Noted urbanist Richard Florida has some challenging ideas on the income inequality that is killing our nation’s cities.
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.
But instead of ducking those consequences, Florida embraces them in his most recent work, The New Urban Crisis. In our conversation, Florida has some choice words for the tech industry, and posits a new approach to local government that he admits would be challenging to implement. We spoke to Florida earlier this week, below is a transcript of the conversation, edited for length and clarity.
NewCo Shift: First of all let’s talk about your latest book. It seems like it’s a departure — maybe a bit of a look back on your previous work. Some of the reviews said it was a mea culpa — but I’d call it a “rethinking” of some of your earlier work. Can you contextualize it in light of that?Read More