Issue 152 - 01 | The Downsides of the Urban Revival: The New Urban Crisis and How We Come to Grips With It

By Richard Florida
Published April 19, 2017 10:00 a.m.
“In little more than a decade, the revitalization of our cities and our urban areas that I had predicted was giving rise to rampant gentrification and unaffordability, driving deep wedges between affluent newcomers and struggling longtime residents.

What troubled me most of all was the decline of the great middle-class neighborhoods that had formed the backbones of our cities and broader society for most of my life. This was the kind of neighborhood I’d been born into, in Newark, and grown up in, in North Arlington. This was the kind of neighborhood I had hoped the new creative class was bringing back to our cities. But now, these once sturdy middle-class neighborhoods were disappearing right before my eyes.

I entered into a period of rethinking and introspection, of personal and intellectual transformation, of which this book is the result. 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.”

About Richard Florida | Richard Florida is Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute and Professor of Business and Creativity at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, and one of the world’s leading public intellectuals on economic competitiveness, demographic trends, and cultural and technological innovation. Previously, Florida has held professorships at George Mason University and Carnegie Mellon University, and taught as a visiting professor at Harvard and MIT. His research provides unique, data-driven insight into the social, economic and demographic factors that drive the twenty-first century world economy.

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