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5.0 out of 5 stars Richard Florida for President
Richard Florida sees clearly what our present leadership does not- our country is in transition and the old rules no longer apply . He systematically shows through his research that cities that are thriving economically, intellectually and culturally are developing around a base of diversity, flexibility and tolerance. Talented people are moving to places that appeal to...
Published on July 19 2004 by Lori

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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars a relic of the bubble economy
This book was conceived during the 1990s when the high-tech bubble economy caused a labor shortage which made it possible for recent college grads with the right "hot" skills to "write their own tickets". Professor Florida wondered why Pittsburgh, his home town, was having trouble attracting high-tech talent, and graduates from local schools were...
Published on June 1 2004


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5.0 out of 5 stars Richard Florida for President, July 19 2004
This review is from: The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It's Transforming Work, Leisure, Community, and Everyday Life (Paperback)
Richard Florida sees clearly what our present leadership does not- our country is in transition and the old rules no longer apply . He systematically shows through his research that cities that are thriving economically, intellectually and culturally are developing around a base of diversity, flexibility and tolerance. Talented people are moving to places that appeal to them and will allow them to reach their potential. He shows the only non-renewable resource is time and the only renewable resource the human intellect. Type his name into Google and you will find pages of growing city planning commissions either listening to him speak or their members quoting his book.
Run, Richard, run!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting--surprisingly informative and worthwhile., Feb. 20 2004
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This review is from: The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It's Transforming Work, Leisure, Community, and Everyday Life (Paperback)
I think many of the preceding reviews provide insight on this book: the argument is a tough-sell, it relies on generalizations, and it doesn't get everything right. However, I don't this book is meant to be a final statement, but rather the beginning. Taken in that light, Florida's work has great importance for cities and governments as we try to lay the foundations for sustained prosperity and happiness in the USA.
At a time when stadium boondoggles are soaking taxpayers around the country, Florida's book is urgently relevant. The argument may need some work, but hey: entrepreneurs of all kinds tend to thrive in a diverse, artsy, weird, non-conformist environment. Corporate welfare is not the answer (see Detroit), bike lanes and grunge music is (see Portland, OR).
Wealth and happiness is ultimately created by people, not by giant corporations. Devising a great place to live, where people have great parks, schools, arts, and freedoms is the best path to the well being of economies and citizens alike.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars a relic of the bubble economy, June 1 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It's Transforming Work, Leisure, Community, and Everyday Life (Paperback)
This book was conceived during the 1990s when the high-tech bubble economy caused a labor shortage which made it possible for recent college grads with the right "hot" skills to "write their own tickets". Professor Florida wondered why Pittsburgh, his home town, was having trouble attracting high-tech talent, and graduates from local schools were choosing to move away. He found that these young, single, upper-income, well-educated people were making job choices based on geography. They wanted to live somewhere "fun" for young people. That is with amenities such as a vibrant night life, opportunities for outdoor recreation such as biking, rock climbing, etc. Thus they chose places like Austin TX with its music scene over Pittsburgh with its symphony.
This is interesting enough, and Florida makes the connection to earlier work (especially that of Jane Jacobs) on what makes a city an "authentic" and interesting place to live.
It is well known that as time goes on, so-called "knowledge workers" are becoming a larger and larger part of the economy. However Florida, perhaps driven to some "irrational exuberance" by the bubble economy we were living in when he was writing this, makes some pretty outlandish claims for the importance and power of this class of workers (which he calls "the creative class"). As of mid-2004, this all seems a quaint relic of 1990s "new economy" optimism.
He also fails to address two things which have had a huge impact on the labor market in recent years:
He mentions but does not address at any length the collapse of the high-tech bubble, and what impact this change will have on the phenomena he describes. It would seem that most of what he describes is (at least for now) no longer true, as high-tech workers can no longer pick and choose but are now in the position of being glad to find any job at all.
He does not mention at all the phenomenon of overseas outsourcing. This may not have been a hot topic when the book was written but by the time (Fall '03) he wrote the preface to the paperback edition it was so, and he does not even mention it, despite the fact that it is at the very least having a large psychological effect on the high-tech job market.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars too broad of a definition for creativity, Oct. 25 2003
Florida's idea of a creative person is the software engineer who develops alternate downloadable ring tones for your telephone, or the Saturn engineers and marketers who come up with fake wood aftermarket car dashboard appliques. This is a degraded definition of creativity, one sure to include just about everyone in society up to and including the roofer installing an asphalt shingle on your roof, provided she makes the critical choice of applying the shingle one quarter inch to the right rather than one quarter inch to the left.
In its own sweet way, Florida's "creatives," or at least his watered-down definition of same, is as prejudiced as classic racists, homophobes, and sexists. Only instead of attempting to shunt blacks to the back of the bus, Florida's burgeoning "creative" managers are sending the working class factory jobs to China and the service class jobs to India. Having to live near these people, it would seem, is too painful for someone who markets Viagra for a living.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The rise of the over indulged techno class, March 18 2003
This book states (and restates and restates) that there is this creative class that is making money and transforming cities into vibrant economies if they are given the freedoms they need to stay creative. Sadly while he in name only includes artists, writers and musicians he seems only concerned with creative technology folks. Sure they are making money but artists continue to do what they do and have always had liveable communities. Economically viable? Well they don't have a starbucks on every corner and they can't afford hip nightlife and funky grocery stores but people have been making art weather or not cities chose to cater to them. The overpaid techies who have the privlege of comanding huge salaries and little personal responsiblity for their wealth need more put on a silver platter for them. Artists and creative types have rarely looked to others for their sustainablity. This is a book that is so shallow in its approach to creativity an a truly authentic and sustainable city economy that it left me annoyed. And the passing references to this Creative Class being very diverse but not black made me sit up. Some of the most gifted (and popular) artists, musicians, writers and directors are black, surely they make up some of this group. But not in Austin, not in Texas where being black is dangerous. Mr. Florida has created a neat package, trendy catch phrase and tidy profit, but he has not tapped or understood true creativity.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice idea but ivory tower view, June 25 2002
By A Customer
This book is basically a bloated, out of touch, academic thesis with a good premise all of us alienated corporate blocked creative types would love to believe. If you look closely at Florida's prose, anyone who has a random penchant for a "new thought" is consolidated into this new creative class which seems to me to include too many security conscious treacly liberals who think building an opera house in the overly controlled town square is an expression of social consciousness and creativity. There is no distinction regarding sustainable, honestly intelligent creative ideas and middlebrow attempts to jump on the creative bandwagon. This book seems to be attempting to mainstream creativity in the broadest spectrum possible to grate a theme. Also, he needs to do more research: his paragraph on the demographics of brooklyn/nyc neighborhoods is a decade out of date. He stated young people gravitate to Park Slope, Williamsburg, East Village, etc. and once they get more upwardly mobile, move to the Upper West Side to raise their young. Park Slope is a mecca (since '95) for families and upper incomes. Park Slope has gotten quite suburban and it is expensive to live here. It is not, any longer, a place where you see green hair and just out of college displays of bohemian angst. I think Mr. Florida's book makes for an intersting discussion, but I feel he is writing it from an ivory tower and hasn't done his investigative street journalism work. The charts are ridiculous, and I have lived in at least a few of the cities he's mentioned, and his descriptions seem coerced to fit his thesis to me.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Back to Front, Dec 17 2011
By 
Oakman (Cross Roads Ohio, NS) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It's Transforming Work, Leisure, Community, and Everyday Life (Paperback)
Dr. Florida offers both Rise of the Creative Class--Revisited: 10th Anniversary Edition--Revised and Expandeda delightful fast-paced account of historical futurism and a useful lesson on the futility of socioeconomic forecasting. In some ways the text seems to be inspired by Jules Verne's futurist novels. The difference, of course, was that Verne was offering fantasy, and Florida is trafficking in preposterous 'futures'. Not long after the publication of the book, the author's future collapsed - teachers were laid off, politics roared back to a dim pre-history, Sillycone Valley's 'creatives' spend their spent creativity on insignificant apps for a bored generation. But not all was lost, of course. Creativity continues to flourish on Wall Street.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful!, June 8 2004
By 
Rolf Dobelli "getAbstract" (Switzerland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It's Transforming Work, Leisure, Community, and Everyday Life (Paperback)
The good news is, Richard Florida's book recognizes the growing economic and sociological impact of creativity. The bad news is that in just two years, it has lost some of its gloss. The collapse of the bull market, the popping of the dot.com bubble, the 9/11 trauma, each took some shine off of the creative economy, with its casual dress days, flexible schedules and free rides. But even though this appraisal occasionally sounds quaint, we believe that the book's faith in the transforming economic and social power of creativity, its broad view, and its excellent references and quotations make it worth recommending.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Leaves us hanging, May 19 2004
By 
D. S. Bornus (St. Paul, MN) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It's Transforming Work, Leisure, Community, and Everyday Life (Paperback)
This book presents an interesting concept but the author doesn't tell us what to do with this information. He suggests that the "creative class" must become conscious of their identity as a class and begin to act in concert, but he doesn't outline a method for doing this. One would think that he would want to provide a platform for the unification and interaction of a class which he has identified.
The author suggests that municipalities would be wise to structure their geography to attract creative class individuals. Another approach, which he does not consider, would be a strategy to develop more creative class individuals from the resident population. Unlike other natural resources, which are finite, creative class capital can be generated by educational opportunities and personal development.
An interesting thought occurred to me while reading this book: Dr. Florida describes creative class individuals as uninterested in group conformity. Meanwhile, the major political parties become increasingly polarized and intolerant of dissent within the ranks, sidelining independent-thinking "moderates." Thus public policy is being developed by parties who have driven the creative class out from their midst. This, more than anything, may be the most critical issue for the creative class to confront.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely interesting, April 11 2004
This review is from: The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It's Transforming Work, Leisure, Community, and Everyday Life (Paperback)
This book is a facinating look at what really makes cities tick. As someone who grew up around boston and now lives in NYC the issues about city planning that Florida (the author) talks about are extremely relevant. I wish all city planners would read this before they go knocking down old neighborhoods or insisting on funding stadiums over education. His findings about diversity and creativity also should add to the many arguments against the current trend of discrimination that seems to have re-emerged.
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