Inclusive prosperity is the idea that the opportunity and benefits of economic growth should be widely shared by all segments of society. Most cities fall well short of that ideal. While urban areas continue to afford new opportunities to employees and businesses from all walks of life, they are increasingly split between wealthy, high-skill knowledge workers and low-paid service workers.
The New Urban Crisis Richard Florida talked about his book The New Urban Crisis: How Our Cities Are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Class-and What We Can Do About It, in which he examines the challenges cities are facing today.
Decades ago, one of the biggest challenges facing cities was the loss of residents brought on by the devastating effects of deindustrialization. As urban residents began flocking to the suburbs in the 1960s and 1970s, cities were confronted with rising levels of poverty, crime, and housing decay. While many of these issues still linger, our modern urban crisis is more extensive and encompassing than its predecessor. As cities continue to benefit from the return of wealthy, talented residents, they now face a number of challenges borne out of their very success. Where cities once benefited from sturdy middle-class neighborhoods, today’s urban areas are up against a disappearing middle class, as well as rampant gentrification and economic and racial segregation.
EDENS partnered with the Urban Land Institute, the Economic Innovation Group and CityLab to bring together nearly four hundred D.C. thought leaders and community advocates. "Discussing inclusive prosperity in an open forum helps us come together and appreciate our communities' rich diversity," EDENS CEO Jodie W. McLean said. "EDENS' purpose has always been about enriching community, and engaging with community leaders, urbanists, neighborhood activists and businesses. It is essential in DC and throughout the country that we all work together to create opportunities for all."
On April 11, Senior Resident Fellow Tom Murphy, former Mayor of Pittsburgh, participated in an event called Union Market Talks at Union Market’s Dock 5. The Talk was an opportunity to talk about inclusive prosperity in an open forum, and included a presentation from Richard Florida to celebrate the launch of his new book, The New Urban Crisis.
Since publishing the best-selling book “The Rise of the Creative Class” in 2002, Florida has used his considerable speaking and writing heft to push mayors, urban planners and company executives to cater to tech-savvy young professionals.
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