Thursday, September 30, 2010

Real Estate Analysis: Hotel Announcement

A couple last minute details regarding the hotel.

First, you can check out the hotel review on Zagat at http://travelb.priceline.com/hotel/hotelOverviewGuide.do?key=gepvxbzm&propID=41195&jsk=2203010a2003010a20100930171415616d11453569&plf=PCLH

It sounds like nice views from the upper level floors.  If you arrive early, you might ask for a high floor.

Check in time is officially 3 PM but they said they would allow early check if rooms are ready.

The $20 self parking is on a 24 hours basis.  So if you check in at 3 PM Friday then you are good to go until 3 PM on Saturday.

The Marriott hotel has a breakfast buffet for $17.  I asked more than once about quick and cheap breakfast places nearby and didn't get a response so I would not assume that there are a lot of breakfast options nearby (however, I know there is a Starbucks one block to the south).  I am going to bring a breakfast snack with me and grab a cup of coffee at Starbucks before we meet in the lobby at 7:30 AM.  Also, I told the hotel that many of us would be checking out between 7 and 7:30 AM and they are happy to store luggage for us at the front desk.

Please car pool and keep in touch with your teammates tomorrow.  I should be arriving between 9:30 and 10 PM.  If you have any difficulties checking into the hotel, please call me at (559) 325-4732 or send me an email.  I will try to keep up with emails on the road.  Have a good trip!

PS When I drove to check out the hotel last Friday, I did run into Friday afternoon traffic on I580 near the Livermore Airport.  I think there was some construction going on.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Gazarian Center Joins ULI as a Public Agency

The Gazarian Center has joined the Urban Land Institute as a public agency.  I would like to thank Rick Dishnica, Phillip Bankhead, Steve Stamos, and Jon Molnosky for sponsoring the application.  For more information on the ULI, please see www.uli.org.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Richard Florida, “The key to economic growth…”

“The key to economic growth lies not just in the ability to attract the creative class, but to translate that underlying advantage into creative economic outcomes in the form of new ideas, new high-tech businesses and regional growth.”


What is this “Creative Class?” What kind of economic impact does the Creative Class produce? How can we attract them to our cities? What can the government do to encourage creativity? These are the questions that need to be addressed in order to capitalize on the human creativity.


The Creative Class, according to Richard Florida, an economist and social scientist, is based on economic. Florida identified this group to be the core force of economic growth in the future. He describes the Creative Class to encompass 40 million workers or 30% of the U.S. workforce. These are the people who “add economic value through their creativity.” (Florida, 2002.)

The Creative Class is divided into two groups.
• Super-Creative Core- This group composes of people in a variety of occupation such as scientists, engineers, university professors, poets, and novelists, artists, entertainers, actors, designers and architects as well as leaders. Florida considers them to “fully engage in the creative process.” (Florida, 2002, p. 69.) They are the innovators, the entrepreneurs. Their primary job is to be creative and innovative.
• Creative Professionals- These professionals are the classic knowledge-based workers and include those working in healthcare, business and finance, the legal sector, and education. They “draw on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific problems” using higher degrees of education to do so (Florida, 2002).
Florida deduces that the Creative Class is expected to add more than 10 million jobs in the next decade.

For a group that represents only a third of the workforce, they earn more than $2.1 trillion dollars. This equates to 50 percent of all wages and salaries in the United States. Whereas, this total represents the manufacturing and service sectors combined. Likewise, Creative Class own nearly 70 percent of the discretionary income in the U.S. or almost $500 billion. That is an enormous amount of buying power. This is more than double that of manufacturing and service sectors combined.

How can we garnish this buying power and attract these high wage earners to our cities? In urban areas, clustering phenomenon develops and grows because of agglomeration economies. Firms take advantage of the natural settings of the community provided and obtain competitive advantage over other cities. It is this uniqueness that makes people wants to live in and inspire them to be creative.

In “The Rise of the Creative Class”, Florida asserts the 3T’s of economic development, namely, Talent, Technology, and Tolerance.
• Talent: Behind any successful company is a workforce of talented people. Talent people are attracted to other talent people. Being in an environment that support and nurture creativity will surely be an advantage for those who are looking for the “right” community.
• Technology: Technology and innovation are critical factors that will help to drive economic growth. Many cities with higher educational institutions such as university provide the medium to foster a learning environment, and creativity.
• Tolerance: There is much diversity in this world. The world is becoming a much smaller place. We all are interdependent of each other. Promoting tolerance and open to new ideas as well as different people will benefit the community and the human race at large.

In conclusion, our society will benefit as a whole when the government takes a stance to support new research and invest in science and technology. We definitely need to embrace strategies to train, educate and prepare our workforce through a life learning concept. This will provide an increase pool of talents. Lastly, the government must provide an environment that encourages tolerance to new ideas, attitudes, and diversity.

Works Cited



Florida, Richard. The Rise of the Creative Class. New York: Basic Book. 2002. Print.

Florida, Richard. Frequently Asked Questions “FAQs”. Creative Class Group. 2010. Internet. Accessed 9/24/2010.
http://www.creativeclass.com/richard_florida/media.php.



Real Estate Analysis - Is Home Ownership Holding Us Back?

“Our reliance on single-family
home ownership is a product of the past 50 years – and the experiment has outlived its usefulness. Not only is it now readily apparent that not everyone should own a home, and that the mortgage system is a big part of what got us into the current financial mess, but home ownership also ties people to locations, making it harder for them to move to where work is. Home ownership made sense when most people had one job and lived in the same city for life. But it makes less sense when people change jobs frequently and have to relocate to find new work.....Imagine a future where people live in plug-and-play rental housing units – able to move quickly when they change their jobs, with many shrinking their commute to a short walk or bicycle trip and many others able to trade in their cars for accessible mass transit.”

-Richard Florida



In a 2008 article written for the Globe and Mail author Richard Florida lays out a road map to financial recovery and explains that this time around emerging from financial chaos will require a new mindset to tradition ways of thinking. At the heart of his argument Mr. Florida questions the validity of home ownership and how the American dream needs reevaluating if we are to exit this recession for the better.


With the financial crisis still unfolding and many lessons yet to be learned, there is one thing that we know for sure; the old idea that “home ownership is a right” no longer holds water. Sub-prime mortgages? Stated income loans? 100% financing? Interest only loans? How did we ever think that would be a sustainable model? What happened to accountability? The reality is that home ownership is a privilege.


In a simpler time without Internet and low cost airlines, people were born and buried in the same city and held the same job for most of their adult lives. That’s where their opportunity was and that’s what created stability in their lives. In that environment home ownership had it’s benefits. If you saved up enough money for a 20-30% down payment you could buy a home that was sure to be your largest asset and was seen as a safe investment. The interest on the loan was tax deductible and life in the suburbs was sweet. If we fast forward to the present, we have young adults leaving their home towns to go to college and moving where ever they find the best job. In short, they go where ever opportunity takes them. In this case home ownership can be viewed as a restriction and the argument for it a tougher one. Of course benefits like tax deductions still exist but the cost of home ownership is significantly higher now than it was 50 years ago. To the point that it would take decades for people to save enough money for a sizable down payment. Plus we live in a society where a huge portion of annual income is committed to mortgage and vehicle payments. Couple that with the fact that people between the ages of 18 and 38 will change jobs 10 times in their lifetime and home ownership seems like a giant anchor dragging society down. (careerplanning.about.com) Imagine living in a city with good mass transit options and owning a vehicle is a choice not a necessity. What would you do with that extra money? Eat out more often, travel, go shopping? Let’s say you wanted to attend a Masters program abroad or take a job offer in another city. For a member of the creative class, these types of opportunities are a reality in today’s global economy and being able to react quickly is the only way to seize those opportunities. In the past selling a home used to take 60-120 days. In today’s market selling may mean taking a huge loss and their might not even be any buyers at your asking price. A sad situation indeed.


A renter has the luxury of altering his or her lifestyle with relative ease. They can respond to changes in life more briskly and have the opportunity to maintain a higher quality of life by changing their place of residence to the latest urban hot spot. Mr. Florida refers to this as plug-and-play rental housing. With the ability to "pick up shop" at a moments notice the renter has the freedom to experience new places and move where ever their talents may be needed or wherever their heart desires. With the additional disposable income they have from not owning a vehicle they now have the means to purchase additional goods and services which is a good thing for economic recovery.


Sources:

http://www.creativeclass.com/creative_class/2008/11/29/the-way-to-recovery/

http://careerplanning.about.com/b/2006/07/28/how-often-do-people-change-careers.htm


Images:

http://blog.thebittingerteam.com/wp-content/uploads/image/bittinger_sinking_house.jpg

http://www.cityhallarthouse.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/AH_Building_Front.jpg

The Choice of Moving

“There’s a trade-off we have to make between furthering our career and finding a lifestyle that fits us. Being economically mobile can mean you sacrifice all the rootedness in family relations.” – Richard Florida

Richard Florida made this statement in an interview with U.S. News (Schulte, 2008). He suggests that one must weigh career and lifestyle choices when selecting a place to live. He provides guidance to help people evaluate the trade-offs and make this decision in Who’s your city? (Florida, 2008). I agree that making a decision to move is important and should not be made in haste, but do we really have a choice?

Some people may not choose a place to live because the place chooses them. Traditionally, I think it was common for people to live in the same town that they grew up in and often times even work in the same trades as their parents. Perhaps the hometown and family trade were all they knew or it was simply the comfort of something familiar. I think that some people do not consider they have much choice in where they live even today. In reality, options exist and a decision is made; even if made by default without any thought.

Today, I think people are much more aware of their choices in life thanks to education. I can remember my teacher taking us to the “career center” in high school so we could learn more about our career choices. We were encouraged to research different occupations and select a career path. Armed with an arsenal of career choices, I chose not to follow in the footsteps of my parents. After college I found a job in a neighboring city that would only require a short commute but I decided to move to be closer to my job for convenience. Even so, I did not look for a job far from my hometown. Instead I found something close to my family, friends and other familiar things with little or no sacrifice to family rootedness.

The recent economic downturn has caused more people to look for work outside of their normal geographic comfort zones. I have many friends that have been looking statewide or even nationwide to find a job. More and more people are willing to consider moving just to find work. In this case the external forces of job and income are overcoming the anchor of family and familiarity and making people consider the big decision of moving.

We all have the freedom to choose where we live based on careers and lifestyle choices. However, our decision is influenced by external forces such as family and employment. It is natural for people to gravitate toward family and familiar areas with the tendency to limit their choices to places nearby. Even people who move away from their hometown have a tendency of moving back. However, when other external forces overcome this tendency they are forced to consider moving and sacrificing some rootedness in family relations.


Works Cited:

Schulte, Bret. “Why where we live can be as important as whom we marry.” U.S News & World Report. 14 February 2008.
http://www.creativeclass.com/rfcgdb/articles/Q&A%20%20Richard%20Florida%20-%20US%20News%20and%20World%20Report.pdf

Florida, Richard. Who’s your city? New York, NY: Basic Books, 2008.

How The Work Enviroment Has Changed

Where do you work? The answer to this question has changed rather substantially over the decades. In the 1970’s and 1980’s I likely would have received a well defined and concrete response along the lines of: the factory, the office, or the farm. Work was a destination, a place you went from 9am to 5pm to make a living for your family. Today the manner in which many people work has changed as Richard Florida points out, “Over the past couple of decades, a new way of working and a new kind of workplace have evolved.” He goes on to say, “those people you see hunched over their laptops in coffee shops and thumbing instant messages on their BlackBerrys
as they walk through the park are actually working.” (Richard Florida)

The way we work today has dramatically changed in comparison to the past. Right now I am sitting in the waiting room at Community Hospital in Downtown Fresno. The places where we choose to do our work is not nearly as conventional as it was in the past. Now we have the freedom and flexibility to bring our work with us and to do it in our own, most convenient time, even if that time is while supporting family members at the hospital. Our ability to multitask is increasing at an astronomical rate and I find that fascinating.

The distinction between our work life and our personal life has also changed rather dramatically. If I were to ask my grandfather where he saw the distinction between work life and personal life, he would have probably responded, “Keep work at work and your personal life personal.” That was the way things were done back in his time. Work was from 9am to 5pm and when that bell rang work was over and it was time to go home where your personal life began. Times have changed, I personally can’t tell the difference between work time and personal time any more. Work in today’s society has definitely surpassed the 9am to 5pm time frame of the past. It seems as though we are expected to be accessible at all hours and with new technology we can be reached at any hour.

How do we choose what job we want? Richard Florida points out, “People used to follow the jobs; they moved where the company sent them. But today, people often pick a place to live first and then look for work. Today, it may be where we live, rather than who’s employing us at the moment, that attaches us to our work and careers.”(Richard Florida) I find this to be a very interesting point. People living in Fresno with the large agricultural industry may find themselves in the agricultural industry simply because that’s the biggest industry in our county.

The way we work, the distinction between work life and personal life, and the way we choose our jobs have tremendously changed over the decades and we must continuously adapt to the changes that will occur in the future. These changes may affect the supply and demand for various types of real estate, whether it is single family, multifamily, office, retail, industrial, and so on; we must be able to adapt to the needs of the ever changing economy.

Richard Florida, Urban Land of Opportunities, New York Times ((Late Edition (East Coast)), June 27, 2010

Picture 1 (http://www.fotosearch.com/OJO193/pe0064778/)
Picture 2 (http://www.hainsworth.com/2009/01/dell-mini-12-netbook/)

Happiness in Metropolitan Communities

Richard Florida’s article, “Cities”, was first published in The Gazette of Montreal, Quebec on May 15, 2010.


“There are three key attributes that make people happy in their communities and cause them to develop a solid emotional attachment to the place they live in. The first is the physical beauty and the level of maintenance of the place itself - great open spaces and parks, historic buildings, and an attention to community aesthetics. The second is the ease with which people can meet others, make friends, and plug into social networks. The third piece of the happiness puzzle is the level of diversity, open-mindedness, and acceptance.” [i]


Florida’s three key attributes are closely aligned with the United States Declaration of Independence, “…Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” These words best describe the American Dream, a dream that perpetuates today.


The 2008 financial crisis derailed American dreams consuming approximately 7.4 million jobs.[ii] Without work, the unemployed were forced to seek new opportunities and reassess their current community happiness. In a large-scale Gallup Organization survey in 2005, more than 27,000 people in 8,000 communities nationwide reported, where you live matters as much as your job and personal life when it comes to determining your level of happiness.[iii]

The pyramid above represents a hierarchy of values using five characteristics. The lowest tier includes community amenities such as roads, utility infrastructure, good schools, low crime, and access to health care. The second tier includes economic, civic, and social opportunities for business and social networking. The middle tier embraces local leadership and community engagement. The fourth tier describes a diverse community where anyone and everyone can feel accepted, respected, and prosperous. The top of the pyramid details the aesthetics and quality of the community. Aesthetic features include building skylines, historical architecture, artwork, parks, trails, and open space.[iv] These five characteristics of 2008 were narrowed to three in 2010. Florida’s “three key attributes” combined the third and fourth tiers, joining diversity and community engagement; also, the lowest tier, community basics, was removed. Though community amenities are essential, they are often taken for granted because the majority of employment opportunities are located in developed cities.


The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the creation of 15.3 million new jobs by 2018.[v] Since job growth is a function of population size, these new jobs will spawn in the largest metropolitan areas. College towns are key locations for new employment opportunities. For recent college graduates in their twenties, the order of the happiness hierarchy is slightly different. Opportunity is at the top of the pyramid because personal networking has become essential in a saturated job market. The common adage, “it’s not what you know, but who you know”, reigns true. This generation is more mobile, three to four times more likely to relocate than 50-year olds.[vi] Generally speaking, 20-year olds have fewer responsibilities and are not tied down by family, home-ownership, or an established career. This freedom allows the younger generation more opportunities to seek community happiness and chase the American dream.


Personal health is another contributing factor to happy people. A new Gallup-Healthways survey based on telephone interviews with 173,581 employed Americans over the past year, found Americans with longer commutes suffer higher levels of back pain, higher cholesterol, and higher levels of obesity. In addition to physical health, emotional strains on commuters included worrying more, experiencing less enjoyment, and feeling less well-rested[vii].Americans that spend less time commuting have more free time to exercise, socialize, and maintain a balanced, healthy lifestyle.


The American pursuit of happiness has remained constant, even though millions of Americans have lost their jobs due to the financial crisis. In the quest for happiness, individuals must determine their personal hierarchical values. A common trend is driving the unemployed and recently graduated to metropolitan areas that embrace Florida’s key attributes. These communities have attractive physical aspects, various social networks, and equal employment opportunities for all demographics. By avoiding large commutes and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, Americans can see a bright future ahead.

Endnotes:


[i] Richard Florida. (2010, May 15). Cities. The Gazette,B.5. Retrieved September 20, 2010, from ProQuest Newsstand. (Document ID: 2035533721).

[ii] Richard Florida. (2010, August 17). Where the jobs will be. The Atlantic. Retrieved Septmeber 19, 2010 from http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2010/08/where-the-jobs-will-be/61459/.

[iii] Richard Florida. (2008, June 15). Bigger than we know :Buffalo needs to develop its position in our mega-region. Buffalo News,H.1. Retrieved September 19, 2010, from ProQuest Newsstand. (Document ID: 1495656951).

[iv] Richard Florida. (2008, June 15). Bigger than we know :Buffalo needs to develop its position in our mega-region. Buffalo News,H.1. Retrieved September 19, 2010, from ProQuest Newsstand. (Document ID: 1495656951).

[v] Richard Florida. (2010, August 17). Where the jobs will be. The Atlantic. Retrieved Septmeber 19, 2010 from http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2010/08/where-the-jobs-will-be/61459/.

[vi] Richard Florida. (2010, May 26). 25 Best cities for college graduates. Daily Beast. Retrieved September 20, 2010 from http://creativeclass.com/rfcgdb/articles/Daily%20Beast.pdf.

[vii] Richard Florida. (2010, August 15). Commuting Is Very Bad for You. The Atlantic. Retrieved September 19, 2010 from http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/08/commuting-is-very-bad-for-you/61481/ .

A Personal Account of American Dream


I watched the “House of Cards”, a documentary about the most recent housing bubble and real estate finance crisis this past week for a class. I thought it supplemented Chapter 6: Real Estate Markets written by Dianz & Hansz very well. I can certainly identified with the consumers who have cashed out the money to remodel, make purchases, or enjoy the extra gain that is realized from the rising housing market.

In my case, grief-stricken from my late husband’s death in 2005, I made some poor financial decision and judgment because I lost my main source of income. I needed to pull some money out to survive and take care of my four children. I was not working at the time. I was on a work-injury disability, and I was not getting any disability income. Being on my own in Fresno with no family nearby except for my children did not help either. I was naïve to believe that the interest-only mortgage would help me to stabilize my finance. I don’t know how I had qualified for the loan with no job except that the loan officer probably had done a “LIAR loan” in which she indicated that I was self-employed. I believe that I did not fully understand the ramifications of the loan or the dire consequences of my action.

My late husband did not leave any life insurance to cover the debt and bills that were coming. I was selling off truck that I couldn’t continue to pay to lighten my expenses. I sold off things I did not need to get some money. The money I took out was invested but it turned out to be one of the Ponzi’s schemes and I lost all that money. We were living off of whatever savings I had saved. I went back to school with some assistance from the government to get my Bachelor. I vowed to get back to work as soon as I am able to and resolved to get past all these financial difficulties.

Fast forward to five years later, I am working full time and going to school fulltime to get my MBA. I still have the loan that was originated during that fateful finance crisis. My mortgage is still upside down since the housing market is depressed. I am unable to refinance or modify my loan because of bad credits and many delinquent bills. However, I am optimistic in the American dream of homeownership and that it will eventually right itself up after the market had shaken out all the bad debts and get to the equilibrium point.

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development 2008, the homeownership rate had increased from 64% in 1994 to 66.8% in 1999. In my personal opinion, the homeownership rate will be decreasing to the equilibrium point where it had stayed pretty much constant which is around 64%. I feel this downswing housing fluctuation is a case of those homeowners who can hang on long enough for the upswing pendulum to swing back.

Real Estate Analysis: Trip to San Francisco Details

We will stay at the Oakland Marriott City Center (Downtown).  Please arrive on Friday, October 1st.  The hotel contact information is as follows:

Oakland Marriott City Center
1001 Broadway
Oakland, CA  94607
(510) 466-6420
www.oaklandmarriott.com

We have four rooms reserved per group with one self serve parking spot per room.  When you arrive, please drive to the front door and check-in before parking your car.  The hotel know that we will arrive at various times Friday afternoon and Friday evening.

We will meet in the hotel lobby at 7:30 AM (sharp!) on Saturday morning (October 2nd).  As a group, we will walk across the street to the 12th Str/Oakland City Center BART station.  I will provide a BART card ($6.20 per card) to you which will be good for round trip travel to our event and back to the hotel.  We will take BART to the Embarcadero BART station (just two stops away).  Our destination is 1 California Street and we must be in the lobby of this building by 8:30 AM.  This high rise office building is located next to the Embarcadero BART station.  Again, we must be in the lobby by 8:30 AM for building security clearance.  Grovsnor has generously donated space for this event.  Please, no late arrivals!  Also, don't forget we will be wearing our best business attire on Saturday (this includes me too!).

We should be finished around 1 PM on Saturday so you will have the afternoon to enjoy San Francisco or return to Fresno.

I will have a few last minute details early next week.  Please watch this blog for updates.

I have checked out the hotel and neighborhood. The hotel has just finished "refreshing" all their rooms so it should be clean and comfortable.  The hotel lobby is currently being renovated.  There is free wifi in the hotel lobby, across the street at the BART station, and at many of the surrounding restaurants.

While in Oakland you might want to check out the waterfront area, Jack London Square, and USS Potomac.  Also, two streets directly to the south of the Marriott (Washington Street and Braodway have a lot of restaurants, bars, and few shops).  Finally, Chinatown is directly to the east and a little south of the hotel.

Downtown Cultural Arts District (Fresno) as an Example of Richard Florida’s Creative Center

Downtown Cultural Arts District (Fresno) as an Example of Richard Florida’s Creative Center

Richard Florida states, “These older urban centers prove fertile playgrounds for the human imagination - but only if we look at them as an opportunity, and not a blight.” (The Creative Compact)


With the hopes of restoring and developing a vibrant area, the Cultural Arts District marks an attempt at what could be the best transformation in land development for Fresno. Located between streets divisadero, H. St. and Tuolomne (See Map) this area has already begun to transform slowly into a mixed-housing development with market rate apartments built on top and underneath retail space, additionally, a retail café (Iron Bird Café) that attracts Sunday Church foot traffic.


While the surrounding area, remains abandoned offices and lots, or purchased parking by the neighboring Rainbow Ballroom. It is rich soil for farming a vibrant community. The Cultural Arts district is also located within 3-4 blocks north-west of a Central Business District or downtown Fresno. Including, has a straight line to the Fulton Mall from the Fulton Street. (See Photo to Right)“Such an expansion of urban investment is a win-win-win situation; it reinvigorates our older centers, takes the pressure off the new ones, and results in a stronger overall system of cities with which the U.S. can compete against the rest of the world in the global creative economy.”


The city’s efforts to restore foot traffic to Fulton Mall might be better served by the continuation of retail businesses along Fulton Mall. Although, housing development projects have begun on neighboring areas. Retail businesses should be encouraged as well through tax breaks and restricting retail by zoning.


Examples should be drawn from developments like the Orenco Station where planning seeks a balance between” jobs, housing and unique blends of urban amenities so that more transportation trips are likely to remain local and become more multi-modal.” (http://www.terrain.org/unsprawl/10/) Although, Orenco station based its design around the Old Orenco station, downtown Cultural Arts District has an opportunity to create its own history.


Florida, Richard L. “The Creative Compact” The Martin Prosperity Institute. http://www.rotman.utoronto.ca/userfiles/prosperity/File/The_Creative_Compact..w.cover.pdf

“Human Creativity is the ultimate economic resource.”

There is an ever growing need for Americans to cultivate creative environments and industries. Many companies have taken advantage of the cost saving of outsourcing. There is a growing need for Americans to continue to establish and economy of creative industries. Florida emphasizes the need for creative people to provide improvement and opportunity for the entire population. In order for regions to continue to be prosperous they have to focus on establishing basic employment. There is a growing need for industries that no longer export goods but knowledge and talents in order to sustain their local economies. Richard Florida shows how the transformation from primarily agricultural economy, to industrial, then to an industry based on knowledge and ingenuity. Florida has identified a huge driving force in the advancement of cities. In an environment where creativity flourishes new industries are created and much more potential for higher earnings and better living conditions are made available. There are not only benefits to entrepreneurs who may have more opportunities in these areas, but also to the entire population of service employees that have to support the creative class.

This all begs the question of how do cities attract creativity. Traditionally cities needed abundant natural resources, or low cost transportation to become prosperous. In our modern environment other factors are becoming a paramount for success. The First factor is technology, it allows for businesses to compete globally. It allows entrepreneurs to create modern methods of providing services. In areas of strong technological advancements many are able to build on the ideas of others. The second is talent, talent of course is extremely important in developing new ideas and effectively passing obstacles the third is tolerance, cities that are known to be tolerant of all walks of life tend to encourage all walks of life to contribute and act on their very diverse perspectives.

There is a strong inequality between the average wages for the creative class and the manufacturing class. Florida shows that the strongest inequalities are felt in the most developed creative centers. He points out the need for adding creative influences to traditional jobs. In order for cities to provide more creative jobs and bring in more Basic employment the creative class must be encouraged to innovate and create new services. “Employment in business and industries that are most important and directly responsible for the area’s competitive advantage are basic (or export) employment (Hansz & Diaz 76).

“Cities have realized that they can attract educated people and they don’t need to have good schools to do it (Florida 2002).” Cities with average levels of higher education tend to provide more opportunities for creativity. There are many attributes of cities that encourage creativity. According to Florida there are three primary factors that interact to entice creativity in a city. Many cities develop their plans with influence from Florida. Greensborough North Carolina, has worked to cultivate cultural institutions, and create facilities geared towards bringing in creative thinkers. The city’s attention”, said Dan Curry, acting director of housing and community development for Greensboro, “has turned from attracting new people here to developing and keeping creative talent, including the 50,000-plus students at Greensboro’s five colleges and universities.” Florida has shown that traditional amenities like malls, and stadiums are less likely to attract creative individuals then are culturally diverse settings.

With a growing need for America to maintain its economic prowess there is an increasing drive to promote creativity. Creativity is the most important resource for propelling economies. Creativity provides innovation and in turn opportunities for developing economies. Developing cities understand the need to attract a blended population to foster creativity. With creativity fueling all innovation it is as mentioned the most important resource available.

Bibliography

· Binker, Mark. “City familiar with fostering creativity” January 31, 2010, http://www.news-record.com/content/2010/01/30/article/city_familiar_with_fostering_creativity

· Florida, Richard L. “The Rise of the Creative Class: and how its transforming work, leisure, community and everyday life.” Basic Books 2002.