Archive for the ‘Community Strategies’ Category

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
Sun Oct 10th 2010 at 9:30am UTC

Love Letter to a Rustbelt City

Sunday, October 10th, 2010

Here’s a fantastic video, “Love Letters to Syracuse,” that illustrates the transformative, community-building role public art can play. For the project, artist Steven Powers painted bold, vivid messages about the city across old train bridges. The messages came from residents who were asked what they loved or hated about the community. See for yourself (via the Sustainable Cities Collective).

A LOVE LETTER TO SYRACUSE from samuel j macon on Vimeo.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Tue Oct 5th 2010 at 5:25pm UTC

Canada’s Creative Economy

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

My article, “Talent, Technology and Tolerance in Canadian Regional Development,” with Kevin Stolarick and Charlotta Mellander is out in the fall issue of The Canadian Geographer.

Here’s the abstract:

This article examines the factors that shape economic development in Canadian regions. It employs path analysis and structural equation models to isolate the effects of technology, human capital and/or the creative class, universities, the diversity of service industries and openness to immigrants, minorities and gay and lesbian populations on regional income. It also examines the effects of several broad occupations groups—business and finance, management, science, arts and culture, education and health care—on regional income. The findings indicate that both human capital and the creative class have a direct effect on regional income. Openness and tolerance also have a significant effect on regional development in Canada. Openness towards the gay and lesbian population has a direct effect on both human capital and the creative class, while tolerance towards immigrants and visible minorities is directly associated with higher regional incomes. The university has a relatively weak effect on regional incomes and on technology as well. Management, business and finance and science occupations have a sizeable effect on regional income; arts and culture occupations have a significant effect on technology; health and education occupations have no effect on regional income.

The full study is here.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Mon Oct 4th 2010 at 10:21am UTC

Map of the Day: The Guns and Beer Map

Monday, October 4th, 2010

From The New York Times

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Mon Aug 23rd 2010 at 6:08pm UTC

Canada’s Creative Class

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

My new paper on Canada’s creative class, done in collaboration with my MPI colleagues Kevin Stolarick and Charlotta Mellander, is out. It’s titled “Talent, Technology and Tolerance in Canadian Regional Development” and is published in the latest issue of the Canadian Geographer.

Here’s the abstract:

This article examines the factors that shape economic development in Canadian regions. It employs path analysis and structural equation models to isolate the effects of technology, human capital and/or the creative class, universities, the diversity of service industries and openness to immigrants, minorities and gay and lesbian populations on regional income. It also examines the effects of several broad occupations groups—business and finance, management, science, arts and culture, education and health care—on regional income. The findings indicate that both human capital and the creative class have a direct effect on regional income. Openness and tolerance also have a significant effect on regional development in Canada. Openness towards the gay and lesbian population has a direct effect on both human capital and the creative class, while tolerance towards immigrants and visible minorities is directly associated with higher regional incomes. The university has a relatively weak effect on regional incomes and on technology as well. Management, business and finance and science occupations have a sizeable effect on regional income; arts and culture occupations have a significant effect on technology; health and education occupations have no effect on regional income.

The full paper is here.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Mon Jun 28th 2010 at 9:30am UTC

The Creative Class in Rural Areas

Monday, June 28th, 2010

One of the most frequent questions I’m asked is: How can rural areas best cope and thrive in the increasingly spiky creative economy?

New research by economists David McGranahan and Timothy Wojan of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Dayton Lambert of the University of Tennessee provides some new and important insights. Their study, entitled “The Rural Growth Trifecta: Outdoor Amenities, Creative Class and Entrepreneurial Context,” published in the July 2010 issue of  the Journal of Economic Geography looks closely at the economic forces that are acting on rural areas and the local assets these areas can use to most effectively respond to these forces and spur development and prosperity. Rural areas can no longer depend on manufacturing branch plants as a source of jobs and growth, but rather can work to bolster local amenities, spur entrepreneurship, and enable the creative class to generate jobs and growth.  Their main conclusion is that amenities matter a lot to rural development.  Here’s the abstract for the study: (more…)

Steven Pedigo
by Steven Pedigo
Fri Apr 16th 2010 at 8:58am UTC

Creative Roanoke

Friday, April 16th, 2010

We are starting a new series at the Creative Class Exchange entitled “Creative Capstones.” Every few weeks, we will highlight a creative community, inspiring leader, or innovative program that has an interesting perspective on creativity and the changing global economy.

This week, we interviewed Jeremy Holmes from Roanoke, Virginia. Jeremy is a transportation alternatives coordinator with the Roanoke Valley Alleghany Regional Commission and a volunteer “community connector” with the Roanoke Creative Communities Leadership Project (CCLP). Jeremy provided us with his insights on Roanoke, the region’s CCLP successes, and what it takes to build a successful community engagement effort.

Creative Class Group (CCG):  Tell us about Roanoke. What makes it a special community?

Jeremy Holmes: In a purely technical sense, Roanoke is a small urban area of about 200,000 people tucked into the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia, a place with four seasons (a novelty for a California native like myself), easy access to everything from the Appalachian Trail to Washington, D.C., a fairly stable job market and housing prices, and major educational and technological resources in our own backyard.

(more…)

Peter Kageyama
by Peter Kageyama
Tue Dec 15th 2009 at 8:00am UTC

Where Is Your Reset?

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Red on top

I was talking to a 60-year-old, retired entrepreneur at a party the other night. Successful guy, very sharp. I asked him what he thinks is next for Florida and he said he did not have much hope for Florida, mostly due to lack of visionary leadership. Then he said something that really struck me. He suggested that Florida is on a course to reset to its old state of being “cheap, sunny, and dumb.”

That really struck me because while we are all talking about the great reset that is going on, I had not thought to ask the question, “What does Florida reset to?” And he may very well be right. At the state level, we are relaxing the rules for developers  to encourage even more sprawl to try to kick-start our construction industry again. We are actually lowering impact fees in places. We are lowering protections on the environment. This seems like a reset towards “cheap, sunny, and dumb.” There are powerful forces and attitudes that could very well push Florida back into this reset mode. And that is pretty scary.

While we all generally agree that this reset is needed and welcomed in some cases, we should be careful that we don’t reset back to a point so far back that we actually lose too much of our hard won progress. We all have to ask ourselves and our leadership what the plan and vision is for this reset. Each community is facing this and we act as if the reset is just something that will happen. That is not the case, yet I hear far too little  debate as to how we actively shape the reset.

Peter Kageyama
by Peter Kageyama
Tue Dec 1st 2009 at 8:08am UTC

The Value of Iconic Architecture

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

Crane and sunrise

I recently had the opportunity to visit Milwaukee, WI, for the first time (thank you FUEL Milwaukee!). And visiting cities for the first time, to me, is particularly exciting. Arriving for the first time is a pure and unadulterated experience. First impressions matter and how a city presents itself to a first-time visitor is very important. I learned this from my friend Charles Landry.

Milwaukee Art Museum

Milwaukee Art Museum

I arrived via the airport with the typical location outside of city. My host takes the highway toward the city. As we approach the Hoan Bridge, we pass amid the Port of Milwaukee. On both sides, there are mountains of bulk materials and cranes. While not beautiful, there is the appearance of activity and a muscularity that says “we work here.” As we crest the bridge (with its own very strange design element) I am startled because the city presents itself there in panorama. The city in the hills to the left, the waters of Lake Michigan to the right. And to the right, near the lake, your eye is drawn to the white sails of the Santiago Calatrava masterpiece at the Milwaukee Art Museum.  It looks so different and unexpected in the tableau that one cannot help but to stare. Unexpected because this is the Midwest where modern iconic design is not the norm and that is not a shot; I am originally  from the Midwest!  More photos click here.

While many question the value of “starchitects” and iconic design, I have to say that my impression of Milwaukee was and is shaped in no small part because of that building. It is different and it says something about Milwaukee that no amount of advertising and marketing could equal. It says in a profound way “we are not what you expect” and that Milwaukee is looking to the future and beyond the beer brewery image of its past. The building says it in a visible and demonstrable way that one cannot deny.

Cities that are arguing over the cost/benefits of such iconic architecture should consider the context in which the new building will occur. In starchitect-rich Singapore, one more Calatrava or Libeskind is just keeping up with the crowd. In cities with a dearth of quality architecture (lots of those) or cities that need to redefine themselves in the 21st century, a new building can be a catalyst for new design and a whole host of other values.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Tue Nov 3rd 2009 at 12:00pm UTC

Greening the City

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

BikePathRuralUrban

rock creek.jpgToday, we take it for granted the streets are there to move cars, and also to carry buses as well as cyclists, pedestrians, and the occasional skater, scooter-rider, and Segway user. The typical solution is to keep pedestrians on the sidewalk and paint lanes on the street to separate cars from cyclists or create express lanes for buses.

But maybe there’s another approach: Why not consider devoting different streets to different kinds of transportation? And surely cities need more green space and some are actually getting it. Inspired by the High-Line Park, by D.C.’s Rock Creek Park, and Toronto’s extensive ravine system, I have been noodling about the possibility of creating linear green belts or what I like to think of as sliver parks through cities. I literally feel this when I walk through Toronto’s ravines, or in the past when I cycled through D.C.’s Rock Creek Park. It provides a natural environment in the city and creates green zones for cycling, walking, picnicking, or other activities. But I thought this is far too pie-in-the-sky to actually be implemented or even proposed.

So I was more than pleasantly surprised to see The New York Times’ Nicolai Ouroussoff highlighting just such an approach coming out of  a nine-month design competition for the Bronx’s “faded” Grand Concourse.

A proposal by the New York office of the international design firm EDAW that would create a strip of communal farmland down the middle of the Concourse verges on cliché. But it improves when you keep in mind the grittiness of some of the urban gardens in New York or Berlin and imagine them stretched out along several miles. A new light-rail line would run the length of the boulevard; traffic would be reduced to two lanes in each direction, down from the current six.

A raucous proposal by the French team Nadau Lavergne Architects would pile more activities on top of existing structures to add density to the neighborhood and create unexpected urban frictions. Schools and cultural institutions would be stacked over apartment complexes, freeing up the street level for commercial use. A graffiti-covered streetcar would run up and down the Concourse, linking it to Manhattan. The Concourse would be packed with trees, transforming it into a linear urban forest.

Part of what is moving about these proposals is that their approaches have become so familiar. Not long ago the notion of building farmland in the middle of a busy urban roadway would have seemed like madness; today it seems too obvious. So does the idea that segregating urban functions can drain the life from a city.

Check out the terrific images from the project website, including this slide show. A full gallery of all the submitted projects is here.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons