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“The Rise of the Creative Class” by Richard Florida is an expression of his personal opinion on the significance of tolerance, talent, and technology to the post-industrial development of the countries. Basing on these three principles, Florida worked out a configuration that is called “expressive class”. His work is not just some research monograph which was destined to be read solely by the wife of the author who begged her to do it for a long time, including his six closest friends if the author is lucky enough to persuade them. Richard Florida’s “The Rise of the Creative Class” is a true bestseller which outlines very interesting ideas and possibilities. The special web-site was developed for the book because of the increasing popularity and requests of the readers.
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Urban policy-makers find a special interest for the book. The debate goes on whether Florida’s book is not the best guidebook for all who are interested in regional economies over the last couple of years. The main thesis of “The Rise of the Creative Class” lies in the transforming economy which becomes more and more dependent on the creative approaches. The 21st century has revealed that high technologies combined with a great deal of talent, that is creative way of thinking and trespassing the borders of one’s uniformity, can bring more profits to the overall country’s economy than the standardized strategies. Therefore, nowadays a strong tendency exists where employers are looking for the workers with innovative approaches and a lot of enthusiasm for the future employment. The urban class of Florida’s book takes its beginning from the idea that all the cities which aim to succeed must also aim to attract those creative minds which are, as the author proves, the wave of the future (Florida, 2002).
In order to evaluate Florida’s book properly, it is important to have a closer look at the following aspects. First of all, the book is very well written and tells a story which is topical for the demands of the ongoing society. Florida’s creation is a real exception to the whole range of academic books. Usually, it is not an easy task for the academic to write a best-seller as there range of writing is quite limited by the sphere of research, competence. The writing style is clear and vivid. The mood the book creates is exceptional: It contains a lot of fun anecdotes which are aptly intertwined with the profound thoughts on the urban planning and national economy (Glaeser, n.d.).
Secondly, the reaction the book triggers does not have strictly shameful or negative comments which criticize its ideas or author’s ability to express his thoughts. Richard Florida stresses that market popularity does not yet guarantee a presence of good quality. Even the laureates of the Nobel award have earned mass market success with shameful attacks on free trade which badly attribute to the cooperation of the elder statesmen of the discipline. “The Rise of the Creative Class” lies in the golden middle: It neither reflects utterly wrong concepts nor they are embarrassing. On the other hand, the book is basically right.
Creativity’s importance for the economy rises with each coming day due to the increasing need for the new ways of conducting economic transactions. The creative people’s market value has drastically changed upwards and the times when the initiative at work was punished are long gone now. Large industries are trying hard to adapt to the growing significance of idea-creation. The author’s popularity is not due to the descriptions of the defects of globalization, however, due to Florida’s successful attempt at revealing the world those things which are fundamentally true.
Thirdly, the innovative ideas of the book play the pivotal role in making it useful for the society. In this case, Richard Florida is probably not so great. On the other hand, in the today’s world where everything seems to have already been explored, it is quite difficult to come up with something completely new. However, this only stresses on the importance of the highly creative people who can find fresh decisions to the contrary of the already existing ways of solving it (Marti, 2004).
Undoubtedly, the thought that idea-generation is getting more important is not a very innovative thought. Many scholars have already emphasized how vital it is for the flourishing society to trigger knowledge-creation process as Adam Smith called it. Alfred Marshall is usually recognized to be the first who began the modern debate over this idea-generation concerning urban economies. Creativity in the urban territories is the main discussion topic for Jane Jacobs. Paul Romer is stressing on its urgent importance as well. Therefore, it is obvious that the topic is not novel in the competent circles and while Florida shows a possible difference between the “creative capital” theory of city growth and the human capital theory of city growth, this opinion is quite innovative to me (Glaeser, n.d.).
Florida is far from being unique in outlining the rise of social freedom and bohemianism.
Classic “Bobos in Paradise” by David Brooks are still considered to be of the greatest popularity highlighting the appearance of bohemian values in the United States. This topic has interested many people who wrote and publicly talked about it, however, only Florida’s depiction has attracted so much attention to the issue. On the other hand, even if Florida’s innovation does not lie in emphasizing creativity, or the depicting how bohemian lifestyles were created, than he definitely deserves a great deal of credit for combining them and stressing on their connection (Glaeser, n.d.).
The author is also accurate in telling that if cities aim at succeeding fast, they have to consider provision of favorable lifestyle as well as consumption advantages to the citizens.
However, in spite of my acceptance of the larger part of the real situation in our cities, I am very doubtful about his ideas for urban planning. Richard Florida makes the logical argument that as all cities totally depend on creative people, they need to attract them as much as possible. The author conducts a certain calculation which distinguishes the amount of people who can be called a creative force of the nation. The results of the calculation show a positive, stable impact of the schooling and frequently a very negative, though insignificant effect of the extremely creative core. I cannot agree that the only role of the developed creativity plays schooling, however, Florida do not tells the reader anymore about it.
Another result of the calculation depicts how many years of schooling are important for the creative mind and which positive effects they have on the person’s general productivity. Gay Index which the author works out during his calculations is just another outcome of his research expressing quite a prejudiced view of thinking of the person who is supposed to be spared by negative biased thought. The author still states on the importance of the schooling, arguing enthusiastically that the increase in the homosexual population has a particularly negative influence on the society.
The difficulty to accept homosexual trends by many people are only accentuating on their lack of tolerance which is vital for the economic well-being of the country. Finally, the “Bohemian Index” is stressing on the urgency of the artistic minds who are the first source for creative development. Only this final calculation diminishes the importance of schooling in Florida’s opinion. Only highly artistic approach to the problem can release the sheer potential power of the individual’s ability to find the unusual ways of solutions in the usual situations. Four main areas of the United States support this idea especially strongly: Florida, Nevada, Sarasota, and Las Vegas (Marti. 2004).
According to the last conclusion which comes out of the author’s calculations, there are only two centers which trigger the “Bohemian” relationship, and the effect is quite similar to the fourth calculation outcome of the author. However, the way Richard Florida explains his idea, I would make a different conclusion out of his words, namely, that the main triggers of the economic growth of any city is the highly-skilled employees who bring all the success to the urban planning. Certainly, creativity matters but without reasonable and accurate strategic planning which can be quite traditional sometimes, our society which often afraid of anything new would not survive without stress.
Such consideration of the author has brought about many debates which are often quite opposite in their opinions. I cannot recognize the sole wrongfulness of Florida’s position, however, his view on schooling and creativity are not quite accurate outlining a little bit conservative and not innovative approach, despite the potential novelty. Therefore, the mayors of the cities should focus their attention not on solely creative minds or emotionless professionals, but try hard to combine the two of them effectively in order to reach the rapid economic upsurge (Marti, n.d.).
“The Rise of the Creative Class” is definitely a fascinating book which is worth reading especially by those who are standing right now somewhere in the golden middle and who are still not sure whether to make a step forward and dive into the mystical potential of creativity or whether to make a step back and look closer to the traditional ways of gradual but stable pace towards the goal. This book is a must for the policy developers of those areas which have not reached yet the understanding which merits the diverse community of the society can bring. Richard Florida has tackled the issues with the light hand of the writer who is well sire what is the best for economy to do but who does not want to obtrude his opinion.
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