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Richard Florida to study Philly’s urban trends as part of new fellowship

A new fellowship that plans to bring in prominent urbanists from around the country to research Philly trends, launched this week with pivotal author Richard Florida becoming its first recipient.

Called “The Philadelphia Fellowship,” the project was put together by Drexel University, Thomas Jefferson University, and University City Science Center, with the hopes of bringing in urbanists to study economic and structural growth, infrastructure renewal and other pressing urban issues and trends in Philly.

Florida is widely known among the urbanist community for his writing on the intersection between class and urban development, with books like The Rise Of The Creative Class: And How It’s Transforming Work, Leisure, Community And Everyday Life and, more recently, The New Urban Crisis: How Our Cities Are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Classand What We Can Do About It.

According to a statement from the fellowship on Florida’s research, he will be focusing on similar topics, but through a specific Philly lens.

“Florida’s fellowship will focus on Philadelphia’s affordable housing and human capital gaps, and the role of large-scale local institutions in identifying potential solutions,” the fellowship said. They added that he’ll partner with the universities to study urban trends and changes in the city, “specifically analyzing drivers of economic and racial segregation and defining meaningful goals for equity and economic inclusion.”

The findings will be presented during public engagements in 2019, all culminating in a research publication which they expect to put out late next year.

“Unfortunately, Richard Florida is right when he talks about an urban crisis. We continue to see disparities between Philadelphia’s neighborhoods that we must address. This is the perfect place to plan the action steps we must take,” Stephen Klasko, president of Thomas Jefferson University said in the statement.

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Kristen Fitch

Kristen Fitch

Senior Director, Marketing