Kotkin Concedes to Florida: 'You Were Right'

In a stunning turnaround, longtime sprawl apologist Joel Kotkin has reversed his stance on Richard Florida's "Creative Class" theory, finding it to be a true example of the way clusters of creative people can synergize and catalyze a vibrant economy.

Kotkin had long argued that suburban areas are clearly what people want and are what's driving the future growth of the U.S. He had often and vocally opposed the idea of concentrated urban populations of the "creative class" being of any significant importance to the nation's economy. But a recent move from the suburbs of Orange County to Downtown Los Angeles has altered his viewpoint.

"Today I walked down the street from my new apartment to a café full of hipsters on MacBooks, and I loved it," Kotkin says. "I could literally see the underpinnings of a burgeoning metropolitan economy right before my eyes, sipping lattes."

Kotkin says he can now understand Florida's "creative class" as a more powerful groundswell of economic actors, especially in contrast to the manufacturing, industrial and extractive industries that Kotkin now calls "boring."

"The old school is dead. This is the new American economy – spontaneously meeting people, sharing ideas, Tweeting stuff. The suburbs just can't bring in these people or their knowledge," Kotkin says. "You should see some of the knitted crafts they're selling on the Internet. Fantastic!"

Full Story: Kotkin Concedes to Florida: 'You Were Right'

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