This week, I’m talking to one of the stars of the cities world. Richard Florida is a professor of urban studies at the University of Toronto, as well as the co-founder and editor-at-large of CityMetric’s esteemed American rival, CityLab.
Speaker(s): Professor Richard Florida | In recent years, the young, educated, and affluent have surged back into cities, reversing decades of suburban flight and urban decline.
Interview with Richard Florida on his new book, The New Urban Crisis along with a discussion on Edmonton.
Richard Florida is one of the most influential thinkers about cities in the postwar world. For almost two decades he championed the creative classes – artists, tech and knowledge workers and entrepreneurs – who he said would revolutionise our cities and stimulate economic growth.
Today he has changed his mind.
Florida has become quite concerned that the winners of the urban revival over the last 15-20 years — cities like New York, San Francisco, Boston and Washington — have become victims of their own success as they’ve become high-priced meccas specifically tailored to the needs and wishes of the creative class.
Like the issues Richard Florida identifies In his latest book The New Urban Crisis, his solutions are many, varied and intimidating.
The rising cost of housing in America’s most desirable “creative” cities troubles Richard Florida, urbanist thinker and author. In those cities, the cost of housing is affordable only to the creative class themselves. The rest of the working population — those in service industry or manufacturing — struggle to keep up with rising housing prices.
Richard Florida is an academic, author, and leading voice on all things urban studies. His Rise of the Creative Class, first published in 2002, predicted a resurgence in city centers due to a new class of creative “knowledge workers.” His insights helped to catalyze scores of major city redevelopment efforts. Hailed as a far-reaching seer for predicting the tech and arts-driven boom in American cities, Florida’s work has recently been called into question for the unexpected consequences of urban renewal, in particular gentrification and its attendant income inequality, which has pushed lower income and diverse populations from cities throughout the United States.
The revival of great urban centres including New York, Los Angeles and London has caused unprecedented inequality and has led to the populism of Donald Trump, according to Richard Florida.
“I think this is the central crisis of capitalism,” Florida said in a video interview last week.