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Melbourne—Is there Life after Florida?1

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In his widely read book, The Rise of the Creative Class, Richard Florida argues that dynamic fast-growing city-regions are those that manage to attract and keep creative workers and entrepreneurs. In this view, the conventional drivers of regional development—efficient economic infrastructure, a large, skill-differentiated, well educated, fed and housed workforce and an existing accumulation of capital assets—are still necessary conditions for rapid growth but they are no longer sufficient to guarantee sustainable growth in today's highly integrated and competitive world. Growth increasingly depends on the collective and cooperative creative capacities of the people who live and work in particular cities or regions. This article outlines Florida's analysis, looks at how it can be applied to Melbourne's development and provides a critical view of how relevant and useful such an analysis is.

Keywords: Creative class; innovation; regional development

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: RMIT/NATSEM Research Centre of Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia

Publication date: December 1, 2005

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