If our development track record, commitment to fostering and sustaining communities and ‘places’, and our extensive involvement and leadership with The Urban Land Institute is any indication that we are totally obsessed with making progress, then, it should make sense of why we are so intrigued by how much of what Richard Florida’s new book, “The Great Reset: How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity,” aligns with our vision. A recent MinnPost article gives a nice overview of the book.
Florida’s theories about mega-regions interestingly coincides with Ben’s recent research and Aha! moments in Chicago where he spent two days talking with policy makers, city staff, urban farmers, innovative design groups, real estate leaders and, his buddies at Tesla Motors. Upon his return, he had become a believer in the Mid-western mega-region, where the Twin Cities and Chicago would be linked by high-speed rail, connecting the city at a rapid pace and therefore allowing for amazing economic development opportunities, the inter-migration of young people and businesses, and a new regionally-localized sustainable ag system.
“What will a third reset require? Florida says that our overspending and undersaving were so intertwined with suburban expansion that the third reset will impose new limits on space, energy consumption, commuting distances and the size of homes. Rather than the relatively cheap food that freed up demand for the consumer goods and fueled the second reset in the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s, reduced expenses for housing and transportation will be needed this time to free up recovery investments. Florida foresees Americans resettling in mega-regions with denser communities clustered along high-speed rail lines. Modernized infrastructure has always been important to resetting the economy, he says.”
“Florida doesn’t get that graphic, although he’s clear that retrofitting the suburbs into denser places that mix housing with jobs, work and shopping will be the primary redevelopment task in the years ahead.”
The train doesn’t stop here, though. We are having conversations like this at @TCGMN every day!