I heard Richard Florida speak last week. It was a great city building message.
Here are some of the key messages that I was able to capture:
- Cities are proving to be key to economic transition and recovery.
- In North America, we are seeing a transformation in the way urban settlements are organizing themselves.
- What makes us human is not our capacity for physical labour but for creativity.
- Creativity cuts across all classes and ways of categorizing people.
- Creativity requires diversity.
- The source of innovation is found in our communities.
- Place matters even more in the face of globalization.
- A community’s willingness to embrace new technologies is important but so too is tolerance, inclusivity and openness along with the ability to grow and attract talent.
- Cities are the nexus of innovation.
- Building more compact urban environments connected by transit is one way to create the environment for innovation.
- Safety along with good infrastructure and jobs are foundational to vibrant local economies but too often cities stop there and don’t recognize that, today, it is equally important to ensure there are abundant social offerings that connect people (e.g. cultural events, sport and recreational offerings), being open and welcoming to all people and protecting the aesthetic quality of the natural (e.g. parks, rivers and trails) and built environments (e.g. protection of heritage buildings)