Paris, France, January 5, 2021

Are cities still rising stars? The Urban, season 2 - Episode 4 with Richard Florida

Cities have never faced such close scrutiny as since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, our certainties have been turned upside down, the resilience of cities is under discussion…but cities also offer opportunities. In this fourth episode of The Urban, Gecina’s podcast on urban lifestyles and the city, Richard Florida sets out his confidence in the resilience and future of cities and their ability to continue attracting a “creative class”.


  • Richard Florida, American, urban studies professor, head of the Martin Prosperity Institute (Toronto) and author of the bestseller The Rise of the Creative Class (2002)
  • Francis Pisani, journalist, author and city expert
  • Report on the emergence of “smart” tourism in Venice

“Cities are far stronger than pandemics.”

“I think that our cities and suburban areas will be reshaped. I think that our cities will get younger people with families and older people, will prefer suburbs. Young people will continue to prefer cities”.

“I think that cities will still be the primary mover in our economies that we will not overcome. There won't be this back to the second and third cities movement, or back to the countryside movement. We will still have geographic inequity. And what I call “winner takes all cities” are winner take all urbanism with big cities getting the preponderance of the gains.”

“All of the great cultural and creative advances in society have come from cities, whether those were current cities or cities in ancient times.”

Richard Florida


What if we were to envisage offices as mini urban-hubs that enable socializing, learning and entertainment? How about linking cities or workplaces to the value of the human experience they provide us with?

At a time when the attractiveness of cities seems to face various challenges, Richard Florida, the special guest for this fourth episode of The Urban, believes more than ever in the resilience of cities and their capacity to change and continue attracting talents, promoting creativity and building closer connections between their citizens.

Richard Florida is also the inventor of the “creative class” concept, this middle class that is urban, mobile, qualified and connected. He explains how this “creative class” can maintain its attractiveness and its ability to innovate by inventing other forms of interacting, working and housing. Lastly, the coronavirus seems to be opening up opportunities to remodel our cities.

Venice for instance has seen a revolution. In one year, the city has gone from 30 million visitors to zero. This has had real economic consequences, but the people living there are also relieved. The city and its residents are now looking into a new model, even if this means accepting a maximum daily quota for visitors.

In terms of models for cities, this fourth episode invites Francis Pisani to share his insights. He explores the various approaches for the development of cities and questions the “smart cities” concept: is this really the model for the future?


The Urban is available on all podcast platforms, Apple PodcastsSpotifyDeezer and on


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