Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Harnessing the Creative Class to control crime

The basic premise of SafeGrowth:: Crime is best tackled within the neighborhood by tapping into and harnessing the creativity and energy of the neighborhood dweller and functional neighborhood groups.

A provocative interview just aired on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation - CBC. It is difficult to get anything quite this succinct through the U.S. media. It is about how cities can succeed as vibrant (and I would argue crime resistant) communities by tapping into the knowledge workers and the creative class.

If you've read Robert Putnam's book Bowling Alone you'll recall how cities are hollowing out due to the privatization of public space, the massive growth of private property zones, private governance, and the decline of community.

This has huge safety and security fallout. Two examples: the rise of private policing and the spread of security cameras in public places.

This past Sunday the CBC aired an interview with famous urban studies scholar Richard Florida. He says the economic crash is a social re-set on how we will think and live in the years to come. He predicts which cities will lose and which cities will win. He is - as you might imagine - controversial. He is also necessary!

His most provocative line: the firms and cities that will succeed after the recession are those who tap into and harness the creativity and energy of the knowledge workers.

Florida on YouTube

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