Following Richard Florida

City officials used a report from Richard Florida to justify their moves toward downtown revitalization a few years ago.

The other day we heard this from NPR:

Richard Florida promotes what he calls the creative class. He has said for years that cities prosper when they attract upscale innovators and entrepreneurs. Make your city a place where the creative class wants to live, and they, in turn, will create jobs.

INSKEEP: Many cities followed that advice. And now Richard Florida faces the downside. The creative class, he says, is creating cities that are massively unequal.

Unequal indeed.

We deserve better


5 Responses to Following Richard Florida

  1. JerryK says:

    There are plenty of creative young people here and I meet them frequently. They might work as a hair stylist or teacher or nurse or fitness instructor while their avocation is photography, painting, dance, music etc. El Paso does not have the economy to support artists in their art alone, but that doesn’t stop them.

    Just find ways to encourage their art not and to pay out Woody & Co, because art makes a community come alive.


  2. Just Saying' says:

    Bitdefender Trafficlight blocks this specific page claiming it is infected with malware. You should probably make sure your WP is up to date and use an online scanner to check the site for infection. Trafficlight sometimes has false-positives, but just in case…

    Having said that, the City’s focus on art and artists has always seemed to be an unequal policy, elevating artists to a position above all other citizens. For what purpose or reason should an artist be treated better than a veteran, mechanic or nurse?


    • Reality Checker says:

      When Florida refers to the creative class he is not referring just to artists. The kind of inequality referenced by Florida refers more to places like Silicon Valley and San Francisco where the cost of living, particularly housing, has become cost-prohibitive not only for non-tech workers, but also for many of the tech workers making six figures.

      El Paso doesn’t have to worry about those problems just yet. We should be so lucky as to have such a large portion of our local population making so much money that it drives up prices. Instead, we have one of the highest property tax rates in the nation with none of the basic benefits and amenities that one might reasonably expect when paying high taxes.


  3. The Oracle says:

    The Richard Florida idea was for cities that ALREADY had an average Income Base that was ALREADY providing taxes at the rate that streets COULD be kept up and other infrastructure.

    (It would OBVIOUSLY not work in downtown hicksville, or downtown Somalia, downtown Dell City or downtown Wink, Texas.
    El Paso NEVER had the average income as the average city anywhere in the country.

    What is the follow up story about the Low-Cost Hippy Commune apartments for “Artists” built where El Paso Saddle Blanket was 30 years ago downtown?
    Anyone “Living” there ?
    Where is there “Art” ?
    Anyone know anything ?


  4. James W Peterson says:

    As a City employee I attended the presentation. I noticed how the City then got creative on how to spend tax dollars. It is fine to extol the virtues of inclusiveness but it should not be done by ignoring sectors of our community who want to be involved and heard. Florida’s point was to get on a band wagon and do things like other progressive cities. I’ll bet those cities don’t have as many pot holes in their roads and freeways.


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