Executive Summary

Lessons from the Past for Urban Policy in the Era of Trump

The stunning election of Donald Trump as president throws the future of urban policy into doubt. During the campaign he promised to bring new jobs and improved infrastructure to the inner cities, but so far he has furnished no details. Some of the strategies carried out by cities and states in the past may offer the incoming administration some guidance.



The Great Reset

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In this commentary we are going to take a focused gander at his latest best-selling book, The Great Reset. The Great Reset is Florida's attempt to provide some concept and guidance as to how economic developers can cope with the effects of the post 2008 Financial Collapse. Because Resets are so powerful, Florida argues we should not "waste any opportunity" and focusing on his "talent class" which for him are the prime movers of innovation and technological change he will outline proposed program concepts and specific policies which, he believes will produce maximum future benefit for our urban areas.Florida's belief, shared by the Curmudgeon, is that there will be winners and losers created by this Reset and that the winners will be the ones who best capture innovation, creativity, and the talent class. Regarding potential loser cities, for which the Curmudgeon exhibits a special empathy, Florida presents a rather depressing list of things that can, already have or will go wrong for those unfortunate communities --- but he unfailingly ends his discussion with an optimistic, can do, somehow it all can work out conclusion. He can't have it both ways.His third and final section, "A New Way of Life" was treated by the Curmudgeon more as a personal essay than a prescription for future action. Florida basically outlines and describes what he would like to see emerge from the opportunities which the Great Reset will create. Frankly, it is a future the Curmudgeon does not share, at least for the most part. He wants to create a new spatial fix which is based upon density, mega regions, a reset of American values and an economy based on the talent class, knowledge workers, innovation, creativity, the free flow of ideas, a geographic sorting of people by ability and educational attainment. Three topics have been selected for our blather of the month: (1) whether Florida has misused or, at least overstated, his assertion that Resets, properly taken advantage of, can create only positive opportunities (he never describes anything bad that comes from an Economic Reset) and that over a period time they result in a new spatial fix;  (2) a deeper look inside the "spatial fix" concept itself; and (3) since Florida relies on, and builds upon, concepts from his "Rise of the Creative Class" for his prescriptions for the new spatial fix to be created a discussion on how realistic and street savvy are his core concepts of "creative class", lifestyle attraction, talent, density and creativity which flow from our third-wave knowledge-based economy. Continue Reading...