Richard Florida: Recession could redraw prosperity map

[Cross-posted from iMedia Kentucky] Human capitalist Richard Florida has published an interactive map at The Atlantic illustrating what cities he believes are positioned to bounce back from the recession. The economic crisis could profoundly alter the nation's geography.

The world is not flat. Florida:

According to an analysis done by Michael Mandel, the chief economist at BusinessWeek, jobs in the “tangible” sector—that is, production, construction, extraction, and transport—declined by nearly 1.8 million between December 2007 and November 2008, while those in the intangible sector—what I call the “creative class” of scientists, engineers, managers, and professionals—increased by more than 500,000.... Paul Krugman has noted that the worst of the crisis, so far at least, can be seen in a “Slump Belt,” heavy with manufacturing centers, running from the industrial Midwest down into the Carolinas.

Well-educated professionals and creative workers who live together in dense ecosystems, interacting directly, generate ideas and turn them into products and services faster than talented people in other places can.... Indeed, as globalization has increased the financial return on innovation by widening the consumer market, the pull of innovative places, already dense with highly talented workers, has only grown stronger, creating a snowball effect.

Whatever our government policies, the coming decades will likely see a further clustering of output, jobs, and innovation in a smaller number of bigger cities and city-regions.