Archive for the ‘Cities’ Category

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
Fri May 20th 2011 at 11:55am UTC

Best Places for College Grads

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Congratulations, Class of 2011, and welcome to a job market that’s only a little less terrible than the one that last year’s graduates had to contend with. Don’t feel too bad if you’re moving back to your parents’ house. According to a widely-reported recent survey, that’s where some 85 percent of your classmates are headed too.  Still, you’re going to be striking off on your own at some point, and the choices you’ll make about where to live can make an enormous difference in the kind of jobs you can get to help launch your career and life.

To seize your opportunities and navigate a career in this new borderless world, you have to be prepared to pick up stakes. Depending upon where Mom and Dad live, you might need to move to get that critical first job.

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Fri May 13th 2011 at 11:00am UTC

Last Car Dealership

Friday, May 13th, 2011

San Francisco’s Lincoln Ford Mercury, the last domestic car dealership within the city’s 47.6 square mile area, abruptly shut its doors on May 1, according to The San Francisco Chronicle. “It’s a tough market. Imports have a much bigger share in San Francisco,” Dennis Fitzpatrick, owner of Concord Chevrolet and regional vice president of the California New Car Dealers Association told the paper. “When you can sell 100 imports a month as opposed to 25 domestic, and what with the rents and real estate, it’s tough to make a U.S. car dealership pencil.” (more…)

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Wed Apr 27th 2011 at 10:00am UTC

America’s Best Cities for Plug-in Cars

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

The map above, from Ford via greenautoblog.com, shows the 25 American cities that are the most ready for electric vehicles (EVs).

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Mar 3rd 2011 at 3:25pm UTC

Chart of the Day: Twitter Cities

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Great graphic from the Center for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London.

The Center monitored Twitter in selected global cities to identify patterns of use and networks in these places (via planetizen).

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Fri Feb 25th 2011 at 10:00am UTC

Cities, Inequality and Wages

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Economic inequality has been mounting in the United States, hitting levels not seen since the Gilded Age.  There are numerous explanations for this phenomenon, ranging from the decline of unions and high-paid manufacturing jobs to the rise of globalization, of new technology, and knowledge-based work (what economists call “skill-based technical change”) and the bifurcation of the labor market into high-skill and low-skill jobs.

But do our cities and changing economic landscape play a role as well?  There are good reasons to suspect that they do.  For one, the past decade or so has seen a sorting of population by skill, occupation and human capital, (see my 2006 article “Where the Brains Are”).  For another, it is well known that both highly skilled and talented people and productive firms and high-tech industries tend to cluster and agglomerate together to create powerful economic advantages.

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Fri Feb 18th 2011 at 11:00am UTC

Grammys’ Big (City) Winner

Friday, February 18th, 2011

The big winners in Sunday night’s Grammy Awards took many by surprise. Arcade Fire took home the record of the year for “The Suburbs” and the country group Lady Antebellum’s song “Need You Now” won awards for best record and best song of the year. The former is from Montreal, the latter hail from Nashville.  The internet and social media exploded with a raft of incredulous messages – - a Tumblr called “Who is Arcade Fire?” compiled dozens of them.  The Today show’s Matt Lauer blurted: “I’ve never heard of the Arcade Fire. I’m going to have to download them.”

Could these wins reflect something of a broader trend?  Is the landscape of popular music changing? Could it be that new upstart music scenes in Nashville, Montreal, and elsewhere are gaining ground on New York and LA, the long-established hegemonic centers of commercial and recorded music?

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Sun Jan 23rd 2011 at 10:00am UTC

Geographies of Scope

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

That’s the title of my new article with Kevin Stolarick and Charlotta Mellander just out in the Journal of Economic Geography.

Here’s the abstract:

The geographic clustering of economic activity has long been understood in terms of economies of scale across space. This paper introduces the construct of geographies of scope, which we argue is driven by substantial, large-scale geographic concentrations of related skills, inputs and capabilities. We examine this through an empirical analysis of the entertainment industry across U.S. metropolitan areas from 1970 to 2000. Our findings indicate that geographies of scope (or collocation among key related entertainment subsectors and inputs) explain much of the economic geography of entertainment even when scale is controlled for, though our regressions over time suggest the role of scope is decreasing. Furthermore, we find that the entertainment sector as a whole and its key subsectors are significantly concentrated in two superstar cities—New York and Los Angeles—far beyond what their population size (or scale effects) can account for, while the pattern falls off dramatically for other large regions.

The full article is here.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Jan 13th 2011 at 3:00pm UTC

What Makes Texas Special

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

My colleague Derek Thompson takes on Paul Krugman’s contention that the Texas miracle was a mirage in his comment “Is Texas Special?” Challenging Krugman’s notion that the state’s deficit undercuts the advantages it derives from its population and economic growth, Thompson notes that, when it comes to Texas – and you can say this for just about any kind of economy – it is structural factors rather than short-term policy fluctuations that ultimately matter. “Whether or not Texas has cultivated a uniquely successful business environment at the state level,” he notes, “it’s pretty clear that many of Texas’ largest cities are uniquely positioned to withstand the recession. As a general rule, the cities that survived the recession avoided the housing boom and clung to strong government-backed sectors, like health care, higher education, and military.” Six Texas metros number among the country’s 20 best-performing regions, according to research and rankings by the Brookings’ Metropolitan Policy Program, he adds.

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Wed Jan 12th 2011 at 7:12pm UTC

A Canadian in Tucson

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Wendy Waters comments on my Atlantic post on the Tucson shootings and the culture of honor.

I went to grad school in Tucson. Loved the city and region in so many ways. Gun violence perpetrated by the mentally ill was something that this Canadian found hard to get used to.

Although last week’s incident had more human victims, my sense from living there was that it wasn’t unusual to have someone suffering from a mental-illness issue wandering public places with a loaded gun.

One incident at the U of Arizona while I was there involved an individual walking into the grad student computer lab (at a time when I was usually there, but thankfully wasn’t this time), opening fire, missing all the people but destroying two computers, and then wandering down the main campus waving his gun before police grabbed him. It was never clear why he did this (hearing voices, maybe). Subsequent investigation revealed he had long been in treatment from mental illness, but that this did not prevent him from purchasing the firearm legally the previous week because mental health records cannot be used in background checks.

Yes this story is anecdotal but maybe the answer to why certain people in certain places commit these mass murders is a combination of less help for the mentally ill combined with slightly easier access to weapons.