the rise of the creative class

Richard Florida has written an outstanding article on the importance of "the creative class" to urban development. He points out that "Most civic leaders, however, have failed to understand that what is true for corporations is also true for cities and regions: Places that succeed in attracting and retaining creative class people prosper; those that fail don't."

What Mr. Florida describes as the creative class goes beyond the designers, branding pros and creative people you'll find around here. They include people working in high-tech sectors, financial and healthcare industries. These are the people who are doing things differently - who are breaking rules - in whatever industry they're employed.

Some impressive stats from the article: "The creative class now includes some 38.3 million Americans, roughly 30 percent of the entire U.S. workforce---up from just 10 percent at the turn of the 20th century and less than 20 percent as recently as 1980. The creative class has considerable economic power. In 1999, the average salary for a member of the creative class was nearly $50,000 ($48,752), compared to roughly $28,000 for a working-class member and $22,000 for a service-class worker."

The piece also ranks the top big, medium and small-size creative cities. Mayors, governers, and urban planners - pay attention. Creative people are an important part of your future.

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