Richard Florida and the Cities of the Future

In Boston.com's Boston Real Estate Now blog today, Rona Fischman attempts to calm the jitters of nervous renters. "Take note," she writes, "you may be in the right place for our economic future."

Fischman cites a recent article by Richard Florida in The Atlantic, entitled "The Great Reset," which takes a long view of the world economy. Florida says that long depressions are opportunities for the economy to reset itself. "During these hard times, large numbers of people change their economic lives, taking the country into a new economic era."


For example, in the so-called Long Depression of 1873 to 1896, America transformed from an agricultural economy to an urban and industrial one, and manufacturing skyrocketed when the recovery took hold. Later, the Great Depression triggered the rise of suburbia.

Now, "Richard Florida thinks the reset from this depression will lead to the growth of major economic centers, like the Washington to Boston corridor. Travel will be more dear and less common. And the most successful people will be those who are willing to move for their work. The suburb, and single-family home ownership, is too rigid for the fluid economy of the future America," writes Fischman. Mobility will rule.

Fischman asks, Is a future economy dependent on mobility a good thing? And will the suburbs wither away? Big Think would like to know, what are you doing to stay nimble in a rapidly changing world?

'Upstreamism': Your zip code affects your health as much as genetics

Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."

Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
  • Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
  • Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
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Meet the Bajau sea nomads — they can reportedly hold their breath for 13 minutes

The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.

Wikimedia Commons
Culture & Religion
  • The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
  • Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
  • Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
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Golden blood: The rarest blood in the world

We explore the history of blood types and how they are classified to find out what makes the Rh-null type important to science and dangerous for those who live with it.

Abid Katib/Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null.
  • Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
  • It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.
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Scientists create a "lifelike" material that has metabolism and can self-reproduce

An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.

Shogo Hamada/Cornell University
Surprising Science
  • Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
  • The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
  • The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
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