Urban Theorist Richard Florida Named Senior Visiting Fellow by Urban Land Institute

Urban Theorist Richard Florida Named Senior Visiting Fellow by Urban Land Institute

» Featured Columnists | By Michael Gerrity | May 25, 2012 10:38 AM ET

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) announced this week that internationally acclaimed urban theorist Richard Florida, author of numerous books on the 21st century urban evolution including The Rise of the Creative Class, Who's Your City, and The Great Reset, has been named a senior visiting fellow for the Urban Land Institute. The institute, with nearly 30,000 members worldwide, is a nonprofit education and research institute dedicated to responsible land use and the creation of thriving communities around the globe.

Florida, senior editor for The Atlantic and director of the Martin Prosperity Institute and Professor of Business and Creativity at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management,  is one of the world's leading thought leaders on global trends, economics, prosperity, competitiveness and urban growth. His research provides data-driven insights into the social, economic and demographic factors that are changing the world's economy.

As a ULI senior visiting fellow, Florida will speak at four of the institute's major meetings, collaborate with ULI members and staff, and contribute content and thought leadership to ignite dialogue and discussion on city building. His first presentation in this role will be Wednesday, May 30, at ULI Europe's "Creating a Legacy" real estate trends conference in London, which will explore the long-term investment and development opportunities related to the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

At the London event, Florida will offer his views on how talented, highly skilled and educated workers - whom he describes as the creative sector -- are revolutionizing the global economy; and he will identify trends that are transforming living and working environments and shaping cities and urban regions.

"We are very pleased to have Richard sharing his expertise as ULI's senior visiting fellow. He will make a considerable contribution to ULI's knowledge base, and to ULI's leadership in visionary community building," said ULI Chief Executive Officer Patrick L. Phillips. "Our membership will benefit from his insights on commercial, cultural and technological innovations that are changing urban development for the better."

Florida's observations are based on the premise that in the 21st century, the creative sector has eclipsed the manufacturing sector as an economic growth engine. He says cities and their surrounding mega-regions are the core motor force of economic growth and prosperity.

"I'm looking forward to collaborating with ULI's incredible membership of architects, developers, planners and urbanists to advance creative, sustainable city building practices around the globe," Florida said.

Florida is a frequent contributor to CNN, and he has appeared on MSNBC, the BBC, NPR and CBS. He has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Boston Globe, The Economist, Globe and Mail, and the Harvard Business Review. He has held professorships at George Mason University and Carnegie Mellon University, and he has taught as a visiting professor at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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