Posts Tagged ‘innovation’

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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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Mon Jan 3rd 2011 at 9:00am UTC

The Role of Beauty in Community Satisfaction

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Beautiful Places: The Role of Perceived Aesthetic Beauty in Community Satisfaction” is a new paper on regional studies that I wrote with my MPI colleagues Charlotta Mellander and Kevin Stolarick.

Here’s the abstract:

This research uses a large survey sample of individuals across United States locations to examine the effects of beauty and aesthetics on community satisfaction. The paper conducts these estimations by ordinary least-squares, ordered logit, and multinomial logit. The findings confirm that beauty is significantly associated with community satisfaction. Other significant factors include economic security, schools, and social interaction. Further, community-level factors are significantly more important than individual demographic characteristics in explaining community satisfaction.

Read the full paper here.

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 Oct 28th 2010 at 12:30pm UTC

The Spiky Social Network

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Social media is redefining the landscape of everything we do, from the way we connect to family and friends, how brands and celebrities capture attention, to the way business and journalism function. Hundreds of millions of people across the world use social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. If any technology promised to shatter the constraint of geography, overcome distance, and flatten the world, social media would be it.

But a quick look at the map below, from the NetProspex 2010 Social Business Report, shows this is not the case at all, certainly not for the United States.

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Oct 14th 2010 at 2:40pm UTC

New World Financial Order

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Is a new world financial order emerging from the economic crisis? Will Asia’s rising financial centers displace the long-held dominance of New York and London?

The newly released edition of the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI), an annual competitiveness ranking of the world’s leading financial centers, provides useful data with which to assess the evolving landscape of global finance.

The map above, prepared by Zara Matheson of the Martin Prosperity Institute (MPI), shows the world’s leading financial centers based on the GFCI ranking.

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Mon Oct 11th 2010 at 9:30am UTC

NYC’s Quality of Place Agenda

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Check out this video (via Urbanophile) on New York City’s wide-ranging efforts to improve quality of place. It’s shifting from a car city to a “city for people” – expanding bike lanes into a networked cycling infrastructure and upgrading its bus system. The environment benefits, it’s easier to get around, streets are safer, and neighborhoods are quieter - all of which make the city a more desirable place to live, work, and play.

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
Sat Oct 9th 2010 at 9:15am UTC

Suburban Renewal

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

This is the longer, unedited version of my column in today’s Wall Street Journal.

Remaking our sprawling suburbs, with their enormous footprints, shoddy construction, hastily put up infrastructure, and dying malls, is shaping up to be the biggest urban revitalization challenge of modern times—far larger in scale, scope and cost than the revitalization of our inner cities.

What a dramatic shift. Just a couple of decades ago, the suburbs were the locus of the American Dream. More than their sprawling, large-lot homes and big wide lawns, their shopping malls, industrial parks, and office campuses accounted for a growing percentage of the nation’s economic output.  A good many of them formed into Edge Cities—satellite centers where people could live, work, and shop without ever having to set foot in the center city.

With millions of homes underwater or in foreclosure, our suburbs and exurbs have taken some of the most visible hits from the great recession. In a stunning reversal, big cities like New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, and Seattle have become talent magnets at the same time, drawing ambitious people, empty-nesters, young-families, and even a growing number of offices back to their downtown cores. As inner city neighborhoods are being gentrified, blight and intransigent poverty are moving out to the suburbs, where one third of the nation’s poor now reside—1.5 million more than in cities, according to a Brookings study. And suburban poverty populations are growing at five times the rate of those in cities.

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Oct 7th 2010 at 1:31pm UTC

Support for the Creative Class

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

That’s the title of this Wall Street Journal story on a new Rockefeller Foundation Initiative to support the creative class.

To assure the city remains the cultural and creative leader of the world, the Rockefeller Foundation is giving more than $3 million to support local artists and arts organizations.

More than 400 applicants vied for a chance to receive two-year grants, ranging from $50,000 to $250,000. Eighteen winners were chosen, including Bowery Arts & Science, to project the works of poets onto walls and buildings in city neighborhoods and the City University of New York Institute for Sustainable Cities in partnership with Artist as Citizen, to create an online atlas that traces the city’s environmental transformation and maps out the future of the city’s environment …

“It’s a new business model that builds the financial resilience of the arts sector while maintaining the artistic capacity,” says Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation.

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Wed Oct 6th 2010 at 2:48pm UTC

Does Corporate Nationality Matter?

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

The Judgment Call section of today’s Financial Times asks:

Last week, Volkswagen chairman Ferdinand Piëch announced the company was interested in buying Alfa Romeo, the Italian brand. While at Fiat, chief executive Sergio Marchionne says the company is “Italian based but not an Italian company.” In the era of global business, does a company’s national identity matter?

Here’s my answer: (more…)