A trouble-maker sent me a copy of Richard Florida’s new book, The Flight of the Creative Class – hoping, no doubt, that I would be rude about it. Perish the thought. Florida’s new book has two virtues. First, Florida argues for “a broadening of the definition of creativity that will ennoble and encourage the everyday efforts of ‘ordinary occupations’…from housekeeper to fieldworker”. Now a class, by definiton, is a subset of a population, not its entirety; extending the concept of “creative class” to cover the entire US population destroys the (hated by me) notion that there is such a thing as a creative class at all. Which is a welcome outcome. Second, the book argues powerfully that diversity and immigration are the lifeblood of (America’s) economy – a progressive policy aim that we should all support. Citing many examples of foreign-born entrepreneurs who have played central roles in the US economy – from Google’s Sergey Brin, to Vinod Khosla of Sun Microsystems – Florida argues that “the real foreign threat to the American economy is not terrorism; it’s that we may make creative and talented people stop wanting to come here”. The book ends with a ghastly sounding proposal for a “Global Creativity Commission” – but, with luck, that will not prevent the book dampening the enthusiasm of urban planners for creativity ghettos.