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June 30, 2007

Richard Florida

Fast Cities


Fast Company on Fast Cities:

To find them, we started with data from Carnegie Mellon assistant professor Kevin Stolarick, the numbers guru behind Richard Florida's The Rise of the Creative Class, which helped define what makes great cities tick. We relied on CEOs for Cities' CityVitals survey, authored by Joseph Cortright of Portland, Oregon--based Impresa Inc.; sustainability data from SustainLane; and insights from the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto.

What makes a Fast City? It starts with opportunity. Not just bald economic capacity, but a culture that nurtures creative action and game-changing enterprise. Fast Cities are places where entrepreneurs and employees alike can maximize their potential--where the number of patents filed is high, for instance, or where the high-tech sector is expanding.

The second component: innovation. Fast Cities invest in physical, cultural, and intellectual infrastructure that will sustain growth. "The real forces for change in America and around the world are the mayors and the local communities," says Florida, now a professor of public policy at George Mason University.

Finally, Fast Cities have energy, that ethereal thing that happens when creative people collect in one place. The indicators can seem obscure: number of ethnic restaurants, or the ratio of live-music lovers to cable-TV subscribers. But they point to environments where fresh thinking stimulates action and, by the way, attracts new talent in a virtuous cycle of creativity.

Sifting through the data, we identified 30 Fast Cities around the globe, which we're presenting in nine categories, from Creative-Class Meccas to Green Leaders. We've also noted 20 locales on the verge of Fast City status, plus 5 Slow Cities--and 5 too fast for their own good.

Click here for the Fast Cities list; here for cities on the verge; here for slow cities; here for too-fast cities. Interactive maps here and here And a slide show here.

June 28, 2007

Richard Florida

An Urban World

Un The UN has just released a major report on world urbanization

In 2008, the world reaches an invisible but momentous milestone: For the first time in history, more than half its human population, 3.3 billion people, will be living in urban areas. By 2030, this is expected to swell to almost 5 billion. Many of the new urbanites will be poor. Their future, the future of cities in developing countries, the future of humanity itself, all depend very much on decisions made now in preparation for this growth.

While the world’s urban population grew very rapidly (from 220 million to 2.8 billion) over the 20th century, the next few decades will see an unprecedented scale of urban growth in the developing world. This will be particularly notable in Africa and Asia where the urban population will double between 2000 and 2030: That is, the accumulated urban growth of these two regions during the whole span of history will be duplicated in a single generation. By 2030, the towns and cities of the developing world will make up 81 per cent of urban humanity.

Urbanization—the increase in the urban share of total population—is inevitable, but it can also be positive. The current concentration of poverty, slum growth and social disruption in cities does paint a threatening picture: Yet no country in the industrial age has ever achieved significant economic growth without urbanization. Cities concentrate poverty, but they also represent the best hope of escaping it.


 Click here for the report. New York Times coverage is here.

$64 billion in Dubailand projects

The suburbanization of New York

Continue reading "Disneyfication Marches on" »

For this week's By the Numbers, (with the assistance of data whiz Jim Kaminski) we look at national age profiles for those 25-30,  40-45, and 55-60.    For these groups, we have examined average salary, place of employment, educational attainment, and demographics.

Key takeaways:

  • Average salary for those 55 to 60 is approximately 58% higher than those 25 to 30.
  • 3/4 of those 25 to 30 work in the private sector.
  • As workers get older, self-employment identification rises.
  • 20% of those 25 to 30 are foreign born -- compared to 12% of those 55 to 60.
  • Nearly 69% of those 55 to 60 are married compared to 46% of those 25 to 30.

Average Salary:

Ages (25-30): $29,342
Ages (40-45): $45,475
Ages (55-60): $46,487

Place of Employment:

Private Sector:

Ages (25-30): 76%
Ages (40-45): 66%
Ages (55-60): 56%

Non Profit:

Ages (25-30): 7%
Ages (40-45): 7%
Ages (55-60): 8%

Public Sector:

Ages (25-30): 12%
Ages (40-45): 15%
Ares (55-60):  21%


Ages (25-30): 5%
Ages (40-45): 12%
Ages (55-60): 15%

Educational Attainment:

Bachelor's Degree:

Ages (25-30): 22%
Ages (40-45): 18%
Ages (55-60): 17%

Advanced Degree:

Ages (25-30): 7%
Ages (40-45): 10%
Ages (55-60): 13%


Foreign Born:

Ages (25-30): 20%
Ages (40-45): 17%
Ages (55-60): 12%


Ages (25-30): 46%
Ages (40-45): 67%
Ages (55-60): 69%

Any of these demographics differences surprising?

For more information about research services, contact David Miller

posted by: Steven 

New numbers on the largest cities in the U.S. from the Census Bureau.


New York continued to be the nation’s most populous city, with 8.2 million residents. This was more than twice the population of Los Angeles, which ranked second at 3.8 million.  The estimates reveal that Phoenix moved into fifth place ahead of Philadelphia, the latest evidence of a decades-long population shift. Nearly a century ago, in 1910, each of the 10 most populous cities was within roughly 500 miles of the Canadian border. The 2006 estimates show that seven of the top 10 — and three of the top five — are in states that border Mexico.  Only three of the top 10 from 1910 remained on the list in 2006: New York, Chicago and Philadelphia. Conversely, three of the current top 10 cities (Phoenix; San Jose, Calif.; and San Diego) were not even among the 100 most populous in 1910, while three more (Dallas, Houston and San Antonio) had populations of less than 100,000.  California had seven cities among the 25 fastest growing, leading all states.  Phoenix had the largest population increase of any city between 2005 and 2006, adding more than 43,000 residents to reach 1.5 million. However, Texas dominated the list of the 10 highest numerical gainers, with San Antonio, Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and Dallas each making the top 10. North Las Vegas; Miami; Charlotte, N.C.; and San Jose, Calif., rounded out the list of the 10 biggest numerical gainers.  Overall, eight Texas cities were among the 25 biggest numerical gainers to lead all states.  (press release here)

posted by Kevin Stolarick

The State Science and Technology Institute has summarized information from the National Science Foundation's Science and Engineering Indicators Project on graduation levels in science and technology by state.


Every year, the National Science Foundation releases Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in S&E, a report filled with detailed statistics about the characteristics of science and engineering graduates enrolled at U.S. institutions. Using the annual report, SSTI has prepared a table showing the total number of graduate students for each year from 2001 to 2005 in each state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Additionally, each state is ranked by the percent change in science and engineering graduate enrollment from 2001 to 2005.  For the U.S. as a whole, the country's science and engineering graduate population increased by 11.5 percent over the five years. Among states, Minnesota experienced the largest increase at 61.8 percent, rising from 6,602 students in 2001 to 10,685 in 2005. North Dakota, Alaska, Idaho and Hawaii rounded out the states with the largest percent increase, all over 30 percent.

Of the states with a total S&E graduate student population over 10,000 in 2001, Ohio, Florida, California and North Carolina experienced increases over 15 percent. The average growth rate among the entities was 13.6 percent. Louisiana experienced the largest drop of S&E graduate enrollment during the five-year period, shrinking by 16.2 percent. Illinois, Michigan, and South Dakota were the only other states to witness a decrease in enrollment from 2001 to 2005. To see how each state ranks, visit SSTI's table at:


Reports dating back to 1994 from the Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in S&E series are available at:


Not included is information on number of Science and Engineering (S&E) graduates per capita (2005 numbers and populations).  Top honors go to the District of Columbia with 16.8 S&E for every 1,000 residents.  Rounding out the top 10:

StateS&E per 1,000 residents
District of Columbia16.8
North Dakota2.48
New York2.27

Bottom honors(?) go to Maine with 0.53 S&E graduates per 1,000 residents

Of course, as we and others find time and time again, simply having them graduate from a college in your state doesn't mean they will stay put. College graduates are the most mobile group.

posted by Kevin Stolarick

June 27, 2007


This is just so cool because it like being in a hall of mirrors.

An email making the rounds at Microsoft that purports to be an HR interview with a former Microsoft employee who ended up at Google and is now back at Microsoft.  So, it's Microsoft takes a look at Google for internal marketing at Microsoft.

If that's not confusing enough, read the whole memo here.

It says a lot about Google but probably says even more about Microsoft in the way that they have chosen to portray Google.  In any case, it's a peek "under the covers" at a couple of major Creative Economy organizations.

posted by Kevin Stolarick

June 24, 2007

Richard Florida

Why Cities?

Wendy, a  regular commenter on this site, has another super-insightful post over at her blog, All About Cities, which I strongly recommend as one of the very best city blogs out there.

Craig Thomas, economist at Torto Wheaton Research (an investment real estate industry research firm), wrote a great essay a couple weeks ago that reduces a city down to its economic essence.  Here are a few quotes.

So what is a city? What do these metropolitan areas do? They're not there to look pretty, or because they're historical landmarks or because they're cool. Cities are market-makers. ...

To succeed, he insists, cities main role is to provide a dynamic place for human, financial and physical capital to intermingle and flow -- what he calls liquidity.

Firms will form within or relocate to a city if it provides three things: the physical infrastructure that helps firms function, access to capital, and—most important these days—ample suitable labor with which to support production. Labor will come to the city if there is physical infrastructure to occupy, ample choice of vocations and employers, and access to capital. Developers and investors will provide physical and financial capital if there are adequate firms and households to occupy structures, and if there is a sufficient liquidity of capital when it is time to monetize these assets. All parties' motivation is to be as productive as possible, and they will go to the cities that allow them to trade their time and resources at the highest value.

Everything else happening in cities, he argues, is there to support the flow of labor and capital. Creating livable neighbourhoods is about attracting and retaining talent. Building infrastructure is about facilitating the flow of industry (capital) and jobs, as well as making the region function for the residents.

Thomas' approach Sounds more or less like Robert Lucas or Jane Jacobs. Wendy goes on to provide her perspective.

I'd say Thomas' notion of cities as "market-makers" explains about all of what cities have done historically and about half to two-thirds of what cities do in today's knowledge-driven, creative society.  I have lots more to say about this in Who's Your City, but for now let me just add that cities provide a key function by organizing a vibrant mating market - (what's more important to you:  your job or your significant other/ spouse) and also have enormous effects on psychological well-being.  Cities have a clear and important economic function, but they also do more.

Your thoughts?

Continue reading "Why Cities?" »

June 22, 2007

Richard Florida

Rise of the Local

Global_2 Over at The Globalist (which I strongly recommend), Morgan Stanley's Stephen Roach assesses the rise of local interests as backlash to globalization.

On the face of things, the world economy seems to be reaping the fruits of globalization. However, Stephen Roach, chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia, argues that rich countries are beginning to feel squeezed — which could cause the collective interests of globalization to succumb to the self-interests of “localization.”

The full story is here and after the jump. While you're over on the Globalist site, check out this piece by Daniel Griswold on the benefits and costs of immigration. And this one providing a thumbnail history of American immigration

Continue reading "Rise of the Local" »

June 21, 2007

For this week's "By the Numbers," we examine the top and bottom regions with the highest percentage of working mothers.  Pulling the data from the U.S. Census (American Community Survey, 2005), we rank the top 10 metros and list the bottom three for each metro classification: large, medium, mid-size, and small.

EX: Washington, DC Metro (68.9%) -  represents the percentage of mothers in the Washington, DC metro who have children younger than 18 and are working.

Here's a look at the top and bottom three for each metro classification:

Large Metros: Over 1 Million

Top three: (Highest Percentage of Working Mothers)

1. Minneapolis, MN  (73.0%)
2. Buffalo, NY (70.7%)
3. St. Louis (70.6%)

Bottom three: (Lowest Percentage of Working Mothers)

1. Riverside, CA (56.5%)
2. San Jose, CA (57.7%)
3. Los Angeles (57.8%)

Medium Metros: 500K to Million

Top three:

1. Des Moines, IA  (79.1%)
2. Madison, WI (75.0%)
3. Columbia, SC (74.2%)

Bottom three:

1. McAllen, TX (47.4%)
2. El Paso, TX (55.4%)
3. Bakersfield, CA (56.6%)

Mid-sized Metros: 250K-500K

Top three:

1. Lincoln, NE (76.3%)
2. Tallahassee, FL (75.8%)
3. Green Bay, WI (75.3%)

Bottom three:

1. Provo, UT (48.9%)
2. Brownsville, TX (51.4%)
3. Visalia, CA (52.1%)

Small Metros (Below 250K)

Top three:

1. Bismark, ND (84.9%)
2. Jefferson City, MO (83.0%)
3. Springfield, IL (81.9%)

Bottom three:

1. Florence, AL (51.3%)
2. Logan, UT (52.0%)
3. Yuma, AZ (53.0%)

To download the top 10 metros for each classification, Click here:Download CCGworkingmothers.pdf  

For more information about CCG research services, contact David Miller.

Thanks to Jim for his assistance with data collection.

posted by steven