Urbanist Richard Florida on the overblown tech exodus and how cities will regroup post pandemic


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Reports of the death of coastal cities are greatly overblown.

At least that’s the view of renowned urbanist and author Richard Florida who spoke earlier this week with GeekWire contributing editor Monica Nickelsburg about the future of cities as part of the annual Crosscut Festival.

“I am just amazed at the amount of gloom and doom pessimism,” said Florida, adding that any out-of-city migration appears to be temporary and is really only happening with small subsets of people. “Net-net, it doesn’t look like we’ve had a great urban exodus.”

That’s just one of the fascinating observations from Florida, author of the Rise of the Creative Class and a professor at University of Toronto’s School of Cities and Rotman School of Management. In the interview, Florida talks about the impact of falling birth rates on cities; why Miami appears ready to emerge as a significant tech hub; and how central business districts will need to change to embrace a post-pandemic world.

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