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A Declaration of Urban Independence


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Cities are under assault in the age of Donald Trump. It would be better for the country if they ran themselves instead.


"....Fourteen years later, those trends have only accelerated. Behind the shift is what I call the “clustering force”—the fundamental impetus behind not just the growth of cities but innovation and economic growth writ large. It is no longer natural resources or even great corporations that drive economic progress, but the tight clustering together of diverse, talented people in dense places. The evidence can be seen in the extreme concentration of innovative and economic activity across the world. The world’s 50 largest cities and metropolitan areas house just 7 percent of the Earth’s population but generate 40 percent of its economic activity. Just 40 mega-regions—constellations of cities and metros like the Boston-New York-Washington corridor, or the Bay Area’s San Francisco-Palo Alto-San Jose nexus (which includes Silicon Valley)—account for roughly two-thirds of the world’s economic output and more than 85 percent of its innovation, while housing just 18 percent of its people. The amount of economic activity packed into small spaces within those leading cities is even more astonishing. Just one small sliver of downtown San Francisco, for instance, attracts billions of dollars in venture capital to its tech startups every year, more than any nation on the planet, save for the United States.

The great contradiction of capitalism today is this: While this clustering of talent and economic activity powers innovation and economic growth, it carves deep divides into society. As more and more people gravitate toward the places of clustered talent and growth—which in the United States are mostly the deep blue cities of the East and West coasts and the few knowledge hubs in between—many more places fall further behind. That growing spatial inequality registers powerfully in our politics, and Trump is the ultimate result.

Read the full article at: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/06/23/richard-florida-cities-independent-donald-trump-215288


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