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  #1  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2017, 7:03 AM
Truenorth00 Truenorth00 is offline
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Cities in Crisis

Great interview with Richard Florida:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpjgHLN4YQI

Fascinating states. 45% of Canada's GDP is in its top 5 cities. And that has created inequality in those cities, while leaving smaller cities struggling.
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Old Posted Jun 1, 2017, 9:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Truenorth00 View Post
Great interview with Richard Florida:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpjgHLN4YQI

Fascinating states. 45% of Canada's GDP is in its top 5 cities. And that has created inequality in those cities, while leaving smaller cities struggling.
43% of Canada's population lives in the top 5 CMAs in the country, just for context.
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Old Posted Jun 1, 2017, 12:44 PM
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33 minutes, uh, what is the Reader's Digest form of this video? Which five Canadian cities? What inequality and which smaller cities are struggling?
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Old Posted Jun 8, 2017, 1:51 PM
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Geographic inequality in Canada

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Originally Posted by speedog View Post
33 minutes, uh, what is the Reader's Digest form of this video? Which five Canadian cities? What inequality and which smaller cities are struggling?



Clustering of talent in super cities carves the divide.

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Originally Posted by wave46 View Post
43% of Canada's population lives in the top 5 CMAs in the country, just for context.
The losers are the places where their kids move to Toronto for work.

"...new age of winner-take-all urbanism, in which the talented and the advantaged cluster and colonize a small select group of superstar cities leaving everybody and everywhere else behind".

The author claims that this clustering of talent is important to increased productivity. His solution is to make cheaper housing in Toronto to decrease the inequality in the city. Not sure how that helps the dying post-industrial cities.

Last edited by Delusio Cogno; Jun 8, 2017 at 2:17 PM.
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Old Posted Jun 8, 2017, 2:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Delusio Cogno View Post

Is this supposed to show that the top five cities are taking more than their fair share of the country's economic pie? Because these percentages are almost identical to each CMA's population share. Toronto is basically right on, whereas Montreal under-performs slightly on that metric, and Calgary + Edmonton slightly over-perform.

This chart doesn't show "winner-take-all" urbanism clustering in "superstar cities" at all. It shows a demographically appropriate level of economic activity in each metropolitan area. Damn, Richard Florida.
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  #6  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2017, 2:27 PM
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Yeah I thought some of the statistical abstractions were silly - like how they implied it was a negative that so much of our economy was based in five cities compared to the US where their top five cities compose much less of the economy. Except that is obviously to be expected because the population of the US is nearly 10 times larger and they have far more large cities.
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Old Posted Jun 8, 2017, 5:37 PM
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Quote:
Fascinating states. 45% of Canada's GDP is in its top 5 cities.
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43% of Canada's population lives in the top 5 CMAs in the country
well that is hardly surprising. I would have thought that the GDP concentration within the top 5 would be nearly 60% or more.

Richard Florida often tosses jello against the wall...and then contradicts himself a decade later.
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Old Posted Jun 8, 2017, 5:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Drybrain View Post
This chart doesn't show "winner-take-all" urbanism clustering in "superstar cities" at all. It shows a demographically appropriate level of economic activity in each metropolitan area. Damn, Richard Florida.
yeah, basically this.
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Old Posted Jun 8, 2017, 5:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Drybrain View Post
Is this supposed to show that the top five cities are taking more than their fair share of the country's economic pie? Because these percentages are almost identical to each CMA's population share. Toronto is basically right on, whereas Montreal under-performs slightly on that metric, and Calgary + Edmonton slightly over-perform.
Paris is around 30% of France's economy and Moscow is around 20-35% depending on whether you look at the city or the federal district. Mexico City is around 35%. In those countries, the second city is nowhere near as large or wealthy as the first. Apparently Toronto is about 17%, and is not even twice as large as the next city. Canada doesn't really have a primate city in the way many other countries do. The US doesn't either.

In a lot of ways Canada is structured like a series of small countries. A much better model for Canada would be based on provinces. Economic activity and wealth are increasingly being concentrated in the largest city in each province. The only exceptions to this are the provinces where the main commercial centre is not the capital; in those provinces there are two cities that are on a better track than everywhere else.
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  #10  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2017, 6:22 PM
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Richard Florida is considered a bit of a joke in planning circles. I remember reading his book where he said wealth and innovation is concentrated in cities with large gay populations.

The big cities have huge wealth and growth, but Winnipeg, Halifax, Saskatoon, Regina, and Victoria aren't exactly hurting.
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Old Posted Jun 8, 2017, 8:07 PM
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Richard Florida is considered a bit of a joke in planning circles. I remember reading his book where he said wealth and innovation is concentrated in cities with large gay populations.
Actually I think this was one of his more coherent and significant observations, although it is dated now and there tends not to be much depth to what he writes or talks about.

Back in the 1970's, 80's, and 90's, most of North America was hostile toward gay people, so their presence was a sign that either a given city was relatively tolerant of social diversity or at least had residents who were rich and powerful enough that they didn't have to conform rigidly to social norms. In those days, out gay males were a rich, urban demographic.

There was also a theory about gay people as a stepping stone in the gentrification of neighbourhoods. Theoretically, because gay men had fewer kids they were willing to move to areas with marginal schools, thereby improving them and paving the way for straight couples with children. I think this theory is a US-centric and weirdly ignorant toward gay people, but then again it fits the reality of traditional gay neighbourhoods in a bunch of Canadian cities.
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Old Posted Jun 8, 2017, 9:07 PM
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Richard Florida is smart, but not in the typical academic sense. He was smart to ride the early wave of interest in urbanism in the early 2000s. He wrote a book that was accessible to the masses with a very easy to understand (if simplistic) thesis that a lot of economic development agencies treated as a self-congratulatory compliment. He was invited to speak to dozens of cities and became as much of a celebrity as you can be in urban economics.

Now that the urban rennaissance party of the 2000s has turned into the 2010s-era hangover of runaway housing prices and rampant inequality, he has very little of substance to say because he's confronted with a much more complex issue. You can't be invited to planning parties anymore, since the issues that plague cities nowadays are beyond the scope of economic development agencies and planning departments.
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Old Posted Jun 8, 2017, 10:37 PM
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Actually I think this was one of his more coherent and significant observations, although it is dated now and there tends not to be much depth to what he writes or talks about.

Back in the 1970's, 80's, and 90's, most of North America was hostile toward gay people, so their presence was a sign that either a given city was relatively tolerant of social diversity or at least had residents who were rich and powerful enough that they didn't have to conform rigidly to social norms. In those days, out gay males were a rich, urban demographic.

There was also a theory about gay people as a stepping stone in the gentrification of neighbourhoods. Theoretically, because gay men had fewer kids they were willing to move to areas with marginal schools, thereby improving them and paving the way for straight couples with children. I think this theory is a US-centric and weirdly ignorant toward gay people, but then again it fits the reality of traditional gay neighbourhoods in a bunch of Canadian cities.
This is a very US-centric idea, mostly because of the school quality point. The way school systems are run are very different in Canada vs. the USA. In the US, public education is locally funded and municipalities are tiny, meaning that the quality of a school is heavily dependent on the wealth of the local area.. leading to huge disparities between "good" and "bad" schools. You have schools in poor neighbourhoods that can barely afford to keep the lights on and schools in rich neighbourhoods that drop millions on football stadiums. In Canada where public education is provincially funded with funding determined by a fixed formula across the entire province, the budget gaps are much tinier and as such there is far less of a hierarchy of school quality. There still is some (stemming from fundraising differences, mostly), but way less.

The whole school quality issue is a big stumbling block that US cities face in their efforts to attract people back to the core.. it's actually a huge issue for American urbanists. For Canadian urbanists, it's something we barely think about.
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Old Posted Jun 8, 2017, 11:53 PM
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I don't think smaller cities are struggling in Quebec. In fact, the quality of life is probably better than in Montréal. The 50-100k range cities in Southern Quebec have a low unemployment, they don't have to deal with crazy traffic, their houses and all other expenses will cost a lot less and they live in a city where neighbors talks to each other. Of course the amount of entertainment will be incredibly small compared to major cities, but most people don't care.
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Old Posted Jun 9, 2017, 12:53 AM
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^ I would generally agree that smaller cities are often better places to live, assuming one is okay with the reduced scope of the job market and reduced shopping/entertainment options. Cheaper cost of living and easier transportation.

Kingston is one of the better ones, IMO, because it also offers a good transit system, a fairly rare thing in the smaller cities.
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Old Posted Jun 9, 2017, 6:37 AM
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Originally Posted by hipster duck View Post
Richard Florida is smart, but not in the typical academic sense. He was smart to ride the early wave of interest in urbanism in the early 2000s. He wrote a book that was accessible to the masses with a very easy to understand (if simplistic) thesis that a lot of economic development agencies treated as a self-congratulatory compliment. He was invited to speak to dozens of cities and became as much of a celebrity as you can be in urban economics.

Now that the urban rennaissance party of the 2000s has turned into the 2010s-era hangover of runaway housing prices and rampant inequality, he has very little of substance to say because he's confronted with a much more complex issue. You can't be invited to planning parties anymore, since the issues that plague cities nowadays are beyond the scope of economic development agencies and planning departments.
Yes, not much has been made of the downside of urbanism but it is starting to rear it's head. Certainly in Vancouver we're seeing the exodus of engaged citizens heading out to more affordable locales on the Island or Interior.
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Old Posted Jun 9, 2017, 8:53 AM
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In any case, it would be wise for the provinces to try and help bolster support for the non-major cities in the provinces (and maybe the territories).

We are seeing a similar situation in the US, and it doesn't seem to be working out.
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  #18  
Old Posted Jun 9, 2017, 9:10 AM
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Originally Posted by 1overcosc View Post
This is a very US-centric idea, mostly because of the school quality point. The way school systems are run are very different in Canada vs. the USA. In the US, public education is locally funded and municipalities are tiny, meaning that the quality of a school is heavily dependent on the wealth of the local area.. leading to huge disparities between "good" and "bad" schools. You have schools in poor neighbourhoods that can barely afford to keep the lights on and schools in rich neighbourhoods that drop millions on football stadiums. In Canada where public education is provincially funded with funding determined by a fixed formula across the entire province, the budget gaps are much tinier and as such there is far less of a hierarchy of school quality. There still is some (stemming from fundraising differences, mostly), but way less.

The whole school quality issue is a big stumbling block that US cities face in their efforts to attract people back to the core.. it's actually a huge issue for American urbanists. For Canadian urbanists, it's something we barely think about.
No state or federal funding help?
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Old Posted Jun 9, 2017, 9:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Delusio Cogno View Post
The losers are the places where their kids move to Toronto for work.
Even in Vancouver I have lots of former friends now living in Toronto because it's cheaper with a better economy. If I wasn't such a puss with real Canadian weather I might be there myself.
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Old Posted Jun 9, 2017, 10:37 AM
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No state or federal funding help?
Not as much as you might think. There is a huge difference in school quality sometimes.
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