Spatial Fix – A new geographic order

It is been a while sense my last post.  I took a blogging sabbatical due to joining a start up.  Now that I have my bearings again, I am re-engaging on the right brain in a left brain world tact that I started back in January.

One of my favorite author finds a few years back is Richard Florida.  Richard is Professor of Business and Creativity at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto and has authored several books on the “Creative Class”. His approach is based on a unique analysis of creative types by their geographic clustering and how that phenomenon shapes cities and associated communities across the globe. I am now reading his new book – Who’s Your City and am thinking about my own life and where I ultimately want to end up.

As we are all experiencing the ill effects of gas price shock, not to mention other inflationary impacts, I have been paying attention to the re-emergence of urban renewal. As the population ages, you can see empty nester’s returning to city life as a way to re-live easily accessible night life, restaurants, performances and the like. You can sense the return to “local food sources”, the desire to clean up our environment and the idea of riding your bike can be good on many levels.

Richard’s recent post on Spatial Fix, struck me as a strong correlation to the kinds of things that I am focused on with Spatial Shift.

A quote from The New Spatial Fix…

We are now passing through the early development of a wholly new geographic order – what geographers call “the spatial fix” – of which the move back toward the city is just one part.

Suburbanization was the spatial fix for the industrial age – the geographic expression of mass production. Low-cost mortgages, massive highway systems and suburban infrastructure projects fuelled the industrial engine of postwar capitalism, propelling demand for cars, appliances and all sorts of industrial goods.

The creative economy is giving rise to a new spatial fix and a very different geography – the contours of which are only now emerging.

As someone who lived in the city, had a family and moved to the burbs, my wife and I yearn to go back to the city. My new job requires that I drive 50 miles each way every day. Quite the transition from my 22 minute bart ride with my previous company. I am living the conflicted nature of missing the city vibe, pouring cash into my tank every week and wondering what will become of the next few years.

I believe the observations behind The New Spatial Fix is only the beginning of a transformation that will ultimately begin reshaping the way we live and conduct business. One only needs to look at the emergence of Dubai as the hot destination for innovation, new forms of education (lead by American universities and professorial talent) to see that new city-states are forming, ready to take a seat at the global table.

Talent, community and infrastructure will ultimately make the notion of commuting a by-gone verb of yesterday. We are witnessing a rapid shift before our very eyes on multiple fronts. A very exciting time, as long as you embrace change.