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Miami Foundation to award grants targeting quality of life; 'creative' workers seek gay-friendly cities

our miami

BY ANDRES VIGLUCCI, AVIGLUCCI@MIAMIHERALD.COM

The research is in: Across America, the cities that are thriving economically are those where people — especially skilled, talented people — love to live.

So where does that leave Miami, a city blessed by temperate climate, natural beauty and a uniquely diverse culture and population, but also beset by a youth brain drain, uneven schooling, and low levels of what urban experts call “affinity” — i.e., the aforementioned love for the place?

With lots of potential, but also in need of much more prosperity-giving TLC.

Which is just what the Miami Foundation has set out to provide with its Our Miami initiative, which launches Sunday with a special insert in The Miami Herald and an interactive website at http://ourmiami.org.

The initiative is a collaboration with the locally based John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The group’s mammoth, three-year Soul of the Community survey of 26 U.S. cities, including Miami, forms the basis for the project along with the work of celebrated urbanologist — and newly established part-time Miami Beach resident — Richard Florida.

Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class, has documented how “creative” workers like scientists, engineers, tech entrepreneurs, artists and designers have become the motor of the U.S. economy. He says they congregate in “cool,” diverse, gay-friendly and pedestrian-oriented cities rich with cultural, social and recreational amenities, driving expanding local economies.

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