The so-called creative class of intellects and artists was supposed to remake America’s cities and revive urban wastelands. Now the evidence is in—and the experiment appears to have failed, writes Joel Kotkin.
Among the most pervasive, and arguably pernicious, notions of the past decade has been that the “creative class” of the skilled, educated and hip would remake and revive American cities. The idea, packaged and peddled by consultant Richard Florida, had been that unlike spending public money to court Wall Street fat cats, corporate executives or other traditional elites, paying to appeal to the creative would truly trickle down, generating a widespread urban revival.
I not only purchased a copy for myself, but after a few days of reading it, also purchased a copy at the then-Borders in Aventura and mailed it to my my niece in Maryland who was then weeks from leaving for her freshman year at Washington & Lee in Virginia, where her younger sister is now still at UVA in Charlottesville, one of the country's really great cities to live in and visit.
Are the mega-condos of Brickell the key to urban vitality and innovation or are they just cul-de-sacs in the sky? In a keynote speech during the 20th Congress for New Urbanism in West Palm Beach, author Richard Florida challenged the idea that the “rush to density” will unlock and release the potential of our cities.
His essays at The Atlantic on urban theory: