Summary of The New Urban Crisis

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  • Analytical
  • Eye Opening


With his 2014 book, The Rise of the Creative Class, Richard Florida emerged as a provocative observer of modern cities. Here, Florida sheds his optimism about cities. He’s heartened by the resurgence of New York, San Francisco and other urban hubs. But he’s startled that these cities are playgrounds for the affluent that exclude the working classes. Florida focuses on the effect on cities of soaring housing values. He researched his topic with care, and writes artfully. However, some may wonder about the feasibility of his proposed solutions: raising the minimum wage, creating a basic income and replacing the mortgage interest deduction with a tax break for renters. getAbstract recommends his study to policy makers, real estate professionals and economic developers seeking insight into the renaissance of cities.

About the Author

Richard Florida is director of cities at the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto and senior editor at The Atlantic. He also wrote The Rise of the Creative Class.



Urban Evolution

In the 1960s and 1970s, American cities fell into crisis. Crime became rampant, and racial tensions and civil unrest boiled over. In 1967, African-American populations rioted in a wide range of cities, including Newark, Atlanta, Detroit and Cincinnati. By 1975, New York City was on the verge of insolvency. As white flight took hold, middle-class residents and their employers abandoned cities to move to the suburbs. Cities, it seemed, had risen and fallen. Cultural centers like New York were still attractive to pioneering types such as artists, musicians and writers. But urban neighborhoods had turned nightmarishly dirty and unsafe; “the American Dream had moved to the suburbs.” Fast forward four decades, and cities – at least, a handful of “superstar cities” – are on an upward tear. New York, its flirtation with bankruptcy long forgotten, and London are the undisputed kings of global cities. Other hubs, such as Tokyo, Hong Kong, Paris, Singapore, Los Angeles and Seoul, are bustling cities in the second tier of superstars. In rare circumstances, a city still can decline. For instance, Detroit missed the global rebound of cities. For the most...

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    H. T. 3 years ago
    San Francisco is just shocking - such a beautiful city but so many homeless people that I would be afraid to live there with my family - this would be life quality 0 for me!