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Richard Florida's Creative Class to help select library design

American consulting firm to help select architectural firm.



Richard Florida, who's like the Bono of urban philosophies, has become synonymous with his Creative Class theory: that cities of the future will only be successful if they attract and retain knowledge-based workers. When he moved to Toronto a couple of years ago, the creative-city-in-training was thrilled by his arrival—our national newspaper even gave him a column—but according to this article in The Star, the curtain has been pulled, and Florida is now being accused as being elitist by the very creative class he wants to cultivate.

I saw him speak about five years ago, and while it's definitely compelling stuff, every cultural and bureaucratic meeting I attended for about a year afterwards was layered with annoying Floridese. Sadly, few cities have the kind of visionary leadership (other than perhaps former Winnipeg mayor Glen Murray) to actually turn this philosophy into reality.

That said, I am optimistic about the fact that Florida's Creative Class Group, his Washington-based consulting firm, will be helping to select the architectural firm for the new central library at Spring Garden and Queen. Look for a decision soon, followed by public consultations.

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