Apr 132011

The educational-municipal complex

By Danny Mayer

Editor’s Note: This should be the first in a three-part look at Town/Gown economic relationships

“[H]ow people react when something is publicly staring them in the face is one thing. How they react in the much more common situation where the gloom of obscurity hides the unpleasant facts is another.”

Lexington Herald Leader, “Cut-and-paste lessons,” March 15, 2011

Angelou Economics is one of a relatively new breed of business, urban economic development consultants, that has arisen over the past 20 years. Mostly, such groups adhere to a set of assumptions most popularly espoused by the academic Richard Florida. Florida’s general thesis holds that creativity drives growth. Because of this, Florida concludes, city survival depends upon attracting the somewhat limited global class of creative people who make cities grow—real selective consumers who, alas, apparently circulate the world looking diligently for cool places in which to live and/or visit. Continue reading »

Apr 092010

Creative Cities hits Lexington

By Danny Mayer

It didn’t dawn on me that Richard Florida was a bullshit artist until I read the opening lines of his article, “’There Goes the Neighbourhood’: How and Why Bohemians, Artists and Gays Affect Regional Housing Values,” which I found on the Richard Florida section of Richard Florida’s Creative Class website. For several weeks, I had been trying to pinpoint my unease at Florida’s thesis of the creative class, which essentially posits a global market of “creative capital” that flows across distances unequally. Continue reading »