The Great Reset by Richard Florida

 

Any regular reader of the blog will know that i’m a big fan of the author Richard Florida.  Florida has written a number of outstanding books such as The Creative Classor Who’s Your City?.  Both books have a heavy urban focus and discuss why certain people decide on certain places to live or the new ways in which the current generations choose to live.

For his latest book, The Great Reset, Florida focuses on the recent recession and how it will change our economy and the way we live.  I have currently read half the book and am once again enthralled with the subject matter.  Florida relates our current recession to the last two economic crashes (The Great Depression and the Long Depression of the 1870′s) and discusses how these troubled times often brought about the greatest innovation that helped shape how people would live in the future.

As with any of his other books, Florida discusses a number of different urban issues.  He touches on the decline of the rust belt cities such as Detroit or Buffalo and the reasons for their decline.  Perhaps more intriguing is Florida’s focus on the decline of many of the sun belt cities such as Phoenix or Miami which were almost solely driven by real estate in the last decade.  Now that the recession has hit, property prices in these places have been decimated and unlike cities like San Francisco, Boston or Houston, they don’t have much else to rely on economically.

I will provide another post when I finish the book, but for the time being, I recommend anyone who is a fan of Richard Florida or a fan of social economics to pick up a copy of The Great Reset.

Detroit: What Now?

Photo Courtesy of photodocGVSU on Flickr

 

With the possibility of the automakers getting absoulutely zilch from the U.S. government, one has to wonder what this means for the already suffering city of Detroit.  Detroit may be less dependent on the auto industry than it once was (since manufacturing has been in decline for decades), but with the possibility of an official GM bankruptcy, it could send shockwaves through the city.  The city recently passed a $47 million dollar stabilization plan for a number of neighbourhoods around the city with the hopes of using a great number towards demolition.  Could we be seeing Detroit tearing down a large number of their thousands of vacant buildings?  Perhaps this land could be put to better use.  Whatever may happen, it’s unfortunate to see a city that has already hit hard times possibly go even further down.  I’m certainly not defending General Motors.  They had plenty of time to restructue, but the possibilities are grim for Detroit if they do go under.