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Creative Classes
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Author of “The Rise of the Creative Class,” Richard Florida now lives in Washington, DC. Based on implementation of his theories in Pittsburgh, his book has caught the attention of people involved in community development.

On September 18, 2006, the Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) published an article in which Mr. Florida shared his thoughts on the city and some of its neighborhoods. His observations provide insights for anyone who has contemplated elements that contribute to the character of a city and its neighborhoods.

His work and creative cities: “My work isn’t about a place to get a latte and night life. What my work is about is harnessing the energy we see in the community.”

Members of the creative class:  “You may not paint, write or play music, yet if you are at an art-show opening or in a nightspot where you can mingle and talk with artists and aficionados you might be more creatively stimulated than if you merely walked into a museum or concert hall, were handed a program, and proceeded to spectate.

One of Ten Most Important Economic Regions

Washington, DC, as world-class city:  “This is a global center. It’s one of the 10 most important economic regions in the world, a place approaching the influence of a London, and to not think about it that way is tragic.”

His criticism of Washington, DC:  “Not enough of its residents think of themselves as living in a creative, dynamic place, worthy of cutting-edge architecture and other traits of a world capital.”

Gallery Place (neighborhood):  “They didn’t violate this neighborhood by destroying its history.” It is “free of ‘urban development crimes.’. . .Like other creative-class centers, Washington is already facing threats to the vital mix. . .a dearth of affordable housing and rising income inequality The very dynamics that are attracting creative-class workers to the area are also helping drive out the qualities that they seek. And that, in turn, can lead to stifling homogeneity—a creativity killer. Once a place gets boring, even the rich people leave.”

Adams Morgan (neighborhood):  After praising the area several years ago, “I was in shock. . . . Adams Morgan has become something fundamentally different on the weekends.”

Brookland (neighborhood):  “This is a real neighborhood. . . .This is remarkable.”

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