and other advanced nations are stepping up their efforts to combat corruption in poorer, less developed nations by publicizing the corruption and by punishing their own companies when they engage in it. The U.S. Congress added a bipartisan amendment to pending financial reform legislation, requiring oil, gas, and mining companies to disclose every payment they make to foreign governments, according to a recent report in The Economist.

But can such efforts stem the tide? My own analysis suggests that before we can deal with systemic corruption we must first come to grips with the fact that it doesn’t occur in a vacuum — it is a symptom of deeply rooted economic and social maladies.

Source: Map from The Economist, data from Transparency International.


Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Wed Nov 10th 2010 at 4:30pm UTC

The Well-Being Map

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Here’s a new map of well-being for America’s 350-plus metro areas. It’s based on surveys with more than one million Americans from data from the Gallup-Heathways Well-Being Index. Well-being follows the same basic bicoastal pattern as income, human capital, and the creative class, being higher on the coasts than in the Midwest and Sunbelt.


Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Tue Nov 9th 2010 at 10:10am UTC

The Case Against Home Ownership

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Here’s the clip of my recent appearance with Yale University’s Robert Shiller on The Agenda with Steve Paikin.

CCE Editor
by CCE Editor
Mon Nov 8th 2010 at 10:00am UTC

Tune In to the Livable Cities Webcast on 11/11/10

Monday, November 8th, 2010

What do you think makes a city livable? What contributes to a person’s sense of health and well-being? Tune in to the Livable Cities Webcast on Thursday, November 11, 2010, at 11 a.m. EST to find out. During the webcast, Richard Florida and a panel of internationally renowned experts will be debating the latest insights on hot topics of discussion including:

  • How government and individuals can keep a city moving and help the people in it to stay healthy.
  • How cities’ residents can define their city’s evolution as a brand.
  • What role innovation and technology can play in addressing the needs of older people in cities.

Underpinning the debates will be new data from the Philips Health and Well-Being Index which explores more than 30,000 people’s own perceptions of their health and well-being.

Have something to say? You can get involved in the discussions yourself. Submit a question ahead of the November 11 debate here or Tweet your questions and views to @LivableCities.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Nov 4th 2010 at 3:34pm UTC

After the Midterm Elections: Still Divided

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

Here’s the longer, unedited version of my column published in today’s The Daily Beast – It Wasn’t About the Economy, Stupid.

The conventional wisdom among pundits, pollsters, and political analysts is that the Republican victory in the midterms represents a referendum on – and a stunning of repudiation of – the Obama administration’s stewardship of the economy. “U.S. registered voters choose economic conditions by nearly a 2-to-1 margin over any of four other key election issues as the most important to their vote for Congress,” according to a Gallup organization analysis, a result that held “across all partisan groups.”

But the geographic patterns of Tuesday’s historic election results reveal a curious paradox. While the economy was clearly the voters’ number one concern, economic conditions alone cannot explain why they cast their ballots as they did. A Wall Street Journal analysis of House races found that Democrats held onto their seats in congressional districts that were feeling the recession the worst. “Of the 25 congressional districts hit hardest by the recession—measured by joblessness, poverty rates, and housing prices—16 are currently represented by Democrats. Fourteen of them won re-election despite the Republican tide.”