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How Our Cities Are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Class-and What We Can Do About It
By Richard Florida
On Sale April 11, 2017
“Intellectual rock star” Richard Florida confronts the dark side of the creative economy he celebrated in The Rise of the Creative Class, and grapples with the gentrification, inequality, and segregation it has created in our cities.
In recent years, the young, educated, and affluent have surged back into cities, reversing decades of suburban flight and urban decline. And yet all is not well. In The New Urban Crisis, Richard Florida, one of the first scholars to anticipate this back-to-the-city movement in his groundbreaking The Rise of the Creative Class, demonstrates how the same forces that power the growth of the world’s superstar cities also generate their vexing challenges: gentrification, unaffordability, segregation, and inequality. Across nearly every metro area, middle-class neighborhoods are disappearing. Our cities and suburbs are being replaced by a patchwork metropolis, in which small areas of privilege are surrounded by vast swaths of poverty and disadvantage. The rise of a winner-take-all-urbanism, with a small group of winners and a much larger span of losers, signals a profound crisis of today’s urbanized knowledge economy that threatens our economic future and way of life.
But if this crisis is urban, so is its solution. Cities remain the most powerful economic engines the world has ever seen. The only way forward is to devise a new model of urbanism that encourages innovation and wealth creation while generating good jobs, rising living standards, and a better way of life for everyone. We must break down the barriers separating rich from poor and rebuild the middle class by investing in infrastructure, building more housing, reforming zoning and tax laws, and developing a new national urban policy.
A bracingly original work of research and analysis, The New Urban Crisis offers a compelling diagnosis of our economic ills and a bold prescription for more inclusive cities capable of ensuring growth and prosperity for all.