- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Basic Books; 1 edition (April 11 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0465079741
- ISBN-13: 978-0465079742
- Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 3.2 x 24.1 cm
- Shipping Weight: 544 g
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #118,996 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The New Urban Crisis: How Our Cities Are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Classand What We Can Do About It Hardcover – Apr 11 2017
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"Richard Florida offers a brilliant assessment of the varied and evolving challenges facing our cities today. At a time when cities are more important than ever to our economic and political future, The New Urban Crisis is essential reading for urban leaders and all city-dwellers."―Richard M. Daley, former mayor of Chicago
"The New Urban Crisis bracingly confronts [the] tension between big-city elites and the urban underclass."―Wall Street Journal
"[Richard Florida] vividly expose[s] how gentrification, followed by rising housing costs, concentrated affluence, and glaring inequality has pushed the displaced into deteriorating suburbs far from mass transit, employment, services, and decent schools.... [The New Urban Crisis is] nuanced and proposes solutions."―Washington Post
"Florida draws subtle, thoughtful inferences from his research, and he writes in slick, approachable prose.... Throughout, the author remains an idealistic, perceptive observer of cities' transformations. A sobering account of inequality and spatial conflict rising against a cultural backdrop of urban change."
"Urban planners should consider the case being made for the need to address a new urban crisis. A thought-provoking work for those interested in all stages of urban planning and placemaking."
"The New Urban Crisis deserves to stand alongside Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century as an essential diagnosis of our contemporary ills, and a clear-eyed prescription of how to cure them."―Steven Johnson
"Richard Florida demonstrates again that he is one of the most discerning (and provocative) observers of the great metropolitan migrations of the past 60 years."
―Governor John Hickenlooper, Colorado
"Cites are engines for prosperity and progress, but it's essential that the benefits extend far and wide. Florida proposes promising ideas for building stronger cities that offer greater opportunities for all."―Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York City
"Richard Florida is the great pioneer thinker who first explained how the influx of creative people was reviving cities. Now he takes the next step: looking for ways to make this urbanism more inclusive."―Walter Isaacson
"This is the book we have been waiting for. Richard Florida is the greatest American urbanist of our time....This is an indispensable read for policy makers, students, educators, and all urban dwellers alike."
―Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles
About the Author
Richard Florida is university professor and director of cities at the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto, a distinguished visiting fellow at NYU's Schack Institute of Real Estate, and the cofounder and editor-at-large of the Atlantic's CityLab.
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Florida's problem is that he has nothing to say and in confronting this problem he says what he has already said in an attempt to remain relevant and maintain his required academic publishing output.
From his perch, here in Canada, he posits solutions to problems that are uniquely American for the Canadian context - Canadian cities never experienced the 'hollowing out' that American cities did and do not have the race problems that America has - yes he does not distinguish the different contexts in his declarations - his arrogance clearly obvious in this respect.
Mr. Florida needs a new tune - his serial bloviating is tiresome as is his innate unctuousness - this book is a wast of paper
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As Florida accurately notes the influx of the creative class into the cities of America brought with it rising real estate prices that exacerbated pre-existing income inequality, racial segregation and spatial segregation of the well-off from the poor. This has been especially true in the super star cities of New York and Los Angeles and the education/tech hubs of Boston, San Francisco and Washington D.C. In those cities the demand-driven house price increases were exacerbated by the planning and zoning controls put in place by the very creative class that Florida champions. If you don’t believe me, just look at the over-the-top real estate ads that appear regularly in The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times. As a result the creative class has been enriched and the middle class is being forced out. Thus in urban America zoning is the engine of economic inequality.
All of this was true from the 1980s on and most, if not all of it, were accomplished under the auspices of urban liberal regimes. Florida’s major error is that he conflates social liberalism with economic liberalism. While his creative class may largely support immigration, gay rights and a high degree of tolerance for different lifestyles; they do not necessarily believe that social liberalism requires them to make personal sacrifices with respect to their tax burden, the schools their children go to and the location of affordable housing in their neighborhoods. For example the liberal voters of Los Angeles just voted to tax themselves to provide housing for the homeless. However there are no neighborhoods volunteering to accommodate such housing.
Now Florida to his credit understands all of this. He offers several commendable proposals to offset the income inequality generated by his creative class. I fully agree with him that urban/suburban densities ought to be substantially increased, additional density bonuses ought to be issued to allow for an affordable housing component in major developments, property taxation should build on the ideas of Henry George by taxing site value alone rather than land and improvements, transportation infrastructure should be expanded to accommodate higher densities, and low income earners need an expanded earned income tax credit. Further he sensibly understands that rent control is not part of the solution.
Where I would disagree with him is that he advocates a substantial increase in the minimum wage on metro-area by metro area basis. The problem here is that substantially higher minimum wages may worsen the problem it seeks to solve and recent research out of the University of Washington on Seattle’s minimum wage tends to support my skepticism. We are also in an age of artificial intelligence and that will work to obliterate routine task jobs in food service and retail.
Where I really differ with Florida is that he thinks that his creative class will support substantially increased urban densities. Here I am very skeptical because it is the legally savvy creative class who has refined protesting new developments to a high art. Listen, I hope he is right, but I am not holding my breath. Three last points, he leaves out a discussion on self-driving vehicles which might work to decrease urban densities by making long distance commuting far easier. He fails to even mention the underbelly of every major city in America, unfunded pension liabilities largely created by that bulwark of urban liberalism, the public employee unions. And third he is silent on the state sponsored child abuse that takes place in all too many urban school systems. I am hopeful he will discuss these three items in a future book.
Despite my critique, Florida’s data driven analysis told us how we got to this place in urban America today and for that he deserves much credit.
This book shows us where we are and how we can get to a better place by understanding that the mega cities that have grown up are both the problem and the solution to a happier society