An excerpt from the excellent interview between John Gallagher of the Detroit Free Press and The Origins of the Urban Crisis author Thomas Sugrue:
Gallagher: Now, some of the best-known urban thinkers celebrate that trickle-down urbanism. I’m thinking of Richard Florida with his concept of the “creative class” remaking cities and so on. Do you put much faith in those explanations for reviving cities?
Sugrue: I think Florida’s arguments about the creative class and its role in turning around cities is exaggerated. They play a role in making cities more interesting for people like you and me, middle-class highly educated professionals. Look, Detroit is more interesting for a visitor now than 15 or 20 years ago for all the amenities that appeal to creative class types like me. It’s great. I have more restaurants that I want to try in Detroit and more bars that I want to go to than I can possibly visit even on several trips. But there’s not really robust evidence that unless that kind of infusion of capital and population on a large scale happens that (the creative class) is going to play a really dramatic role in remaking cities. And no city in the United States faces such a big obstacle to that kind of transformation than Detroit, even for all of its appeal to artists, musicians and other folks involved in creative pursuits.