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Listing all articles in the Opinion Editorials category
Philadelphia has long been one of my favorite cities. Having grown up in New Jersey and gone to college at Rutgers, Iâve been visiting, and tracking, the city since the mid-1970s. I saw it in perhaps its most hard-pressed days and cheered on the stunning revival of its downtown area over the past decade or so. Iâve been visiting even more now, as the inaugural Philadelphia Fellow sponsored by Drexel University, Thomas Jefferson University, and the University City Science Center, where I have been working with local stakeholders and academics to benchmark where the city stands on key metrics and to develop strategies for the future.
This is an opportunity for the mega-corporation to broker a new deal with the city and state
Weâre used to thinking of high-tech innovation and startups as generated and clustered predominantly in fertile U.S. ecosystems, such as Silicon Valley, Seattle, and New York. But as with so many aspects of American economic ingenuity, high-tech startups have now truly gone global. The past decade or so has seen the dramatic growth of startup ecosystems around the world, from Shanghai and Beijing, to Mumbai and Bangalore, to London, Berlin, Stockholm, Toronto and Tel Aviv. A number of U.S. cities continue to dominate the global landscape, including the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Boston, and Los Angeles, but the rest of the world is gaining ground rapidly.
Toronto Mayor John Toryâs resounding victory last month gave him an âhistoric mandate,â as he put it. Heâll need it, because the city he is leading is badly stuck, unable to address the deep challenges it faces. Indeed, the mayor must use his hard-won political capital to make headway on four key fronts.First and foremost is affordable housing. Tory has said he will make housing and housing affordability a priority of his second term, declaring that âwe must do more to speed up the increase in supply of affordable housing.â
It goes without saying: Ours is a divided nation. But the real boundary doesnât run between Blue or Red states, liberal and conservative ideologies, or urban versus rural regions. No, the real divide in America is one of scale. Richard Florida and Mick Cornett belong to different political parties, and differ sharply on a number of policy views. But they share a core belief that our countryâs future lies in Local America.
Canada, we increasingly hear, is becoming a global leader in high-tech innovation and entrepreneurship. Report after report has ranked Toronto, Waterloo and Vancouver among the worldâs most up-and-coming tech hubs. Toronto placed fourth in a ranking of North American tech talent this past summer, behind only the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle and Washington, and in 2017 its metro area added more tech jobs than those other three city-regions combined.
Can creativity be the basis of prosperity in Latin America? Richard Florida calls for a bet on Latin ingenuity to fight against inequality in the region.
lobalization strikes again. The latest target is entrepreneurship.For decades, promoting start-up firms through venture capital and other methods of business investment seemed a peculiarly American strength. It has nurtured countless tech firms, including titans such as Facebook, Google and Apple. Americans have been duly proud. It reinforced a sense of national exceptionalism, because other countries couldnât easily duplicate it, if at all.
En estos tiempos, la clave para el desarrollo econĂłmico de AmĂ©rica Latina ya no solamente incluye sus materias primas y sus manufacturas, sino tambiĂ©n un recurso ilimitado aunque ignorado por muchos: el inmenso potencial creativo de la regiĂłn. La creatividad forma indiscutiblemente parte del ADN de las sociedades, ciudades y barrios latinoamericanos,
While recent headlines have blared about the Trump administrationâs multi-front trade war with Canadian dairy farmers, Chinese manufacturers and the European Unionâs steel, aluminum and automotive industries, a much larger economic threat has gone virtually unnoticed. The high-tech startups that have provided the U.S. with a powerful edge in fields such as computers, software, mobile devices, biotech, the internet and an array of digital platforms now face rapidly increasing pressures from foreign competition. This looming crisis of American innovation could undermine the nationâs long-running global advantage in bringing to market the next new technology, the next new industry, the next big thing. It may well be the gravest challenge yet to Americaâs century-plus hold on global economic hegemony.
A shadow hangs over Toronto after Sundayâs shooting on the Danforth. The recent killing spree follows on the heels of a vehicle attack on Yonge Street this spring and a raft of shootings, including one with small children in the crossfire last month. The cityâs international reputation as a multicultural success story seems at risk, as Torontonians fear they are succumbing to the twin threats of gun violence and terrorism vexing other global cities.
Torontonians like to sound off on Americansâ inability to deal with guns and gun deaths. But Torontoâ s inability to deal with the car creates its own killing fields. Today, more Torontonians die from being hit by cars than from being killed by guns. In 2016, nearly 2,000 pedestrians and 1,000 cyclists in the city were hit by cars. Of these, 43 resulted in fatalities.
Ontarioâs recent economic success is the product of longer-run investments in universities, arts and culture; advanced research in key fields like artificial intelligence; openness to immigrants; and a growing commitment to place-making and city-building. This economic advantage will be significantly diminished if Doug Ford becomes premier of Ontario. Comparisons are already being made between Mr. Ford and Mr. Trump, as well as between Mr. Trump and Mr. Fordâs late younger brother, Rob, the original North American populist. All three positioned themselves as advocates for the âlittle guy,â slashing taxes and cutting back government. Like Mr. Trump, Doug Ford has even hired actors for campaign events.
Airports have a stronger connection to regional growth than high-tech industry and about the same impact as high-skill talent, writes Richard Florida. âThe key lies in the way that global hub airports connect global cities.â
With the help of his colleagues at the University of Torontoâs Martin Prosperity Institute, Patrick Adler and Charlotta Mellander, Richard Florida ranked Canadaâs, and each nationâs Olympic medal performance relative to their population, size of their economy and number of athletes on their Olympic teams. So, how does Canadaâs performance measure up on metrics like these?
Runaway gentrification. Concentrated poverty. Racial and economic segregation. Cities in the United States today are struggling with some of their biggest challenges since the darkest days of the 1960s and 1970s, when âwhite flight,â deindustrialization, and crime were at their peaks. Together, these concerns add up to what I have dubbed the New Urban Crisis.
City leaders should pledge to compete on merits, not incentives.
Amazon's short list of contenders for its much ballyhooed HQ2 reads like a who's who of the most economically vibrant and dynamic cities in North America. There's one part of Amazon's HQ2 competition that is deeply disturbing -- pitting city against city in a wasteful and economically unproductive bidding war for tax and other incentives. As one of the world's most valuable companies, Amazon does not need -- and should not be going after -- taxpayer dollars that could be better used on schools, parks, transit, housing or other much needed public goods.
Communities are finding innovative ways to transform their abandoned malls and big-box stores into more useful spaces.
The bids to host Amazonâs much ballyhooed second headquarters are in from dozens of cities across the US and Canada. With its promise of 50,000-plus jobs and billions in investment, it has been hailed as one of the biggest urban development opportunities in recent memory. However, things are not working out exactly as the ecommerce group may have hoped. Resentment among city leaders is growing at what looks like a big, well-capitalised company taking advantage of cities and their taxpayers.
Most of the world's research and entrepreneurship is concentrated in a few megacities.Innovation is geographically uneven. The world's 40 richest mega-regions â expansive conurbations such as the BostonâNew YorkâWashington DC corridor, Greater London, or the passage that runs from Shanghai to Beijing â account for more than 85% of the world's patents, and 83% of the most-cited scientists. And yet, only 18% of the world's population lives in them.
Google's Sidewalk Labs subsidiary has apparently chosen the Toronto waterfront as the place it will create a veritable city of the future, developing and prototyping new technology-enabled ways of working, living and getting around. And Toronto is placed at or near the top of many short lists for Amazon's new second headquarters, over which more than 50 communities across North America are competing.Why have Toronto, and Canada more broadly, suddenly become so attractive to major U.S. tech companies? The election of Donald Trump may be the veritable tipping point, but Canada's ability to compete for top global talent has been growing for a while.
While America closes its borders, its northern neighbor is poaching some of the best tech talent in the world.
As the worldâs most economically powerful financial center and a budding hub for high-tech industry, New York City has grown increasingly segregated and unequalâparticularly in areas surrounding new development. Now more than ever, the city has become a contested ground for space, spurring a local backlash among community members who can no longer afford to live where they are. With the current presidential administration and Republican majority on Capitol Hill unlikely to lend their support, New York must now turn to its local leaders, communities, and anchor institutionsâuniversities, medical centers, real estate developers and large corporationsâto mitigate this new urban crisis.
Toronto is a great city with many amazing things going for it. Itâs time we make our streets safer for our people, especially the elderly and children who are at the highest risk.
Today, more than six million Canadians â 40 per cent of Canadaâs workers â toil in low-paying routine service jobs, preparing and serving our food, waiting on us in stores and retail shops, doing office work, and providing a wide range of personal and health care service, from cutting our hair and giving us massages, to taking care of our kids and aging parents.
Last June, Aetna announced that it was moving its headquarters from Hartford, Conn., where it has been located since 1853, to the Meatpacking District in New York City. New York, Aetnaâs CEO Mark Bertolini told The New York Times, offers âthe ecosystem of having people in the knowledge economy, working in a town they want to be living in, and we want to attract those folks, and we want to have them on our team. Itâs very hard to recruit people like that to Hartford.â
There is little doubt that the Greater Houston area will rebound and rebuild after Harvey. This has long been one of the world's fastest-growing and most vibrant regions, with a population fast approaching 7 million and projected to pass 11 million by 2050. With an economic output of nearly $500 billion, Houston's economy would place it among the 25 wealthiest nations in the world. It's a center of high-tech energy production and medical research.
For all the concern about the gentrification, rising housing prices and the growing gap between the rich and poor in our leading cities, an even bigger threat lies on the horizon: The urban revival that swept across America over the past decade or two may be in danger. As it turns out, the much-ballyhooed new age of the city might be giving way to a great urban stall-out.
Inclusive prosperity is the idea that the opportunity and benefits of economic growth should be widely shared by all segments of society. Most cities fall well short of that ideal. While urban areas continue to afford new opportunities to employees and businesses from all walks of life, they are increasingly split between wealthy, high-skill knowledge workers and low-paid service workers.
Does the looming special counsel investigation into potential collusion between Donald Trump's campaign and the Kremlin presage a less-than-four-year incumbency for this President? One can always hope. Certainly, resignation, impeachment or a 25th Amendment solution seem much more likely today than they did a year ago, when the very idea of a Trump presidency strained credulity.
On Monday, November 7, 2016, I made what I thought were the final edits to the manuscript of my latest book, The New Urban Crisis, and sent it off to my publisher. The next day, my wife and I invited our American friends to come to our house in Toronto to celebrate what we were all but certain would be Hillary Clintonâs election. We pulled out all the stops. We hung up red, white and blue bunting, and dressed our baby and our puppy to match. My wifeâs sisters supplied us with life-sized cutouts of Clinton and Donald Trump, which they had literally âmuledâ over the border from the Detroit suburbs. At 6 p.m., when the polls began to close, we turned on the TV to watch the early returns. By 8:30, the party had come to a crashing stop. I spent the rest of the night glued to Twitter; I hardly even noticed when the last of our guests departed.
The Service Class, not the Working Class, is the key to the Democratsâ future. Members of the blue-collar Working Class are largely white men, working in declining industries like manufacturing, as well as construction, transportation, and other manual trades. Members of the Service Class work in rapidly growing industries like food service, clerical and office work, retail stores, hospitality, personal assistance, and the caring industries. The Service Class has more than double the members of the Working Class â 65 million versus 30 million members, and is made up disproportionately of women and members of ethnic and racial minorities.
IN 2013 PROTESTS broke out in Oakland, California, directed against the private buses that shuttle tech workers from pricey homes in the cityâs gentrifying areas to jobs in Silicon Valley. âYou live your comfortable lives,â read a flyer that protesters handed out to passengers, âsurrounded by poverty, homelessness, and death, seemingly oblivious to everything around you, lost in the big bucks and success.â
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. The very same forces that power the growth of our great cities have generated a crisis of gentrification, rising inequality and increasingly unaffordable urban housing.
Urbanist Richard Florida is the author of The Rise of the Creative Class, the book that taught cities to focus on attracting people in the creative professions. Below, he shares his favorite books on urban capitalism, innovation, and inequality:
âIf the 1 percent stifles New Yorkâs creative talent, Iâm out of here,â musician David Byrne threatened several years ago. New York Cityâs incredible economic success, he wrote, would be its cultural undoing. âMost of Manhattan and many parts of Brooklyn are virtual walled communities, pleasure domes for the rich,â he continued. âMiddle-class people can barely afford to live here anymore, so forget about emerging artists, musicians, actors, dancers, writers, journalists and small business people. Bit by bit, the resources that keep the city vibrant are being eliminated.â
They are not just the places where the most ambitious and talented people want to beâthey are where such people feel they need to be.
Even setting the dysfunction of our national government, the fact is that no top-down, one-size-fits-all set of policies can address the very different conditions that prevail among communities.
Richard Florida outlines the steps that must be taken to if Toronto and other superstar cities are to make cities more livable and equitable for the middle and lower classes.
As technology companies and the techies who work for them have headed to cities, they have increasingly been blamed for the deepening problems of housing affordability and urban inequality.
I was born in Newark in 1957, and witnessed the riots that tipped that city into its long-running decline. As a college student in the 1970s, when New York City was still teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, I observed the first tender shoots of revival that were visible in SoHo, Tribeca and other parts of lower Manhattan, as artists began to colonize its abandoned industrial spaces.
The best growth strategy for Ontario is to deepen the innovation and knowledge component of all industries, not just newer ones.
Toronto may be the nationâs largest metro and the main driver of its economy, but it barely punches its own weight when it comes to the members of Canadaâs Olympic team. The real standouts of this Olympic Games are smaller metros like Kingston, London, Windsor, and Guelph, which are home to far greater concentrations of Olympians than one might expect given their size.
Opinion Editorial by FIU President Mark Rosenberg and CCG Founder, Richard Florida. To get a clearer understanding of the Miami regionâs opportunities and challenges, Florida International University and the Creative Class Group launched the FIU-Miami Creative City Initiative. The first major report of that project, released today, enumerates the regionâs challenges and opportunities, while identifying several key areas that will help ensure a broader shared prosperity for Greater Miami.
Perhaps itâs finally time for Congress to step in and stop the incentive arms race among states by invoking its constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce. In the meantime, GE could always do the right thing and give taxpayers back their money. For a company that wants to be seen as both cutting edge and a good corporate citizen, such a move would set an important precedent.
With all eyes focused on the presidential race, now is the time to discuss the great challenges that our nation faces. The candidates have a unique opportunity to address the issues that affect the lives of their fellow Americans, but what are those issues and how should they think about them? What major urban policy issues should the candidates address? They posed this question to our Penn IUR Faculty Fellows and Scholars.
To demonstrate its commitment to all these interwoven urban issues, itâs time for the government to create a new body â a âministry of cities,â which would spearhead these interwoven initiatives while signalling to the world that this country is ready to lead the ongoing century of cities.
The city's growth will require innovation, creativity and investment to be sustainable.
Canada ranks fourth in the world in a new ranking of the worldâs most creative and economically competitive countries. The survey, put together by my research team at the University of Torontoâs Martin Prosperity Institute, places Canada behind only first-place Australia, the United States and New Zealand. This is the third version of these rankings weâve done, and Canada is up from its seventh-place finish in 2011.
In this op-ed Richard Florida examines the significant economic division between conservative âred statesâ and liberal âblue states.â
North Texas will be more competitive and its economic future stronger byworking together.The University of Texas at Arlington and the Creative Class Group have been leading aneffort involving regional stakeholders including major chambers of commerce; local elected officials; Vision North Texas; community and civic groups; and UTA faculty, staff and students to help to inform a broad conversation about the path toward a sustainable, shared prosperity.
By Richard Florida - Feb 2006
By Richard Florida - July 2005
By Richard Florida and Jesse Elliott - June 2005
By Richard Florida, Philadelphia Inquirer - May 2005
Cities are not declining -- many are even coming back. The past decade has witnessed an unforeseen rebirth in urban America, according to the newly released figures from the 2000 Census.
By Richard Florida, Information Week - April 2001
By Richard Florida, Information Week - March 2001
By Richard Florida, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - March 2001
By Richard Florida, Information Week - Dec 2000
By Richard Florida, Information Week - Nov 2000
By Richard Florida, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Oct 2000
By Richard Florida, Information Week - Sept 2000
By Richard Florida, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - June 2000
By Richard Florida, Inc. Magazine - April 1994
By Richard Florida and Martin Kenney, Chronicle of Higher Education - July 1991
Every time I have visited London over the past several years, I invariably hear the same story from my taxi driver. As we drive past Hyde Park on the way to or from the airport, he will say, âYou see that building?â nodding towards a modern glass tower next to the Mandarin Oriental hotel. âSome of the apartments cost ÂŁ50 million or more. And no one lives thereâitâs always dark.â