An economic 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 forty years and the geography inequality in these urban centers. North Miami Mayor Smith Joseph also addressed the crowd.

Jean M. Pierre, a Haitian American businessman and educator, said Florida was his professor at Carnegie Mellon.

“Florida was my professor thirty years ago,” said Pierre. “I have not seen Florida since 1989.”

He also knew the mayor.

“He is my mother’s primary care physician.”

Joseph shook hands and took pictures with those in attendance after the talk and while people lined up to eat. On stage, he indicated his willingness to work with Florida’s ideas to stimulate economic growth.

Florida is taking part in the Miami Urban Future Initiative, a 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 student in greater Miami, which is sixth or seventh in the country. We’re a college town at the scale of Boston.”