Stimulating economic growth in greater Miami

An economics expert spoke Tuesday in North Miami about diversity, transportation and the importance of having a creative business base.

Richard Florida, who gave his talk inside the Roz and Cal Kovens Conference Center at Florida International University’s Biscayne Bay Campus, also spoke about demographic trends of major U.S. cities in the last 40 years and the geography inequality in these urban centers. North Miami Mayor Smith Joseph also addressed the crowd.

Florida is taking part in the Miami Urban Future Initiative, an FIU program which promotes a more inclusive economic structure for cities and people in the region. During his talk, he emphasized the importance of a light-rail system on U.S. 1 as well as the strength that comes from the area’s diversity.

“All the things you’re doing, the transport piece that’s there is really, really important,” he said.

“We’re a college town,” he added. “We have 340,000 students in greater Miami, which is sixth or seventh in the country. We’re a college town at the scale of Boston.”