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Richard Florida on the Metabolism of Cities

Richard Florida is back.

His latest book, The Great Reset: How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity, came out last week and yesterday he sat down with Smart City to tell us what it’s all about.

Richard believes the key to cities’ economic success is velocity – the speed at which cities move people, goods and ideas. Cities that prosper in the post-crash economy will be those that turn around lost productivity by getting people out of sitting in traffic.

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Vote for Cities of, by and for US

Seventy years ago GM's Futurama generated a compelling vision that spawned a new American ideal of a spacious, car-centered good life. We now know that paradigm no longer provides opportunity, exacerbates climate change and is diminishing our quality of life.  It is simply not sustainable.

We now have an urgent reason to define a new dream of opportunity and freedom.

CEOs for Cities in partnership with urban change agents across the nation is launching the US initiative, a program to build and sustain the next generation of great American cities, cities that are of by and for US.

We have forged a Declaration of Interdependence based on values we believe will make our cities more equitable and resilient:

Most Americans live in cities. And when that many people come together, things get done and anything can happen.  Together we can make things better for each and all of us.

We hold these values to be self-sustaining:

Opportunity                                                       

We can develop our talents and put them to use.

Community                                                                       

We can engage in a robust public life.

Accessibility                                                     

We can go where we need to go without a car.

Livability                 …

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The American Dream in Chinatown

In spite of the especially tough real estate market, this Chinatown condo building in Philadelphia sold out all of its units including ten commercial suites.  As the article explains "the target market was primarily first-generation Chinese, many of them business owners who had moved to the suburbs because of the shortage of suitable housing."

Does your city's ethnic neighborhoods have middle to upper income housing options?  Are upwardly mobile immigrants eager to pursue the American dream downtown if only the right type of housing was available in their culturally rich neighborhoods?  Seems a ripe opportunity for developers and cities.

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VELOCITY Live

We're in Grand Rapids with 40 urban change agents today to launch VELOCITY, a movement to reimagine, reinvent and revitalize cities.  We'll be posting video, photos, sketches, blog entries and anything else we come up with to tell the story of the future of cities.  Check out our VELOCITY home page at www.ceosforcities.org/velocity

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VELOCITY Food for Thought

How can cities deliver a new and much-sought after American good life that is both sustainable and delightful to citizens? 

That question will be at the center of a two-day creative salon of 40 select experts from a variety of fields held in Grand Rapids on Sept. 14-15, which will launch VELOCITY, a movement to imagine and cultivate the best future for our cities and city living.

To jumpstart the thinking on VELOCITY, our team developed a brief framing piece that demonstrates how cities are the best and most logical place for a new American dream to be realized. Read it here. And if you haven't read it, check out Carol Coletta's blog post on GOOD that sets the stage for the movement – why we’re doing it and what we hope to accomplish.

In the coming days, we'll share a link to a dynamic home page for VELOCITY that will aggregate photos, tweets and blogs from salon participants in real time and will later feature syntheses of the conversations and big ideas that develop over the two days in Grand Rapids. 

Stay tuned.  There is much more to come.

 

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CEOs for Cities to Launch VELOCITY

CHICAGO – In a push to accelerate solutions to tackle our nation’s most pressing challenges while delivering a much-sought after new American dream for citizens, CEOs for Cities will launch VELOCITY, a national movement to re-imagine, reinvent and revitalize American cities.

"Its purpose is to create an energizing agenda for next generation cities and nurture the initiatives needed to advance that agenda.  We want to pull it all together in a way that defines a new aspirational lifestyle for Americans, one that eventually becomes the ‘new normal,’” said Carol Coletta, president and CEO of CEOs for Cities, a national network of urban leaders from the philanthropic, business, education, civic and public sectors dedicated to building and sustaining the next generation of great American cities.

The VELOCITY movement begins with a two-day creative salon of 40 select national experts from a variety of fields and hosted by community and business leaders in Grand Rapids on Sept. 14-15. 

The VELOCITY salon, which is invitation only, will produce a compelling narrative with a set of clear, shared principles for the next generation of great American cities along with ideas and support for a series of existing and emerging experiments that will deliver a…

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GOOD Magazine: The Future of Cities

As a preview to the work CEOs for Cities is launching on the future of cities next month at our VELOCITY salon in Grand Rapids, GOOD Magazine asked for a primer piece, which was published late last week on the GOOD blog. It's capturing quite a bit of attention in the Twitter world (both Richard Florida and Steve Case tweeted it), and it's showing up all over the blogosphere.  

The interest and comments it is generating indicate that we're on to something big, exciting and much-needed for cities.  More to come.

Read the piece here.


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