In 2002, Richard Florida published his celebrated book The Rise of the Creative Class about the growth of the creative workforce and its implications for the rest of the culture and the economy. When the book was re-issued with updates ten years later, some of Florida’s critics wondered whether the book should be given a new title: The Rise and Fall of the Creative Class.
Joel Kotkin, for instance, recently argued that the great experiment has failed. The creative class has not been the economic and cultural engine that Florida said would reinvigorate our cities.
Not so fast, Florida responded in The Daily Beast by calling Kotkin “America’s leading cheerleader for suburban sprawl” and by pointing out that Kotkin’s research is supported by “the avenging angel of the religious right.” In other words, according to Florida, Kotkin is someone who is inclined to look backwards, and has been doing so ever since The Rise of the Creative Class was first published in 2002.
However, Florida says that the most unfounded criticism leveled by Kotkin is that Florida has abandoned his big idea that the creative class “spurs economic growth and reinvigorates cities.” Florida disputes that claim unequivocally, in his Daily Beast post, and in an interview with Big Think below.
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