Jane Jacobs-style density is best for cities, Richard Florida says

Like a preacher in an urban-revival tent, Richard Florida roused the gathering at last week’s 20th Congress for the New Urbanism in West Palm Beach, Florida. The event took place on the 10th anniversary of publication of The Rise of the Creative Class, the book that made him a star among city admirers. If young people or academics say something about cities that sounds false, “give them a big hug, tell them how important what their work is, but take them aside and say ‘let’s go for a walk and see what the city is all about.’”  One of the false statements is that density and skyscrapers are the key ingredients to urban vitality and innovation. “This rush to density, this idea that density creates economic growth,” is wrong, he said. “It’s the creation of real, walkable urban environments that stir the human spirit. Skyscraper communities are vertical suburbs, where it is lonely at the top. The kind of density we want is a ‘Jane Jacobs density.’”

Better Cities


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