In the past decade, few doctrines have inspired city leaders and local politicians more than Richard Florida’s “creative class” designation and theory. You know it well: in order to spruce up an irrelevant industrial neighborhood, all a city had to do was offer discounted rents to knowledge workers and their burgeoning enterprises. Cafes, flower shops and real estate offices would follow.
And pour in they did—to the point of displacing residents who’ve been there before the innovation districts and designer condos.
Florida’s new book, The New Urban Crisis, explores the forces of inequality that are fraying the fibres of places from Seattle to South Beach, with urban real estate being gobbled up by the global wealthy while children of long-time locals are unable to get into the market. This is a new blueprint for cities who are victims of their own success, and just as pertinent as Rise of the Creative Class was more than a decade ago.
This makes Florida the ideal keynote for City Nation Place Americas, the June 15 summit in New York City, bringing together leaders working in the nexus of economic development, destination management, tourism and urban planning. This is one keynote you don’t want to miss.
In The Rise of the Creative Class, you argued that luring talented members of the “creative class” was the key to reviving cities. You now reject that optimism you once had in The New Urban Crisis. Why?