Will the Creative Class Lead the Way to Sustainable Development?

That’s the question Jamais Cascio at WorldChanging ponders, with the help of some interesing statistics about hybrid ownership, green building and “Creative Class” cities. I read Florida’s book, The Rise of the Creative Class, last year, and found his ideas inspiring to say the least; it’s been disappointing to see so many city governments boil them down to “we need to attract more gay people to grow economically” (a huge misreading of Florida, though he does identify tolerance towards alternative lifestyles as a “creative class” indicator)– obviously, that doesn’t play well with all constituents. I’ve also read Paul H. Ray’s and Sherry Ruth Anderson’s The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World, and while they’re dealing more with issues of psychological and sociological identity vs. economic development, they do identify “cultural creatives” as being concerned about issues of the environment and sustainability, even identifying Daniel Quinn’s Ishmael and Paul Hawken’s The Ecology of Commerce as formative texts of the group. I think looking at the larger issues raised by both of these books, and, perhaps, how they speak to and argue with one another could create a very productive dialogues on movement towards more sustainable societies, cities and lifestyles.

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All of the books listed above are available at Powell’s City of Books.

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