Richard Florida, Director, Cities

Richard is Director of Cities at the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and Director, Cities and University Professor at the University of Toronto. He is also Global Research Professor at New York University, and the founder of the Creative Class Group.  He is a senior editor for The Atlantic, where he co-founded and serves as Editor-at-Large for CityLab, the world’s leading media site devoted to cities and urban affairs. A 2013 MIT study named him the world’s most influential thought leader and along with his colleagues Roger Martin and Don Tapscott he ranks as a leading management thinker as well. TIME magazine recognized his Twitter feed as one of the 140 most influential in the world.

Florida is the author of several global best sellers, including the award-winning The Rise of the Creative Class. He previously taught at Carnegie Mellon and George Mason University, and has been a visiting professor at Harvard and MIT. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Rutgers College and his Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Download Richard Florida’s CV.

Led by Richard Florida, Cities develops new understanding of the forces that underpin urban prosperity and shape our cities. It aims to engender a broad shared and inclusive prosperity that can address and overcome to divides and challenges generated by urbanization in the advanced nations and around the world. Its multi-disciplinary team of urban researchers conducts data-driven research on urbanism and its challenges.  Cities engages mayors and city-builders across the globe in building shared and sustainable urban prosperity. And it seeks to structure and engage the broader conversation on how to build better, more prosperous and inclusive cities worldwide.

Project Areas

Urban Creativity and Prosperity

Examining the drivers  of urban creativity and prosperity in cities and nations in the US, Canada and world wide.

Divided City

Mapping the troubling class divides in our cities and metro areas.

Start-Up City

Charting the dramatic shift of start ups and innovation back to cities and urban centers.

Segregated City

Mapping the ongoing sorting and deepening segregation of our cities along income, educational and occupational lines.

Global City

Gauging the drivers of urban prosperity and the challenges of the urbanization of billions across the world.

Meet the Mayors

Curated deep conversation with mayors and city builders in the US, Canada and world wide about how to build more prosperous and inclusive cities. 

The Urban Genome Project

Detailing the underlying drivers of urban prosperity and divides with big data.


Patrick Adler
Ajay Agrawal
Shauna Brail
Richard DiFrancesco
Alessandra Faggian
Chris Kennedy
Jacob Hirsch
Brian Knudsen
Todd Gabe
Gary Gates
Meric Gertler
Jose Lobo
Eric Miller
Steven Pedigo
Jason Rentfrow
Dan Silver
William C. Strange
Deborah A. Strumsky
Tara Vinodrai
David Wolfe