Quality of Place Trumps Density, says Richard Florida

Ten years after publishing of The Rise of the Creative Class, the prominent city-booster says high-rises are “vertical suburbs” and we need “urban environments that stir the spirit.”

Like a preacher in an urban-revival tent, Richard Florida roused the gathering at last week's 20th Congress for the New Urbanism in West Palm Beach, Florida. The event took place on the 10th anniversary of publication of The Rise of the Creative Class, the book that made him a star among city admirers.

"Isn't it interesting that the world has come to us?" he asked the gathering of 1,100 urbanists. "Something has changed to make this part of the great challenges of our time. I thought I was out in the wilderness, but it's happening everywhere."

Florida first gained a wide audience by talking about urban revival and the "creative class" in the late 1990s. At the time, he encountered considerable skepticism. "People said that the dot.com bust would end the revitalization of cities," he said. "Then they said the Trade Center disaster would do it. Then the economic collapse. The power of urbanism has just accumulated."

Thanks to Robert Steuteville

Full Story: Jane Jacobs-style density is best for cities, Florida says



high densities

I can only wish and hope that these recent comments on high density living will shut up many of the density fanatics that leave comments on these pages. I should live that long!

Irvin Dawid's picture

I'll bite (from a density fanatic)

I'm reading Glaeser's "Triumph..." now.
GIaeser makes no bones about taking on Jacobs: "She also made mistakes that came from relying too much on her ground-level view...." (Introduction, pg. 11/paperback)

Florida's approach gives license to those who oppose density in any form because it detracts from "their" quality of life, neglecting to acknowledge the downsides of opposing new density.
Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA

Don't Trust Glaeser On Jacobs

He seems to be quite ignorant of what she actually said. See my comment at http://www.planetizen.com/node/44077

He is talking about a stereotype of Jacobs that exists only in his own mind, which is what I would expect from an economist who knows and cares little about urban design.

Charles Siegel

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