Opportunity Urbanism

Jun 20 2007

Maybe pursuing the “creative class” isn’t the right course?

So you’ve heard all the discussion about how cities must lure the so-called “creative class” if they want to be great places, right? Basically, the idea is that the creative class — knowledge workers, artists, intellectuals and creative types, a subset of workers identified by economist and author Richard Florida — spurs economic power, high-tech industry, new ideas and growth in places that court it. Sounds like something Houston should be trying to attract, right? Well, no, according to one urban strategist.

Houston and the rise of ‘opportunity urbanism’

One response so far

  • Josh says:

    Definitely an interesting perspective…lots of cool graphs and charts. I am not sure that the trends support the claims, though. Texas has, in general, been a leader in driving movement towards the new economy (see this report for some data points: http://www.kauffman.org/pdf/2007_State_Index.pdf) but Houston continues to be an old economy city and is starting to lag the east coast.

    The real shift from old to new economy will come from technology and process arbitragers who capitalize in the general under-utilization of new technology and process in old economy industries. Examples would be energy (slowest adopters of new ideas and technology), transportation (the port is ripe for a change) and manufacturing (lot’s of older generation running these shops with little to know innovation).