richard florida

richard florida


adding Richard following this day:

sustainable urbanization

training and development infrastructure..?

most important thing we have to do in this coming century.. – building plan/framework

a people experiment


find/follow Richard:

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Richard Florida (born 1957 in Newark, New Jersey) is an American urban studies theorist. Florida’s focus is on social and economic theory. He is currently a professor and head of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.


married to Rana


Richard working with martin prosperity institute with Don Tapscott and Roger Martin

city ness

money ness


city ness





dec 2015 – interview on toronto et al

“Basically, my project has been to graft Jane Jacobs onto Marx,” Florida tells us. In classical Marxism, however, the ‘material conditions’ refer to economic conditions in and of themselves, but Florida’s thought takes a further step back by postulating that “geographic structure of a community—which goes beyond mere built form to factors like affordability and cultural integration— is the central determinant of economic output.”


Offering prescriptions for the future, Florida calls for a “virtual moratorium on road-building,” arguing that the perpetuation of an automobile culture hinders a city’s creative capacity, with little exchange of ideas and culture occurring when people are sitting in their cars, and not engaging with life on the street. “The city also needs a more committed Federal partner,” Florida adds, calling for a ‘ministry of cities‘ to help provide a vision for growth and fund urban infrastructure projects.


“A huge reason for the city’s continued success—as we trudge along despite our lack of urban vision and reactionary tendencies—is the fact that we continued to be so open to newcomers, allowing a great deal of global creative energy to be harnessed. It means we can fuck up a lot, but as long as we continue to remain open, we’ll have an important edge.”

back to taleb et al and idiosyncracies as means for sustainability


To Make Cities More Sustainable, Let Go of Tradition – My convo w @SPUR_Urbanist’s Gabe Metcalfe in @CityLab –

gary on his new book – democratic by design

The idea is to create living examples of a better society,

let’s do this firstfree art-istsfor (blank)’s sake… a leapfrog to energy\ness et al…

a nother way


There is a major role for alternative institutions in our future cities. This includes a lot more experimentation with physical form and infrastructure—more ecologically benign buildings, a reinvention of public space, a rethinking of mobility systems, and an embrace of new models for providing renewable energy. It also includes a new wave of experiments with place-based economic development. And most fundamentally, it involves the creation of new institutions of land ownership and stewardship.


The Appendix is actually one of my favorite parts of the whole book, because that’s where I get to give credit to some of the thinkers who mattered most to me. I draw on everything from deToqueville and Putnam on voluntary associations, to the social anarchists of the 19th century, who wanted to “prefigure” the way a society would work in their ideal world. Gar Alperovitz of the Democracy Collaborative has done a lot of the most practical work developing and supporting alternative institutions and thinking through a theory of how they can lead to widespread social change. One of my own teachers, the late Murray Bookchin, was a major influence on me in his writings about democracy, cities, and alternative institutions. I hope that my book helps give this strategy a higher profile, and that other people—both theorists and activists—will pick up the ideas and develop them in new ways

@SPUR_Urbanist’s Gabe Metcalfe in citylab

Original Tweet:


dec 2015 – FIU Art Basel The Creative City: Why the Creative City?


ability to attract talent and be competitive..


2 min – the basic narrative.. the real force.. is the fact that human creativity powers our economy.. it’s the most inclusive good.. everyone of us.. creativity..doesn’t accept social categories.. all the bull … it requires diversity…

nor social constructs, ie: money, competition, et al

irrelevant s

our cities.. the greatest thing we have ever built…

the then densest community of our time…

biggest cities – 90% of our gdp..


book i’m working on . . the new urban crisis…them: just as we are reurban izing… just when people moving back.. challenges: housing,

on strong side… miami center of great trade and development…but creative class not so well developed..

10 min – miami is a perfect laboratory to upgrade service work.. to infuse it with creativity…

the real thing today is – how we can leverage human creativity

dang. perhaps by talking less about money.. jobs.. gdp.. no?

12 min – of course you want to go and get a good uni degree….

oh my.

agree.. but we are so warped on ed. what it is .. ness.

rev of everyday life.

but creativity goes beyond education… it often comes from the streets

14 min – jane jacobs… on her insight… that’s a great theory of how to make things efficient.. not an innovation… things grow by innovation… that doesn’t come from companies.. that comes from *strange/diff kinds of people…

15 min – 3 t’s: tech, talent, tolerance…  miami is 1ooth, 110th, 2nd…


Cities, with their dense mixtures of people and economic activity, have long been fonts of innovation. To start, density spurs innovation by pushing people and ideas together, enabling them to combine and recombine in new ways.

maybe we don’t just push and hope for best.. maybe we focus on a mechanism.. simple enough..

And advances in transportation—from railroads and subways to automobiles, planes, and high-speed rail—increase the circulation not only of goods and people, but of ideas as well.

now thinking of vinay’s share of the high iq w/little brain.. small world network ness

To get at the connection between cities, transportation, and innovation, Perlman’s study combines several unique data sets. She begins with detailed data on more than 700,000 patents—which she uses as a proxy for innovation—for all U.S. counties from 1790 to 1900. (Patents are the most accessible written records of innovative activity: Even though they are imperfect, economists and social scientists have long used them to study the dynamics of technological change and innovation.)


Still, advances in transportation help to create the the kind of urban environment that can speed the arrival and pick-up of new innovation. “Because transportation encourages urbanization,” Perlman writes, “it encourages patenting in many ways. Urban areas allow for greater specialization, which might encourage patenting by giving people in those areas better access to the bureaucracy of patenting (e.g. lawyers, machinists, draftspeople), or by encouraging innovation directly.”

What matters most is not the ability to trade with a large area, but the way in which urban areas and advances in transportation accelerate the movement of goods, people, and especially ideas.

thinking..  her research focus is on the thing that’s keeping us from us.. keeping the movement.. of us.. at bay.


perhaps why we haven’t yet gotten to equity.. can’t let go of.. ie: patents.. et al.. the things perpetuate\ing not us ness

we can’t see/hear ie: Jane‘s *strange people, from patenting/pushing


John Hagel (@jhagel) tweeted at 7:09 AM – 25 Aug 2016 :

Bringing together Jane Jacobs and Joseph Schumpeter to argue that innovation and entrepreneurship require cities (

bill_fischer (@bill_fischer) tweeted at 7:15 AM – 25 Aug 2016 :

“The City as an Innovation Machine” by @Richard_Florida Ideas adore concentrations! #imd_bi via @jhagel (

notes/highlights from 16 page pdf – the city as innovation machine

p 3
Similarly, the human creativity which lies behind both innovation, a form of technological creativity,and entrepreneurship, the application of human creativity for more instrumental economic ends, is typically posed as the product of great creative individuals like the above or their artistic counterparts from Beethoven and Mozart, DeVinci and Michelangelo to Picasso, Warhol, Stravinsky, Armstrong, Coltrane, McCartney and Lennon, and Hendrix. But recent research finds that all three — innovation, entrepreneurship, and creativity — are social processes that involve groups of people and build off one another..
jacobs famously theorized that prevailing theories of innovation and econ development going back to adam smith emphasize efficiency and the division of labor, but *fail to account for the key inputs that drive innovation
*fail to account for (deep enough) input (ie: self-talk as data) …. within (open enough) system (ie: earth, city, prospect, rp, rp, be you house, individual – w/in bend ear ness) ..
i’d add… via (simple enough) mech to facil chaos/stigmergy ness of authentic emergence
which is perhaps missing here.. as huge.. because w/o that simple enough mech.. we go on .. voluntarily complying.. that our os is money.. and so.. wasting the day/energy.. being inspectors of inspectors.. et al
so too.. fitting with this

Jeff Speck (@JeffSpeckAICP) tweeted at 5:26 AM – 28 Aug 2016 :

What’s the skinny on why Bikeshare ridership is in decline in Seattle?

has to be entire ecosystem.. ie: prefer riding bikes.. healthier.. et al.. but not enough time.. so electric.. or car.. or uber..

here we marry…..Jacobs on cities to Schumpeter on the central role of innovation and entrepreneurship in economic growth and development.

……..Here we marry the fundamental insights
of Jacobs on the role of the city as the very source of innovation and growth with Schumpeter and his disciple’s research on innov ation, entrepreneurship, and growth.

wondering… why these words/distinctions

so.. was jacobs really about econ growth..?

theoryofinnovationandgrowthdatesbacktoMarx(1967)andSchumpeter.. 1934

just to 67..?  34..?


p 4-5
at center of development are the visionary innovators or entrepreneurs who are motivated by more than just profit, but a desire for independence, distinction, and accomplishment. the entrepreneur does not take as given production technology, but instead seeks to bend it to her favor. innovation is the dynamic in capitalism that allows it so transform itself based on its own logic
totally disagree w this.. at least for a natural human
ie: natural os is not money…not competition..not independence
in his earlier .. theory of econ dev .. schumpeter 1934 had emphasized the role of smaller new firms, founded by entrepreneurs, in gerenating innovations. small firms were said to ebody new and better innovations which would replace older techs and firms. in  his.. capitalism, soicalism and democracy incumbent large firms are said to have an advantage due to their large research and development budgets
sounds like vinay… small/ngo ish… now need large for resources/leverages
‘the problem that is usually visualized is how capitalism administers existing structures, whereas the relevant problem is how it creates and destroys them’ – he called this – creative destruction
basic insight – in his theory – industries and innovations each have more or less set lifetimes. the intensity of an industry’s innovativeness is frontloaded in time toward the early part of its life. eventually dominant organizational forms and product designs are established, products become standardized and both innovation and econ growth ebbs.
whole diff ballgame if disengage from econ growth ness ie: orlando med bills waived.. we are playing monopoly.. with fake money.. it’s distracting us.. from us..
p 6
acs and audretsch 88, 90, developed an alt approach to measuring commercial innovation, based on product innovation..
why would we do this..?
found to be more concentrated in space than patents..
another more direct way of accounting form commercially relevant innovation is vc investment
again.. how did we ever come up with this..? and why are we accepting it…
back to vinay’s crazy/rude interview.. we voluntarily comply with the process.. define/measure/support… and this so doesn’t work for humanity
vc is a crucial link in the division of labor that attends radical innovation
only because we are so intoxicated with the idea that our os is money. so .. true.. we could use a vc – so that we can experiment with enough people.. in an open enough space.. ie: city.. where the people don’t have to think about money for say.. a year..
but the goal isn’t to have more production/econ/transaction.. that we can define/measure/validate..  the goal is that the people would regain their turtle shells.. be set free.. and then… free people would be our ongoing/ever-emerging/renewing/regenerating.. energy..
zinn quote on people energy

the ongoingly boundless energy of 7 billion people, alive. eudaimonia\tive surplus.

venture and angel investment firms play the part of schumpetarian financiers, connecting new process innovations with investment capital *in the hope of realizing super profits..

perhaps why we haven’t yet.. (because we certainly have enough money.. if that were the answer)

our energy is focused on * realizing super profits.. when remember.. the money is fake..

florida saying.. vc is concentrated in a geo space…..

p 7

regions with high levels of vc tend to contain these networks, which themselves are structure to support the localization of vc

alfred marshall: access to thicker/specialized labor/services and to non-excludable knowledge….

mysteries of *trade become no mysteries.. but are .. in the air

what if * trade ness.. is missing the point..

imagine if we realized.. the mysteries are in the air.. but they have nothing to do with measuring/defining.. trade..

more via marshall: industrial district … fertile.. sharing of intermediate goods/financing..

sounds like commons.. w/o money.. imagine all the energy saved

jacobs/glaeser – variety  and not specialization is related to urban growth… recombinatin of disparate inputs.. mor eliekly across industry boundaries.. then rest measured by patent numbers..


p 8

firms huddle together near the most customers in order to minimize the final costs of their products…and backwards to include intermediate suppliers..

all this fuss about saving costs.. why not about saving energy.. by disengaging from all the measuring of transactions..

radical innovations emerge in new locations, where the lock-in effects of old tech can be avoided

the lit on the regional geography of innovation has made serious advances. that said, it remains focused on the firm and firm clusters as the central unit of analysis, seeing the city and region mainly as a container for these activities

we now turn from process innovation to organizational innovation, specifically the creation of new firms by entrepreneurs..


p 9

alongside schumpeter’s insight into the actions and motivation of entrepreneurs as opposed to large corps, knight’s 1921 early distinction between risk and uncertainty is influential. for knight, entrepreneurialism is governed by *radical forward uncertainty as opposed to risk. the former is calculable, the latter is not; entrepreneurs are needed in order to take the risks that existing firms would never themselves confront.

? *uncertainty is calculable.. risk is not..?

the decision to form a new firm, then, is rooted partially in individual level-insensitivity to risk.


according to mcclelland 67, entrepreneurship is an innate, individual-level achievement trait, present across cultures regardless of their level of development.. successful entrepreneurs are less sensitive to failure, possess a productive passion for their vocation and confidence in their entrepreneurial effort.. bandura 86

in other words.. like a 5 yrs old.. why what we need is.. 1 yr to be 5 ness

baumol and colleagues 2007 condense the recipe for entrepreneurial success to four factors: high returns, low start-up costs, disincentives for rent-seeking, and competitive pressures on winning entrepreneurs

oy. none of this is what drives a 5 yr old..

this money-based thinking.. all came from the manufacturing-consent/voluntary compliance we enforce/compulsorize.. starting around age 5

p 11

main argument… the city and region are the central organizing unit of these *processes..

i’d say.. city/region central org of *processes.. but not the ones you claim.. ones having to do with money as os..

rather.. city/region central or of process of: rev of everyday life..

again – back to the bike system not working in seattle.. has to be whole system..with free people.. and simple enough tech to facil it..

scope and diversity trump scale and specialization..

why..? why would you trump specialization..? no trumping needed.. that’s why today is different. we have the tech to facil all of the above..

jacobs: if i were to be remembered as a really important thinker .. most important thing i’ve contributed: what makes econ expansion happen…. that’s puzzled people always.. i think i’ve figured out what it si, and expansion and development are two diff things.. devel is differentiation –  new differentiation of what already existed. … expansion is an actual growth in size or volume of activity. that is a diff thing.

econ expansion..?

sad.. but does explain why it hasn’t happened yet.. even with her great insights..

p 12

specialization involves lowering unit costs thru an expansion of scale…. a place-centered theory of innovation, entrepreneurship, and econ growth stands in opposition to views that emphasize efficiency and specialization, and can more comfortably account for the way these processes actually occur

again. we can now have both/all.. ie: ratish in unit of rp

expansion is the humdrum, growth dimension that schumpeter would have called ‘circular flow’…. growth is achieved thru an expansion of output, and bigger/smaller places are distinguished by mere quantitative differences in their output levels.. jacobs and schumpeter each prized a second, radical type of growth that was propelled by innovations, not specialization. novelty was seen as the mech for growth not specialization; the production nof new things was seen as crucial, when compared to the production of more things at lower cost.  *diversity of input is seen as crucial.. the big city, in addition to having ore costs/people, has a mroe complex set of fuctnions tha tbecome self-organized. urban grwoth is an emergent process that unfold endgogenously according to the related parameters of size and diversity

why – *self-talk as data matters.. while disengaging from all the productivity/growth talk.. 1\ it’s the most diverse we can get.. 7 billion plus curiosities free to change .. daily/ al  2\ it gets/keeps all 7 billion awake.. so that we aren’t voluntarily complying to ie: money as os

lucas on jacobs – extrenral effects of human capital… cumulative and everyday knowledge spillovers between agents led to dynamic growth… econ growth..

all great.. except our expected outcome: growth.. esp econ growth..

p 13

innovation (measured by patents)

do you realize what you/we are missing if this is our vision/blinder..?

entrepreneurship .. measured as startup activity

do you realize what you/we are missing if this is our vision/blinder..?

we aren’t listening to the most creative.. deep/systemic ideas.. because those don’t have the elevator pitch expected in startup land..

then goes on to list cities with most start up companies.. and amounts of moneys

if this is our good measure – and we have so much vc going into it.. and so many start ups.. why have we  not yet gotten to equity.. most people say they’re innovating for a better world.. no..? we should be there by now if that was so..

perhaps we’re not going deep enough..

p 14

there are two small neighborhoods in downtown san fran which attract more than a billion dollars in venture capital each… this research indicates that these micro clusters have formed in older, underutilized and in many cases formerly derelict urban neighborhoods where no existing firm clusters were located. in other words, these micro cluster grew up over time in isolation from existing firm or individual level capabilities.. they were self generating from the place itself..

? – we’re perpetuating this narrative.. because parts are good/true.. ie: the self-organizing/emerging ness of people.. free people..

but .. if it were all good/true.. we’d be at global equity now.. and we’re not.. so what’s in the way..? – perhaps.. assuming os as money.. that’s what we keep measuring things/people with (just like measuring kids in school by grades et al).. doesn’t really matter how good everything else is if we insist on the measuring.. because then.. the people won’t be themselves.. which is all we need.. and .. basically.. what all we currently don’t have..

thus our central contention. that the city and the region lie at the very center of the processes of innovation/entrepren/creativity… place has come to replace the industrial corp as the key econ /social organizing unit of our time..

cities have always been important engines of econ growth

that’s our problem.. we’ve not seen all cities are capable of.. because looking thru lens of .. econ growth.. – so could say.. science of people in cities.. we have no idea what we’re capable of

cities are not just containers for smart people; they are the enabling infrastructure where tconnections take place, networks are built, and innovative combos are consummated..

indeed.. but then.. why have we not yet.. ?  (via you.. great city ness dates back to at least 400 bc) because we haven’t let go of 1\ control because we still 2\ believe that money is os

p 15

athens of 400bc… in course of past 2500 years…  cities as hotbeds….

but even this might understate the relationship between agglomeration and human ingenuity…

no doubt

modern society enables creative output by organizing actors in conducive arrangements… the city, with its greater level of diversity and freer rules for entry and exit, is the more eternally conducive environment from the standpoint of human creativity.

gray play law

p 16

the music industry illustrates the central role of the city in this process. the modern musician needs little more than a laptop and an internet connection to record and distribute music.

we further encourage research to focus on the competition for space that stems from concentration of innov/entrep/creativity in a relatively small number of superstar cities and knowledge hubs


the modern city is now the subject of an attenuated competition space which scott dubs the ‘urban land nexus’.. to what degree will this competition for space creativity and innovation out of cities.. jacobs: when a place gets boring even the rich people leave

we have argued.. replace firm with city.. as center.. not just as container.. but as key mech to enable..

perhaps even more huge.. replace money with human energy.. as os..



From the Creative Class to the New Urban Crisis – My conversation with Smart Talk –…

defines the ‘creative class’ as STEM educated workers in the science, technology and engineering fields coupled with people with backgrounds in the arts and design.

? limiting.. no?

rather.. all of us.. if we’re all truly free..

Florida isn’t concerned about this ‘creative class’ as being perceived as too elite.  “The creative class is an elite group,” he emphasized. ” It’s highly paid, its members earn in the high five figures or six figures, they tend to be highly well educated and they tend to be going into urban areas. They’ve been a premiere force in changing those neighborhoods.”

ugh.. perhaps only because we have not idea what our potential is.. science of people ness combined with money as os ness..

“Not a crisis of decay and poverty, but a crisis of a missing middle class,” he said

perhaps more a crisis of the labeling of class.. ness..


Richard Florida (@Richard_Florida) tweeted at 6:21 AM – 10 Apr 2017 :

Read the Preface of The New Urban Crisis @CityLab: (

When I was a sophomore, my urban geography professor, Robert Lake, gave us an assignment to tour Lower Manhattan and chronicle what we saw. I was transfixed by the incredible urban change that was under way in SoHo, the East Village, and surrounding areas, captivated by the energy of the streets and of the artists, musicians, designers, and writers who lived and worked there. Old industrial warehouses and factories were being transformed into studios and living spaces. Punk, new wave, and rap were electrifying the area’s music venues and clubs—the first tender shoots of what would later become a full- blown urban revival.


The key to urban success, I argued in my 2002 book, The Rise of the Creative Class, was to attract and retain talent, not just to draw in companies. The knowledge workers, techies, and artists and other cultural creatives who made up the creative class were locating in places that had lots of high-paying jobs—or a thick labor market. They also had what I called a thick mating market—other people to meet and date—and a vibrant quality of place, with great restaurants and cafés, a music scene, and an abundance of things to do.


In time, my work generated a considerable following among mayors, arts and cultural leaders, urbanists, and even some enlightened real estate developers who were looking for a better way to spur urban development in their communities. But my message also generated a backlash on both sides of the ideological spectrum. Some conservatives questioned the connection I drew between diversity and urban economic growth, countering that it was companies and jobs, not the creative class, that moved the economy forward. Others, mainly on the left, blamed the creative class and me personally for everything from rising rents and gentrification to the growing gap between the rich and the poor. Although some of the more personal attacks stung, this criticism provoked my thinking in ways I could never have anticipated, causing me to reframe my ideas about cities and the forces that act on them.

Slowly but surely, my understanding of cities started to evolve. I realized I had been overly optimistic to believe that cities and the creative class could, by themselves, bring forth a better and more inclusive kind of urbanism. Even before the economic crisis of 2008, the gap between rich and poor was surging in the cities that were experiencing the greatest revivals. As techies, professionals, and the rich flowed back into urban cores, the less advantaged members of the working and service classes, as well as some artists and musicians, were being priced out. In New York’s SoHo, the artistic and creative ferment I had observed as a student was giving way to a new kind of homogeneity of wealthy people, high-end restaurants, and luxury shops.

I entered into a period of rethinking and introspection, of personal and intellectual transformation. I began to see the back-to-the-city movement as something that conferred a disproportionate share of its benefits on a small group of places and people. I found myself confronting the dark side of the urban revival I had once championed and celebrated.


These political cleavages ultimately stem from the far deeper economic and geographic structures of the New Urban Crisis. They are the product of our new age of winner-take-all urbanism, in which the talented and the advantaged cluster and colonize a small, select group of superstar cities, leaving everybody and everywhere else behind. Much more than a crisis of cities, the New Urban Crisis is the central crisis of our time.

The stakes could not be higher. How we come to grips with the New Urban Crisis will determine whether we become more divided and slide backward into economic stagnation, or forge ahead to a new era of more sustainable and inclusive prosperity

a nother way.. for (blank)’s sake


Richard Florida (@Richard_Florida) tweeted at 6:20 AM – 10 Apr 2017 :

Check out @chrisbriem thoughtful review of The New Urban Crisis in @PittsburghPG:

He deserves credit for critically revisiting his widely absorbed past work, clearly acknowledging that much of his earlier ideas may have been “overly optimistic,” at least if viewed as policy prescriptions to be easily followed. As many have discovered before him, the deepest challenges do not lend themselves to simple solutions.


Worried about returning power back to the states? You gotta listen to @Richard_Florida’s chat w/@MorningEdition

Original Tweet:

7 min audio

downside.. creating cities unequal..

i think we’ve abandoned progressive policies.. cities and mayors need more power

let’s try this Richard: short bp

empower local areas.. give power back to local so can solve own problems..

indeed: short bit

only way to unleash our econ potential

rather.. to unleash human potential..

main thing that hardly anyone is talking about: increase min wage.. only way to build middle class.. 70 mn strong.. have jobs that are middle class

rather.. need to disengage from made up money – with temp placebo

i see cities and local power as only way out



The Key to Rebuilding Our Economy & Overcoming Our Divides Lies in Empowering Our Cities – my oped w/…

embrace and empower ..local diversity of cities, suburbs and communities of all kinds

host life bits that io dance

ie: short bit


CityLab (@CityLab) tweeted at 7:32 AM – 26 Jan 2018 :

“There is no more pressing issue facing cities and society today than how to create high-quality, family-supporting jobs.” —@Richard_Florida (


i don’t know.. work is messing w us


via michel fb share:

“his latest book, The New Urban Crisis, has been widely interpretedas a mea culpa for opening up the great can of gentrifying worms. After years of proselytising loft-living and shabby-chic cafes, Florida’s eyes have been opened to the downsides of the back-to-the-city movement, sorely felt from London to San Francisco and beyond (although not much beyond, in his western-centric study).”
richard florida is sorry
barely skimmed it