In recent years, the young, educated, and affluent have surged back into cities, reversing decades of suburban flight and urban decline. And yet all is not well. In The New Urban Crisis, Richard Florida, one of the first scholars to anticipate this back-to-the-city movement in his ground-breaking The Rise of the Creative Class, demonstrated how the same forces that power the growth of the world’s superstar cities also generate their vexing challenges: gentrification, unaffordability, segregation, and inequality. In London, unaffordable house prices saw people in their 30s leave the capital in record numbers over the last year.
But if this crisis is urban, so is its solution. Cities remain the most powerful economic engines the world has ever seen. Florida argued that the only way forward is to devise a new model of urbanism that encourages innovation and wealth creation while generating good jobs, rising living standards, and a better way of life for everyone.
The New Urban Crisis offers a diagnosis of our economic ills and a bold prescription for more inclusive cities capable of ensuring growth and prosperity for all.
Photograph: Bill Parry