Please enable scripting in your browser to continue. Thank you.
America’s great divide is not between poor cities and affluent suburbs; its great metropolitan areas are patchworks of concentrated advantage and concentrated disadvantage that stretch across both. Some of its suburbs are thriving; others are in a steep decline. In this new, fractured and divvied metropolitan geography, the traditional juxtaposition between “urban” and suburban” has lost much of its meaning.
America’s future can be even better than its past. But the key to getting there — to reigniting innovation, spurring long run prosperity and rebuilding our sagging middle class — lies in strengthening and empowering our system of cities, our greatest asset of all.
As the election night map reminds us, Toronto remains a deeply divided city.Acknowledging these problems is a step in the right direction, but it will take more than words to remedy these deep divides. Richard Florida weighs in.
During your Caribbean Cruise, you may dream of living in paradise, of packing it all up and escaping to the islands. While that's a great fantasy, the reality of trying to make a living makes it less attractive. But there's always Miami. No, really, Miami. It's a great place to live. Just ask Richard and Rana Florida, the power couple behind the Creative Class Group.
Just as our cities and urban centers are reviving, their growing class divisions threaten their further development in new and even more vexing ways.
San Francisco is one of the most innovative and creative places on the planet. But the very forces that are making San Francisco boom are also dividing it.
The reality is that incentives play little if any role in companies' location decisions, which are based on more fundamental factors like labor costs, the quality of the workforce, proximity to markets and access to suppliers.
Knight Cities Challenge offers applicants a chance to share in $5 million by focusing on the question: "What’s your best idea to make cities more successful?” The contest will test the most innovative ideas in talent, opportunity and engagement in one or more of 26 Knight Foundation communities. Richard Florida writes about talent as a driver of city success.
‘Job creators’ wring tax breaks from states at the expense of everyone else.
Virtually all of the published research on the subject shows that most economic development incentives are a senseless waste of taxpayer money. My own analysis found no connection between incentive dollars spent per capita and such measures of economic success as wages, incomes, human capital levels or unemployment.It's time to put an end to incentive madness once and for all.
Since the worst of the recession, New York City has gained back the jobs it lost and then some, surpassing its all-time high of over 4 million private-sector jobs by more than 5%. This is a resurgence to be sure, but it is a disappointingly uneven one.In short, the road to opportunity remains closed for far too many New Yorkers.
Richard Florida had the honor of returning to his undergraduate alma mater, Rutgers University, to address the newly minted graduates of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, who will be some of the leaders of this epochal undertaking. He shared a few of his stories about Rutgers with them, and about the importance of finding your passion and forging your own course through life. He'd like to share them with you as well.
Richard Florida gives the commencement speech at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers.
The talent that fled to suburban nerdistans is returning to the cities.
The Globe and Mail asks Richard Florida to pinpoint the most crucial principles for building a better city.
The Ontario government was right to raise its minimum wage, and to introduce legislation that would peg future increases to inflation. But the new legislation should also take into account the significant differences in costs of living across the province. It should include provisions to index the minimum wage on a geographic basis.
London has emerged from nearly a century of British decline to take its place at the very apex of global capitalism cannot be denied. In an era in which cities have become the principle organizing units of the global economy, London stands head andshoulders above all but a handful of its urban peers.3 New investments have turned East London’s Tech City into a centre of start-up and venture capital activity. Talent has the most expensive places on the planet to live.
The rise of the ‘creative class’ as the motor of economic growth means that countries which promote technology, talent and tolerance will do best. Will this lead to higher inequality? Not necessarily argues Richard Florida.
Richard Florida discusses how the benefits of having and expanding Toronto’s island airport far exceed the costs.
For most of history, people lived in the same locations from birth until death; their lives revolved around their large extended families. Nowadays, Americans are much less likely to stay put for life – just as it’s less likely that they will have one job for life. In Jane Jacobs’s words, they are “federations of neighborhoods,” where virtually everyone, no matter their age, ethnicity, religion, level of education, sexual orientation or income, can find a niche where they feel welcome and comfortable.
America’s landscape has changed in fundamental ways, with powerful implications for its politics.
Rob Ford will soon be gone. But even more important than who replaces him will be how soon and how thoroughly we can remake the office of the mayor. Canada’s strictly regulated banks have shown the world that government has a key role to play in the new economy. With a new city charter and a growth model for the 21st century, Toronto can set a new standard for municipal governance.
According to new research by the Social Science Research Council’s Measure of America project, for our nation’s 5.8 million “disconnected youth”—the one in seven Americans between the ages of sixteen and twenty-four who are neither working nor enrolled in school. This cohort, whose numbers were stable for a decade, surged by 800,000 after the Great Recession and includes not only children from poor and minority families but significant numbers of white, middle-class youth as well.
Tech startups—and the venture capital on which they thrive—are breaking out of their suburban mold.
To kick off The Atlantic's new special report on the past and future of the world's global capitals, we begin with a survey of the surveys to answer that universal question: What city rules them all?
New York, Houston, Washington, D.C.—plus college towns and the energy belt—are all up, while much of the Sun Belt is (still) down. Mapping the winners and losers since the crash.
Creativity is at once our most precious resource and our most inexhaustible one. As anyone who has ever spent any time with children knows, every single human being is born creative; every human being is innately endowed with the ability to combine and recombine data, perceptions, materials and ideas, and devise new ways of thinking and doing. Cities are the true fonts of creativity.
Twenty-five years ago, Pittsburgh hosted the Remaking Cities Conference, an international gathering of architects, visionaries and dignitaries, including England's Prince Charles, the honorary co-host and keynote speaker. This year, Oct. 15-–18, 2013, Carnegie Mellon University will host the Remaking Cities Congress, with 300 invited urbanists and thought leaders who will again focus on the post-industrial city in North America and Europe. In that context, they have asked 10 thought leaders to assess the Pittsburgh region's strengths and weaknesses and to consider what they would like to see in the Pittsburgh of the future. The package begins with a foreword from noted urbanist Richard Florida.
Florida: With 8 million New Yorkers increasingly divided between haves and have-nots, the next mayor must ward off destructive class warfare.
As high-paying manufacturing work has declined over the past couple of decades, America’s economy has literally split in two. The large and rapidly growing mass of low-wage, low-skill service jobs in fields like food preparation, retail sales and personal care are much the same across the country and these workers have become largely stuck in place.
Richard Florida calls Pittsburgh his “base case” for the transition of a formerly industrial city to the creative economy.
Leading up to Canada Day, the Huffington Post blog team asked prominent Canadians what they would change about one aspect of its country.
Long the epitome of a humane, prosperous, diverse, caring city, Toronto has at long last captured the world’s attention – but not in the way that anyone would want. Mayor Rob Ford’s latest scandal has drawn headlines in the New York Times, New York Magazine, and Vanity Fair, making him the butt of jokes on talk shows like Real Time with Bill Maher, and even on the sports network ESPN.
You don’t have to be a Marxist to wonder if capitalism has run its course. Though the stock market is soaring the economic recovery is jobless, millions remain un- or underemployed, and the economies of the world are mired in slow growth. At the same time, the gap between the rich and the poor is wider that it’s been in more than a century.Before we can treat capitalism’s symptoms, we have to understand its disease. We are in the midst of the greatest, most thorough economic transformation in all of history.
Considering the importance of immigration reform and the high emotions roused by the Boston bombing, it’s important to look at what we actually know about the connections (or the lack thereof) between immigration, crime and American cities.
The debate over a casino in downtown Toronto is coming to a head. When all is said and done, gambling is one of the most regressive ways to generate public revenue and one of the least productive uses of money imaginable.
The nascent turnround in Detroit offers a model from which other cities can learn, writes Richard Florida
The dustbin of history is littered with dire predictions about the effects of technology. They frequently come to the fore in periods in which economies and societies are in the throes of sweeping transformation—like today.The key to a broadly shared prosperity lies in new social and economic arrangements that more fully engage, not ignore and waste, the creative talents of all of our people.
Mapping Toronto’s gun deaths reveals the same convergence of poverty and violence we associate with U.S. cities
Downtown is back, but urban divides remain.
While there is much to applaud about the recent revival of American industry, manufacturing is simply insufficient to help revive lagging industrial regions or power the job creation the nation so badly needs.
Richard Florida discusses President Obama's ambitious proposal for the his second term: Create a new federal Department of Cities.
A "Great Reset"—the structural change following crisis—is underway. And there are some indicators of how metropolitan areas are evolving through a time of historic upheaval.
Entrepreneurial high-tech start-ups have taken an urban turn. Nowhere is this shift more apparent than New York City, which has emerged as the nation's second-largest center of venture capital-financed high-tech start-ups, thanks to Google's significant presence in the old Port Authority building in Chelsea and companies ranging from Foursquare to burgeoning tech-fashion players like Rent the Runway, Warby Parker, and Gilt Groupe.
U.S. Diversity and the Democratic advantage.
Rob Ford’s downfall is stunning – and it opens up a bigger can of worms for Toronto’s future than even his contentious mayoralty did. In the short term, there are some daunting questions: Will he leave office in two weeks as ordered for violating conflict-of-interest rules? His lawyers have filed a request for a stay pending an appeal. If Mr. Ford does step down, will city council appoint his successor or will there be a by-election? If there’s an election, will Mr. Ford’s name be “the first one on the ballot”?
Why New Yorkers must fight the drive to legalize full-scale gaming.
As one of the world’s richest cities, New York has an obligation not just to rebuild but to show the world how to rebuild the right way — smarter, greener, more resilient than ever. New York is the very definition of resilience. It has absorbed several body blows in the past decade and bounced right back — the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the financial collapse of 2008 and now Hurricane Sandy.
Income and wealth inequality have risen to record levels in the United States. Even as cities have become the new social and economic organizing units of our increasingly spiky world, their inequalities are approaching levels found in Third World nations.
Richard Florida examines a new vision for Toronto. The city’s great period of growth won’t continue if we don’t enlist the best and brightest minds from Bay Street, the universities and the public sector.
Richard Florida explores why people—especially talented Creative Class people, who have lots of choices—opt to locate in certain places? What draws them to some places and not to others? Economists and social scientists have paid a great deal of attention to the location decisions of companies, but they have virtually ignored how people, especially creative people, make the same choices.
While both presidential candidates are quick to accuse the other of stooping to class warfare, neither will admit how class-ridden America has become. It's ironic because this widening class divide represents one of the nation's gravest dangers.
High-tech industries have flourished in the suburban office parks that are so ubiquitous in Silicon Valley, North Carolina's Research Triangle and other "nerdistans." But in recent years, high-tech has been taking a decidedly urban turn. Drawn by amenities and talent, tech firms are opting for cities.
Over the next 50 years we will spend trillions of dollars on city building. The question is: How should we build? For many economists, urbanists and developers, the answer is simple: We should build up. But the answer is more complex than that.
Four years after the great economic and financial crash of 2008, the U.S. economy continues to sputter and Europe teeters on the brink of economic collapse. Only one advanced nation has been able to rebound to pre-crisis levels of jobs and economic output: Canada.
Excerpted with permission from The Rise of the Creative Class Revisited: 10th Anniversary Edition, by Richard Florida. The tectonic upheavals our economy is enduring are the result not just of ﬁnancial shenanigans by the global One Percent, but of a deeper and more fundamental shift -- the passing of the old industrial order as it gives way to the emerging Creative Economy. If we wish to build lasting prosperity we cannot rely on market forces and the Invisible Hand alone to guide us. The grand challenge of our time is to invent new institutional structures that will guide the emergence of a new economic order, while channeling its energies in ways that benefit society as a whole.
Richard Florida on how to help lower-income New Yorkers climb the city's increasingly slippery economic ladder. Behind New York's encouraging news is a troubling trend: Huge numbers of middle and especially lower incomepeople continue to struggle. To complete its transition, New York must develop strategies that enable many more of its workers to benefit from the ongoing transformation of its economy.
Excerpted with permission from The Rise of the Creative Class Revisited: 10th Anniversary Edition, by Richard Florida.
Creativity is now the main driver of America’s economy, and is more and more concentrated in and around cities. Richard Florida reports on the trend—and lists the nation’s most creative metro areas, from Boulder to metropolitan Austin to the Washington, D.C. region.
This article was adapted from Richard Florida's new book "The Rise of the Creative Class Revisited" from Basic Books. His nitial research over a decade ago identified the rise of the creative class as a key factor in America’s cities and economy overall. What has struck him since is that the effects of class are not just limited to cities, jobs and the economy. Class increasingly structures virtually every aspect of our society, culture and daily lives — from our politics and religion to where we live and how we get to work, from the kind of education we can provide for our children to our very health and happiness.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s intolerance is damaging both the city’s reputation for fairness and its business climate.
Richard Florida discusses why bringing a casino to Toronto is a bad idea. He says gambling is one of the least productive economic activities imaginable — removing money from one set of pockets and putting it in another, without producing anything concrete as part of the exchange.
Richard Florida discusses how Toronto's experience in basketball simply does not match up to the city’s growing size, wealth and stature. The outflow of basketball stars is no longer a metaphor for any larger talent drain, but an increasingly isolated and unique problem. Toronto's sports franchises, need to start doing more of what it takes to compete on a global scale.
Richard Florida's column in the Business Insider discussing our most important resource which is us – the creative potential that is in every human being.For perhaps the first time in human history, the further progress of our economy is inextricably tied up with the further development of our essential humanity.
The deepening social and economic divisions that are all too apparent in London are becoming evident in our own cities as well. Richard Florida argues that there is a real danger that riots like London's will become a feature, not a mere bug, of global cities.
London’s riots prompted commentators on the right to blame hooliganism, while those on the left cited frustrations with the UK’s faltering economy and fiscal austerity. But the causes run deeper and are linked fundamentally to the changing structure of the world’s economy. They are problems many of our global cities will soon face.
Richard Florida says that many of the nation's urban areas are booming with new restaurants, parks and condos. All these areas are great to visit, he says, offering a slice of local urban life. He shares up-and-coming neighborhoods with Larry Bleiberg for USA TODAY.
US crime levels have fallen to their lowest reported levels in nearly half a century despite major unemployment and the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Even more remarkably, the drop was steepest in America’s big cities – which are still popularly believed to be cauldrons of criminality. The question is: why?
Richard Florida's column in The New York Times on the widening gap between the D.C. economy, with its robust housing and job markets, and the rest of America. What's the key?
Looking to meet someone to start the year off right? Richard Florida crunches the numbers for the best cities in America for single men and women to be this New Year’s Eve.
Every kid hopes for a white Christmas with lots of gifts, but some cities are more likely to have it. Richard Florida on the 20 best cities to be a kid on Christmas morning.
The pundits say Tuesday's election was a repudiation of Obama's handling of the recession, but Richard Florida says the data show something entirely different.
You may have your costume already picked out, but how does your city rate for celebrating Halloween? Richard Florida crunched the numbers for the ultimate list of the best cities to collect candy.
From California to Virginia, Richard Florida ranks the most innovative states in the country to find out where good ideas are generating economic growth.
Barcelona has always been as commercial as it is creative. The city of Gaudi and Miro and the young Picasso is also a center of textile, chemical, pharmaceutical, and automotive manufacturing, publishing, finance, telecommunications and information technology, of technological innovation and entrepreneurship. It's this combination that the city and region can build on to survive and prosper through the economic crisis and Great Reset.
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.
Nearly one in four American homeowners are now underwater on their mortgage. Richard Florida crunches the numbers to find the 20 cities with the biggest debt and housing problems.
Where do the biggest brainiacs in America live? Richard Florida crunches the numbers to figure out the smartest cities in the country.
Wondering where the jobs of the future are going to be? Richard Florida crunched the numbers to create a list of the American cities with the fastest-growing job markets, from New York to Durham to Bethesda.
The fiscal and monetary fixes that have helped mature industrial economies like the United States get back on their feet since the Great Depression are not going to make the difference this time. Mortgage interest tax credits and massive highway investments are artifacts of our outmoded industrial age; in fact, our whole housing-auto complex is superannuated.
Which cities have the most immigrants and foreign born citizens in America? Richard Florida and his team crunch the numbers to come up with a surprising list and explore why these cities benefit from high immigrant populations.
From the obvious (San Francisco) to the surprising (Columbus), Richard Florida and Gary Gates crunched the numbers to come up with the gayest cities in the country.
Wondering where you earn the highest incomes? Richard Florida and his team have put together the definitive list of American's 20 highest earning cities.
Canada's economy is badly in need of significant structural changes. Without the pressure of a crisis, there's a real danger that we'll settle for complacency, instead.
More and more workers are plugging in and taking meetings at places, like Starbucks, that aren’t home or the office. Richard Florida on why this trend will change our business world.
Periods of crisis and creative destruction such as the current one are when new categories of jobs are created as old categories of jobs are destroyed. The key to a sustained recovery is to turn as many of these – as well as existing lower-paying jobs – into better, family-supporting jobs.
There's no question that this year's 1.6 million college graduates are entering the job market during one of America's worst economic crises. But this does not mean that college grads are facing unprecedented kinds of trouble.
Richard Florida says owning a home may actually be a drawback given the economic flexibility required to power long-lasting recovery. He and his colleagues tracked homeownership levels across U.S. cities and regions to see how they correlate to other measurable demographic and economic factors.
The Class of 2010 is heading into the real world but where should they live? Urban guru Richard Florida and his team find the best cities for the young and ambitious.
Richard Florida examines the challenges Toronto and Canada face, especially in light of how the tectonic economic events of the past 18 months are recasting the role of cities and regions worldwide.
Local entrepreneurship, arts and cultural industries ... have become the core stuff of economic development, writes Richard Florida in The Great Reset: How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity. Please see the excerpt.
Richard Florida takes a look at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. When you account for population size, medal count reveals a crude measure of what's behind national athletic excellence.
South Korea has clawed its way out of poverty by becoming a manufacturing powerhouse. But to stay a world-class economy will require the country to draw on a different set of skills. In the future, it will be the ability to create—as distinct from the ability to produce—that will foster innovation, and with it, sustainable economic growth. Whether it is new ideas, new business models, new cultural forms, new technologies, or new industries, it is creative capital that will drive the world economy. The ability to harness creativity will be the biggest challenge, as well as the biggest opportunity, for South Korea.
Richard Florida's take on "How Cities Renew" in relation to his recent trip to Abu Dhabi, his observations on the city and its people.
The concentration of bohemians and gays consistently have a staggering impact on housing values.
Today a highly significant demographic realignment is at work: the mass relocation of highly skilled, highly educated, and highly paid people to a relatively small number of metropolitan regions, and corresponding exodus of traditional lower- and middle-class people from those same places.
Richard Florida on how members of Generation Y are picking their new hometowns as they graduate from college and enter the workforce during a recession.
Will Wilkinson, a research fellow at Washington's Cato Institute wrote this terrific essay on Toronto's largely successful experiment in immigration – its global-straddling ethnic mosaic.
Homeownership has been a central tenet of a ‘richer and fuller life’ in the USA, but foreclosures are severely testing this model. A possible solution: Rent these homes as a first step toward a more affordable, flexible housing system.
Less than a month after taking office, the Obama administration unveiled its massive stimulus package aimed at recharging the lagging American economy - a staggering three-quarters of a trillion dollars. As the Harper administration rushes to dole out a $40-billion stimulus of its own, it's high time to ask a simple question: Are we stimulating the right things?
As part of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto, Richard Florida and Roger Martin delivered a report called "Ontario in the Creative Age," commissioned by Premier Dalton McGuinty contemplating today's challenge of moving from jobs oriented to routine to jobs that hinge on creativity.
Richard Florida visits Russia this month and discusses the country's push to develop more of a market-based economy, having abandoned its state-run economy to the historical dustbin as well as drawing upon the similarities between the youth of both Russia and the U.S.
Restarting economic growth this time around will require a new social and economic framework that is in line with the new idea-driven economy.
Richard Florida and James Milay explore the the effects if a recession hits Canada suggesting that the continuing shift in Canada's economy from traditional blue-collar, working-class jobs to creative and service jobs will dampen the effects of job losses over all, but those in the working class will feel the pain much more.
Richard Florida warns of an extended period of volatility and conflict in American politics.
Richard Florida's take on Montreal and it's position amidst the current economic storm.
Richard Florida on the financial crisis.
Florida’s public policy-makers must recognize that mega-regions are the engines of the newglobal economy. They must support Florida’s mega — the 15th largest in the world.
Richard Florida suggests that the big sort poses huge implications for US economic competitiveness and a wide range of domestic economic and social issues.
... but not for the reasons you think. One of the few things increasing as fast as the price of oil lately has been the amount of commentary linking higher energy costs to the death of suburbia. Clearly, higher gas prices have affected where people want – or can afford – to live. Just as the demand for SUVs plummets and consumers have finally begun to see the point of hybrids, people are turning away from sprawling exurbs toward urban neighbourhoods and inner suburbs.
What matters now is quality of place, defined as the intersection of three key elements of our cities: what's there, who's there and what's going on.
A mega-region needs to think and act like a mega-region, not like a bunch of separate cities with empty space between them.
Fareed Zakaria: The end result will be a “landscape that is quite different from the one we have lived in until now – one defined and directed from many places and by many peoples.”
"...we are experiencing modern history’s third great power shift, after the rise of the West from the 15th century on and then the rise of the U.S. in the 19th century."
"The diversity, of whatever kind, that is generated by cities rests on the fact that in cities so many people are so close together, and among them contain so many different tastes, skills, needs, supplies, and bees in their bonnets."
Over the past decade or so, greater Portland has developed a well-deserved reputation as one of the nation's very best places to live.
When people talk about economic competitiveness, the focus tends to be on nation states. In the 1980s, many were obsessed with the rise of Japan. Today, our gaze has shifted to the phenomenal growth of Brazil, Russia, India and China. But this focus on nations is off the mark.
"The party that can bring together the working class and the creative class is likely to build a lasting majority"
From where I sit, Philadelphia's future looks very bright. Trust me: I know all about the issues that confront the city. I grew up in New Jersey, went to Rutgers, and spent much of my teens and 20s hanging out in Center City. I've seen the dark days and watched the recovery.
For the past two weeks, all eyes have focused on Barack Obama and race. A couple of weeks ago, it was Hillary Clinton's gender. A month before that, it was all about the Obama surge among young voters.
The old model of a university pumping out research results and educated students, or even commercial innovations and start-ups, are no longer sufficient. Business and political leadership have taken technology seriously; now, they must do the same with talent and tolerance. The places that don't will find that the discoveries and talent they produce will continue to migrate away.
The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
For decades we've heard that new transport and communication technologies - from the street car to the Internet - would make geography and place irrelevant...
The Globe and Mail
The most overlooked — but most important — element of my theory and of the creative economy itself is that every human being is creative.
The Globe and Mail
This is the first in a series of articles in which The Globe and Mail visits an iconic Toronto neighbourhood or event with Richard Florida.
The mega-city has become the nerve centre of one of the world’s greatest mega- regions, a trans-border economic powerhouse that stretches from Buffalo to Quebec City. It’s important to recognize this, because mega-regions have replaced the nation state as the economic drivers of the global economy.
Richard Florida on his adopted city's central role in a new world order built not around nations but around mega-regions.
Richard Florida examines how in a broader creative sector, the United States will add 10 million jobs over the next decade. While the U.S. economy will add more than one million computer and engineering jobs, health care and education are expected to generate more than three times as many jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.