“We’re the level of government closest to the majority of the world’s people. While nations talk, but too often drag their heels—cities act.”That's a recent quote from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Many would intuitively agree. Washington, D.C. is paralyzed by political dysfunction, and nation-states and international institutions are proving incapable of dealing with the huge economic, environmental, and security issues that beset the world today.
Richard Florida is author of The New Urban Crisis, and director of cities at the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. In recent years, the young, educated and affluent have surged back into cities, reversing decades of suburban flight and urban decline. And yet, all is not well. The very same forces that power the growth of our great cities have generated a crisis of gentrification, rising inequality and increasingly unaffordable urban housing.