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February 29, 2008

Richard Florida

Spiky = Green

« The Passionate City | Main | Foreign Film »

I hear Tom Friedman is working on a book on green.  He's going to have to confront the fact the a green world isn't flat, it's spiky. Here's what the Earth Institutes's Steve Cohen has to say (h/t: Robert Wuebker):

The high population density of New York City would never have been possible without a number of technological innovations: an extensive network of mass transit, the electrical power grid, the water system, modern sewage removal and treatment, product packaging, food refrigeration, preservatives and, of course, solid waste removal. The technology of waste incineration has advanced dramatically since the 1960s. In Japan, 70% of all waste is burned and generates electricity. While incineration pollutes the air, there is no question that it is less polluting than transporting waste in diesel-fueled trucks to leaking landfills.

What say you?


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Zoe B

I just came back from a conference on 'Smart Growth'. The attendees were EPA, architects, urban planners and policy types, not much overlap with the crowd that went to the Creative Economy conference last fall (that conference attracted economic development folks, corporate consultants and recruiters, non-profit organizations promoting the arts...). The Smart Growth people are arguing for building the same sorts of cities that creative types like to live in: dense enough for street life and good public transit, well-functioning public services, lots of public green space.... But the Smart Growth folks want this stuff for ecological reasons. They know they need to sell these ideas big-time to get people to change the way we build our environment. But they don't seem to know much about marketing. In particular, the only mention I saw or heard of creative economy stuff was the "Cities" book on sale in the bookstore.

Richard, I think you should link up with these folks. You could co-promote "Who's Your City" with Douglas Farr, who just published "Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design with Nature". He is the chair of the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) Core Committee. (LEED is the standard for green building; LEED-ND argues that you can't just make a green building, you have to make a green neighborhood. Another person to talk to is Geoffrey Anderson, who left the EPA to become the President and CEO of Smart Growth America. I think there is good potential for creative economy and smart growth to catalyze each other, to create the places we want to live in.

If you want more information, the conference organizers (newpartners.org) said they were going to get the powerpoint slides put onto the website.

Mike Linacre

And, for workers in NYC, elevators ...


Zoe - Thanks. A little history. I was working on a big project on sustainable development and smart growth (lots of papers and reports in the library at creativeclass.com). No one paid attention. The work got zero traction. I began to see the connection you mention. Talent wants these kinds of places. So I made the leap. I wrote Rise. The rest, they say, is history. I am happy to help or work with these people. But they have to realize to succeed their work needs to address economic drivers not just ethical issues. I see the connection and have argued for it for some time. I wonder, from what you write, if they do. I have tried to provide a strong rationale for smart growth, density, environment and green building.

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