Thursday, February 12, 2009

Creative class guru predicts Detroit's demise

Richard Florida, the prophet of the creative class, has a new article in the Atlantic, "On How the Crash Will Reshape America." He predicts a reorganization of the American landscape, with power shifting to "mega-regions," like the North Carolina research triangle or the Boston-New York-D.C. corridor, where new economy jobs (think media and information) are most concentrated.

Who will suffer the most? The Rust Belt. Specifically, Detroit:

Perhaps Detroit has reached a tipping point, and will become a ghost town. I’d certainly expect it to shrink faster in the next few years than it has in the past few. But more than likely, many people will stay—those with no means and few obvious prospects elsewhere, those with close family ties nearby, some number of young professionals and creative types looking to take advantage of the city’s low housing prices. Still, as its population density dips further, the city’s struggle to provide services and prevent blight across an ever-emptier landscape will only intensify.
Hm. That rings a bell. Oh wait, that's what's happening already. Still, I'd rather not hear it from a man who just a few months ago was preaching to the choir at the Creative Cities Summit 2.0.


FrankNemecek said...

Blah! I largely ignored Richard Florida when he was in town to a) sell copies of his book, b) tell us how much potential Detroit has and c) sell more copies of his book.

Now he has an essay in The Atlantic that offers a different story, but he is still looking to sell even more copies of his book. I still don't reason why anyone should pay attention to him.

Anonymous said...

Pretty interesting arguments against ghost town:

it'd be interesting to see urban farming and new educational dynamics take root sooner rather than later here

Cooper said...

Thanks for the linking. I'll be posting on the Boggs Center and City of Hope soon.