The Great Sorting

Ben Rogers

  • The New Urban Crisis: Gentrification, Housing Bubbles, Growing Inequality and What We Can Do about It by Richard Florida
    Oneworld, 352 pp, £20.00, September 2017, ISBN 978 1 78607 212 2

Richard Florida has been having second thoughts. In 2002 he argued in The Rise of the Creative Class that the future of advanced economies lay not in manufacturing but in high-skilled areas of the service sector: engineering, design, fashion, media, finance, medicine and law. The industrial revolution had largely originated in cities, but in the 20th century, industry started to move away from them. By the end of the 1970s factories had shifted to the edge of the city or out of it. Workers followed in a great migration to the suburbs. The cities they left behind declined; many neighbourhoods emptied out, and rates of drug addiction and violent crime rose – the first ‘urban crisis’.

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