Posts Tagged ‘geography’

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.


Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu May 26th 2011 at 11:44am UTC

The Fan Factor in the NBA Conference Finals

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

This year’s NBA’s playoffs have had more than their share of drama.  Kobe Bryant’s and Phil Jackson’s Lakers melted down at the end of their four game sweep by the Dallas Mavericks. Lebron James finally triumphed against the vaunted Boston Celtics. Now the conference finals feature four stellar teams in matchups that are as notable for their tactical and strategic contrasts – the star-studded Heat versus the defense-minded team concept of Tom Thibodeaux’s Chicago Bulls – as for their outstanding players. And the archetypal confrontation between the Thunder’s 22-year-old Kevin Durant and the Maverick’s grizzled veteran, the seemingly unstoppable Dirk Nowitzki, promises still more scenery-chewing.

But beyond their individual stars and lineups, there’s that intangible force of the proverbial sixth man—the ineffable but undeniable jolt that players get from a noisy fan presence in the stands. Playing on your home court in front of devoted fans who whoop it up and cheer you on while booing your opponent, creates an extra level of energy that is almost impossible to measure.


Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Fri Apr 29th 2011 at 10:00am UTC

Show Me the Money: The Geography of Superstar Sports Millionaires

Friday, April 29th, 2011

Boxer Manny Pacquiao and baseball star Alex Rodriguez top the list of the world’s highest paid athletes, according to new data compiled by ESPN.

ESPN tracked annual salaries—the base pay the players received for their most recent season or calendar year (endorsements and other sources of income were excluded) across 182 nations and 17 sports, from baseball and basketball to badminton and cricket. Salary data was collected from “multiple sources, including leagues, agents, consulates, embassies, sports federations, cultural centers and the U.N.”

Wake up America: It’s not football, baseball, basketball, or even NASCAR that accounts for the lion’s share of sports superstars: 114 of the 184 best-paid athletes in the world play soccer—almost seven times more than the next runner up (basketball, with 18 uber-rich players). For the rest, there are 12 baseball players, six auto-racers, five golfers, five football players, four cricketeers, three boxers, and three track and field contestants. Rugby and tennis each contribute two competitors and there is one representative each from badminton, cycling, motorcycle racing, sumo wrestling, and yachting. (more…)

Kwende Kefentse
by Kwende Kefentse
Tue Sep 9th 2008 at 5:05pm UTC

Clustering and the Geography of Creativity

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

Richard writes at great length in his work about the effect of clustering, particularly in understanding why the mega-region is a seminal concept of the urban age. Clustering is vital at the micro-level as well. In Christian Norberg-Schulz’s Genius Loci: Towards a Phenomenology of Architecture, he makes the argument that space and place create the context for gathering and that it’s only through gathering that things like culture and representative art can begin to happen.

My experience as a journalist and DJ echo his observations. When I first began to interview the artists that I grew up listening to, the thing that impressed upon me most was how interconnected their communities were – particularly the hip hop artists from the New York area. We couldn’t understand it properly as kids listening to the music from a distance, but from visiting New York and talking to these artists you begin to understand what the neighborhoods meant to cultural production. Before they were legends, they were kids who liked music or dancing or art, and lived down the street from each other, so they got together to do it.

Although artists formed separate groups professionally, before they were in the public eye they all went record shopping in the same places, hung out in the same clubs, painted on the same walls, bounced ideas off of each other, and shared a sense of community that was defined very much by the urban terrain upon which it was cultivated. As a DJ in a city that is pretty arts-intensive, I can see the parallels in my own environment. There are places where we go and cluster and as artists we get together to just hang out and exchange ideas.

I say all of that to underscore this: I was at an art gallery the other day and I saw a call for public art from the city along with a submission form. A street that traverses Little Italy is being torn up and repaired, and the BIA is taking proposals for designs on some of the the buildings/space before the street reopens. Having worked in an art gallery for a couple of years, it occurred to me that this was not the first time I had seen a form like this and, while artists do frequent galleries, that there might be more effective places to put these forms. A street intersecting the road under repair has become a locust for young creative business enterprise centered around the arts. Young artists forming co-ops and running cafés, or specialty fashion stores where creative people came to do their thing. In the week as I went about my business in and out of these places and checked around, there were no forms to be found.

It made me wonder – are cities aware of their creative geographies?  Do they know where their artists cluster? If they need to address them, do cities have any real on-the-ground information, or do they guess at places like art galleries when the artists are hanging out right across the street?

And now, as always, some music.