Presentation on theme: "GEOG 346: Day 17 The Changing Economy, including Retail."— Presentation transcript:
GEOG 346: Day 17 The Changing Economy, including Retail
Housekeeping Items Any feedback on Stephen Cochrane from Nanaimo Foodshare? I`m enjoying the field trip assignments that I`ve read so far. I showed an awesome film to my 101 students last week – “Revolution” by the maker of “Sharkwater.” Unfortunately, our library doesn`t have it. Please read the Alexander and Shaw article and the short excerpt from Grant for Thursday, when we will discuss retail issues.
The Changing Economic Base of Communities What significant changes are occurring in the economy and what are the implications for cities and regions? How have they manifested in Nanaimo? What changes have occurred in cities with which you are familiar ? What are some options for cities and regions that are losing their traditional resource and/or industrial base?
Economic Transformation The traditional way of breaking down the economy is in terms of four main sectors: primary (natural resource), secondary (manufacturing), tertiary (service), and quaternary (knowledge-intensive). What have been some of the big changes with regard to these in B.C. in general, and in Nanaimo in particular? What are some of the implications of these changes?
Change in Work
Economic Transformation Sociologist Richard Florida has had a major impact on the field of economic geography, and related disciplines, with his writing on the “creative class” consisting of “people who add value to the economy through their creativity” (see p. 68 of The Rise of the Creative Class). This has major implications for traditional migration patterns and employer-employee relations. In the past, people often followed the jobs (can you think of examples where this is still true?). The quality of the urban or regional environment was often a secondary consideration.
The Knowledge Economy He offers this description: “the super-creative core of this new class includes scientists and engineers, university professors, poets and novelists, artists, entertainers, actors, designers, and architects, as well as the thought leadership of modern society: non-fiction writers, editors, cultural figures, think-tank researchers, analysts and other opinion-makers.” What kind of individuals come to mind when you hear this list, and where might they be found? If one adds in all with a higher education, one arrives at a figure of 30% of the workforce, up tenfold from 1900.
Economic Transformation What Florida observed was that members of the creative class were very picky about where they wanted to live. They wanted to live in cities that were diverse, tolerant, that had a vibrant arts scene, and offered abundant cultural and recreational amenities such as restaurants, cafés, places to ski and hike, etc. He even found a correlation between the number of gays and lesbians and how attractive a given location would be because both groups valued tolerance and urbanity. Implications for gentrification?? To some degree, these factors have also been part of the calculus of how post-secondary students have chosen where to go to school – something that VIU propaganda tries to trade on (“Love Where You Learn”), and that forms something of a challenge for places like UNBC (Prince George anyone?)
Gentrification There goes the neighbourhood?
Economic Transformation What are the implications of these changes for cities’ and regions’ economic development strategies? Also, given what we have discussed about peak oil, what are the implications in terms of economic re- localization? One grassroots effort to re-localize economies is the transition towns movement, which has grown explosively. For more on it, see and In addition to these grassroots efforts, what can be done by municipalities and regions? San Francisco has mandated that all public agencies have to buy local food.
Economic Transformation A particular challenge involves rust belt cities in the U.S., Great Britain, and to a much lesser degree in Canada, cities that have suffered a major lost of jobs: “Decaying Cities: Reclaiming the Rust Belt” http://digital.films.com/PortalViewVideo.aspx?xtid= 35282
New Economic Strategies Knowledge and creativity are now the driving force of the new economy, and cities must become the kinds of environments that will attract cultural creatives. This adds a new element of regional competition. Cities that have been left behind deindustrialization are having to reinvent themselves. Can you think of some examples besides the one we saw in the video ? -
The Knowledge Economy To succeed cities and regions must possess the “3 Ts”: a concentration of high technology, a pool of talented human capital, and a tolerant atmosphere. Florida argues that cultural creatives wish to live in an environment characterized by diversity and cultural amenity. This has been measured through such means as the ‘gay index’ (proportion of people who are gay) and the ‘bohemian index’ (proportion of people who are artists in the broad sense of the word). Based on these factors, cities have been rated for their position on “The Creativity Index” and how talent correlates with cultural amenities.
The Knowledge Economy There have been a number of critiques of Florida’s work: that the notion and the enthusiasm with which it has been embraced by regions is overly shallow and trendy; that the cultural class concept is too broad; that their presence may as much create conditions of tolerance as the other way around; that his work overlooks how the presence of this group leads to gentrification and forces out the very people (including artists!) who make cities funky and interesting; and I would add that some cultural creatives may value natural amenities as much as cultural ones.
The Knowledge Economy Markusen’s study found that artists do concentrate in certain neighbourhoods, using Minneapolis-St.Paul as her case, that they tend to choose low-rent areas, and are seemingly indifferent to high tech. Cities with a high artist population are increasing their relative advantage in this regard. Are there cities that you consider more desirable to live in than others and for what reasons? How are these factors related to your sense of your needs and identity?