How the Creative Class Group and FIU’s College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts will work to improve Miami’s urban future at Mana Wynwood

Communities / Article

Miami has been on a roll. It is attracting people at a rapid clip, it is a center of arts, culture and design, and its entrepreneurial ecosystem is growing. Today the region is at a critical inflection point. How can it grow further? How can it deepen its startup ecology? How can it ensure that its growth is inclusive, and that all Miamians can share in a new era of more inclusive prosperity?

This is where our new Miami Urban Future Initiative comes in. A joint effort between Florida International University College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts  and the Creative Class Group at Mana Wynwood and supported by a $1.2 million investment over five years from Knight Foundation, we will develop the research, data and insights to enable regional stakeholders to develop a strategy for a stronger, more innovative and more inclusive economy in the Miami region, spanning Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

“Fortuity has brought us a long way,” explains urbanist and Creative Class Group founder Richard Florida. “But we can no longer grow by accident. Miami has to double down on its investments and its focus on really building the infrastructure of a great global city.”

Urbanist Richard Florida speaks about Miami’s future at the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Goals Conference in June 2016.

Our new initiative will draw upon original data from top thinkers and researchers around the country, along with insights from Miami’s leading business experts, economic development practitioners, and other regional stakeholders. We will be active on several fronts, generating annual reports and insights, hosting public discussions and roundtable events, and measuring Miami’s progress based on key economic and social indicators. New research and mapping of Miami’s economic, occupational, creative and technological assets will also help to identify areas for future investment.

Our initiative will be housed at FIU CARTA’s planned facility at Mana Wynwood in the heart of Miami’s burgeoning eastern corridor, providing an open and inclusive environment to attract creative and technologically savvy assets and foster collaboration. “In addition, the initiative will leverage existing FIU researchers and experts throughout the institution,” said Dean Brian Schriner.

Rana Florida. Photo courtesy of the Creative Class Group.

By uniting Miami’s business, civic and academic communities under a common mission, we hope to fast-track the region’s creative transformation. Of course, this cannot be done without addressing Miami’s deep-seated patterns of inequality, including the growing divide between its service and creative classes. For this reason, our efforts will focus on providing urban leaders and policymakers with a road map to economic growth that allows all residents to fully participate in Miami’s continued prosperity.

Although Miami has made considerable strides over the last decade, it continues to lag the most advanced regions in the U.S. With a strategy for leveraging its existing strengths, aided by generous support from Knight Foundation, Miami’s best days are ahead.

Rana Florida is CEO of the Creative Class Group.