Sociologist Alejandro Portes spoke with Richard Florida of CityLab to discuss Miami’s role in the global community.

Portes, the author of The Global Edge: Miami in the Twenty-First Century with Ariel C. Armony and City on the Edge: The Transformation of Miami with Alex Stepick, discusses the changes that Miami has undergone over the last quarter century, including it’s role in commerce, international finance, real estate, immigration, and what climate change and the sea-level rise means for Miami’s residents. Portes notes:

Miami is a global city on a regional scale because of what goes on in Latin America. The Brickell financial center in Miami has the second largest concentration of international banks outside of New York. The pillars of this global city economy are merchandise trade and physical commerce; finance and banking; real estate construction and speculation; and art as a commercial form.

Read more of Portes’ CityLab interview.

“This marvelously readable account blends sociological and political analysis with an extraordinary sense of place and a feel for the life of the city. It’s the best piece of urban sociology I have read in a long time.”—Philip Kasinitz, City University of New York, Graduate Center and author of author of Global Cities, Local Streets — On The Global Edge

“The authors reveal how the Cuban success story has transformed the character of Miami while delineating more sharply the identity of other ethnic communities.” —New York Times Book Review — On City on the Edge