Archive for the ‘Live’ Category

CCE Editor
by CCE Editor
Fri Aug 19th 2011 at 12:41pm UTC

The Inchoate Rage Beneath our Global Cities

Friday, August 19th, 2011

“London’s riots prompted commentators on the right to blame hooliganism, while those on the left cited frustrations with the UK’s faltering economy and fiscal austerity. But the causes run deeper and are linked fundamentally to the changing structure of the world’s economy. They are problems many of our global cities will soon face.

Globalization has made our great cities incalculably richer but also increasingly divided and unequal. More than youth, ethnicity or even race, London’s riots are about class and the growing divide between the classes. This dynamic is not unique to London but is at work in many of the world’s great capitals. Instead of reducing and flattening economic distinctions, globalisation has made them sharper.”

To read more, check out Richard’s recent column in the Financial Times.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Jul 21st 2011 at 10:00am UTC

If Metros Were Countries

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Based on new data from the United States Conference of Mayors and The Council for the New American City annual U.S. Metro Economies Report

The above map highlights some of the U.S.’s largest metropolitan areas, comparing their Gross Metropolitan Products to the nearest Gross Domestic Product equivalents of countries. If nothing else, it provides an insight into the sheer scale of the U.S. economy, even when it is in crisis.  As I noted in an earlier post, 37 of the world’s 100 largest economies are U.S. metros.

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Jul 14th 2011 at 6:27pm UTC

The Geography of How We Get to Work

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

The combination ofthe Great Recession, rising gas prices, and growing environmental concerns are causing may people to rethink how they commute. After housing, transportation is the biggest item American families spend money on, accounting for an average of 20 percent of a typical family’s budget. The sheer fact of car ownership can make the difference between who spends and who saves, and even which homes go into foreclosure, as I noted here.  Not to mention that being stuck in traffic ranks high on almost every list of the things that make us the most unhappy.

And yet for all that, America remains overwhelmingly a nation of drivers. Across the board, nearly nine in 10 (86 percent) of Americans commute to work by car and more than three-quarters (76.1 percent) drive to work alone, according to the most recent estimates from the American Community Survey.  Only five percent use public transit to get to work.

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Jul 7th 2011 at 5:29pm UTC

Paperback Edition of the Great Reset Available

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

A year ago, I published a book that argued that, for all the privations and dislocations of the economic crisis, it also provides us with the opportunity to make fundamental changes in our economy and society. I characterized these changes as a Great Reset, and I found similar moments in American history when new economic orders arose from the ashes of old ones, ushering in new eras of growth and prosperity. Since writing the book, I’ve been able to see for myself what I’ve long suspected: that Great Resets unfold not from top-down policies and programs but gradually, as millions upon millions of people respond to challenging economic times by changing the ways that they live.  The economic crisis has taught us the hard way that we need to live within our means, to forestall debt; it’s made us understand that we don’t have to define ourselves in terms of material goods, that we can achieve a more meaningful and sustainable way of life.

In my travels across the country, I’ve heard from people who are in the process of resetting their lives.  Young people just out of college tell me that they don’t want their parents’ suburban lifestyle; they’d prefer to find an affordable rental apartment in a city they love where economic opportunities are better. They don’t want to go into hock buying a big house and a big car, just so they can endure a long commute. Young parents tell me they’ve had to defer their dream of buying a bigger house with a backyard, either because they can’t afford it or don’t qualify for a mortgage. Instead, they’ve decided to stay put and renovate their city apartment or fix up their small house in an older, closer-in suburb.  Empty nesters tell me they’ve decided to sell the big house, sometimes for a lot less than they could have gotten for it a few years ago, and buy a smaller condo or house closer to their kids in the city.  These shifts, brought on by economic exigencies, are already adding up to a gradual but enduring change in the way we live – one that will prove every bit as consequential as the move towards suburban living was in the 1950s and 1960s.

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Sun Jul 3rd 2011 at 8:00am UTC

Safety in Diversity: Why Crime Is Down in America’s Cities

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

This is a longer, more detailed, and more statistics-laden version of an op ed piece that ran in the Financial Times on Friday. As mysterious as the downward trend in crime may be (and as vexing a challenge as it’s posed to professional explainers), it’s obviously a welcome development—and is very possibly a bellwether of even more positive changes in our society.

Almost three years into the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, with massive unemployment and pessimism rife, America’s crime rates are falling and no one—not our pundits, policemen, or politicians, our professors or city planners—can tell us why. As I wrote about here, there were 5.5 percent fewer murders, forcible rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults reported in 2010 than in 2009, according to the most recent edition of the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report; property crimes fell by 2.8 percent over the same period and reported arsons dropped by 8.3 percent. And the drop was steepest in America’s biggest cities—which are still popularly believed to be cauldrons of criminality. “While cities and suburbs alike are much safer today than in 1990,” notes a recent report by the Brookings Institution, “central cities—the big cities that make up the hubs of the 100 largest metro areas—benefitted the most from declining crime rates. Among suburban communities, older higher-density suburbs saw crime drop at a faster pace than newer, lower-density emerging and exurban communities on the metropolitan fringe.”

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Wed Jun 29th 2011 at 10:02am UTC

Top Metros for Same-Sex Couples with Children

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

With the passage of the New York Marriage Equality Act, the number of gay couples in the US who are eligible to marry has now doubled, as my post yesterday noted.  Approximately 9 million Americans are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) – slightly less than four percent of the population, according a recent study by Gary Gates of UCLA’s Williams Institute.  Approximately half of lesbians and gay men are members of same-sex couples including an estimated 160,000 who are married, according to Gates’ research. Nearly one in five same-sex couple households are raising children, compared to about 45 percent of heterosexual couples, according to figures from the American Community Survey (ACS).

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Mon Jun 27th 2011 at 4:03pm UTC

Bicycling and the Wealth and Happiness of Cities

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Riding a bike through a city, David Byrne wrote in his book Bicycle Diaries, “is like navigating the collective neural pathways of some vast global mind.” Biking, he adds, “facilitates a state of mind that allows some but not too much of the unconscious to bubble up. As someone who believes that much of the source of his work and creativity is to be gleaned from those bubbles, it’s a reliable place to find that connection.”

Cycling is one of my own great passions.  I like nothing more than to get on my road bike and just go. My bike is not just a great way to get around, it’s a great way to get to know cities.

It’s also a good way to stay in shape, as witnessed by this post at the Living Streets Alliance blog, which noted the uncanny overlap between the places listed in my post on America’s Fittest Cities and the cities where the greatest percentages of people who bike to work live. That got me wondering what other characteristics of metropolitan areas might be associated with higher levels of cycling.  With the help of my colleague Charlotta Mellander, I took a quick look at the numbers. We used data from the American Community Survey (ACS) on the share of people by metro area who commute to work by bike.

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Wed Jun 15th 2011 at 10:17am UTC

The Geography of Peace

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

The overall level of world peace world fell for the third year in a row, according to the latest version of the Global Peace Index produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace. Most of this trend was driven by the increased “social and political turmoil in the Middle East and North African Nations during the early part of 2011,” the report notes.

But what are the factors that shape the relative peacefulness of nations?  And, what is the connection between peace – or its opposite – on their economic growth, well-being, and prosperity?

This map charts the Global Peace Index (GPI) scores for 153 countries worldwide. The GPI is based on 25 separate indicators of internal and external conflict, including wars and external conflicts, deaths from external conflicts, militarization, weapons exports, homicides, access to weapons, violent political demonstrations, prison populations, and police presence.

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Tue Jun 7th 2011 at 10:00am UTC

A Good Week for the Nation’s Capital (if not the Nation)

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

This has not been the best week for economic news. The housing market lapsed back into a double-dip. The May jobs report showed the slowest private sector employment growth this year, with the average length of unemployment hitting its highest level on record.

But on all these indicators and more, Greater Washington DC flies in the face of the national trend. I’m not exaggerating:

  • Metro DC clocked the highest level of housing appreciation on the Case-Shiller Home Price Index, 4 plus percent, while every other metro is tanking.
  • Greater Washington posted the second lowest rate of unemployment according to the latest BLS figures, 5.4 percent, as many metros remain above 10 percent.
  • And DC households boast the nation’s second highest real household income, $61,449, when cost of living is taken into account, considerably more than Greater New York’s $34,931, which is the nation’s second lowest. Only McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas fares worse.

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Sat May 28th 2011 at 5:30am UTC

America’s Fittest Cities

Saturday, May 28th, 2011

Which metro is America’s healthiest? You might guess it’s Los Angeles, what with all those washboard abs you see at Venice Beach, Santa Monica or Malibu. Or, maybe Denver or Boulder, considering all the mountain biking, rock climbing and winter sports they’re famous for.

You’d be surprised.  The fittest metro in America is Minneapolis-St. Paul, according to the annual American Fitness Index™ (AFI) that was just released by the American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM).  The Twin Cities finished third last year; this year they edged perennial winner Washington, DC into second place. Their winning rank reflects their relatively low (and rapidly-diminishing) smoking rate, their above-average percentage of regular exercisers, moderate-to-low rates of obesity, asthma, diabetes, and other chronic concerns, and rising share of farmers’ markets (indicative of a trend towards healthier dining). Boston takes the bronze, with Portland, Oregon fourth and Denver in fifth place. At the opposite end of the spectrum, Oklahoma City ranks as America’s least fit metro, followed by Louisville, Memphis, Birmingham, and Detroit.

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