Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier

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Penguin, Feb 10, 2011 - Social Science - 352 pages
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A pioneering urban economist presents a myth-shattering look at the majesty and greatness of cities.

America is an urban nation, yet cities get a bad rap: they're dirty, poor, unhealthy, environmentally unfriendly . . . or are they? In this revelatory book, Edward Glaeser, a leading urban economist, declares that cities are actually the healthiest, greenest, and richest (in both cultural and economic terms) places to live. He travels through history and around the globe to reveal the hidden workings of cities and how they bring out the best in humankind. Using intrepid reportage, keen analysis, and cogent argument, Glaeser makes an urgent, eloquent case for the city's importance and splendor, offering inspiring proof that the city is humanity's greatest creation and our best hope for the future.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

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Makes many good arguments in favor of attracting people back to the cities. I like his idea of density creating an environment for collaboration, like in Paris or Florence. Chicago has come a long way to create this kind of atmosphere, but like many large cities, fails to incentivize people to stay. (If you want to make Chicago truly Parisian, you have to make it affordable for artists to have studios. Wicker Park in Chicago used to have this kind of vibe, but since people are attracted to the idea of living in a boho community, the artists always get pushed out, and sometimes back in with parents in the suburbs...) 

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Harvard economics professor Edward Glaeser revels in cities. He loves the historical, cultural and economic forces that intersect to create cities, he loves what makes them fail or succeed, and he loves the collaborative exchange of ideas and energy that only cities offer. His wide-ranging, storytelling approach provides illustrative tales and resonant factoids, all in support of his main contention: Cities are healthier for people, economies and the environment than any other mode of living. Glaeser makes a strong, entertaining case as he travels around the world and through time. His episodic, anecdotal style both obscures and reveals his work’s intent. The evocative history he unearths makes his theoretical points with more force than his attempts to plainly state his concepts. In fact, his conjectured solutions to urban problems read as academic, and he offers no practical plans to translate them into action. But those are smaller issues within an amusing read. getAbstract recommends his welcome distillation of current thinking about cities to those who live in one, who might be considering living in one or who swear they never would.
More about this book:
http://www.getabstract.com/summary/15628/triumph-of-the-city.html
 

Contents

Athens
Baghdads House of Wisdom
Learning in Nagasaki
How Bangalore Became a Boom Town
Education and Urban Success
The Rise of Silicon Valley
The Cities of Tomorrow
How the Rust Belt Rose
Sprawl Before Cars
Arthur Levitt and MassProduced Housing
Rebuilding America Around the Car
Welcome to The Woodlands
Why a Million People Moved to Houston
Why Is Housing So Cheap in the Sunbelt?
Whats Wrong with Sprawl?
The Dream of Garden Living

Detroit Before Cars
Henry Ford and Industrial Detroit
Why Riot?
New York Since 1970
The Righteous Rage of Coleman Young
The Curley Effect
The Edifice Complex
Remaining in the Rust Belt
Shrinking to Greatness
Rios Favelas
Moving On Up
Richard Wrights Urban Exodus
Rise and Fall of the American Ghetto
The Inner City
How Policy Magnifies Poverty
The Plight of Kinshasa
Healing Sick Cities
Street Cleaning and Corruption
More Roads Less Traffic?
Making Cities Safer
Health Benefits
Scale Economies and the Globe Theatre
The Division of Labor and Lamb Vindaloo
Shoes and the City
London as Marriage Market
When Are High Wages Bad?
Inventing the Skyscraper
The Soaring Ambition of A E Lefcourt
Regulating New York
Fear of Heights
The Perils of Preservation
Rethinking Paris
Mismanagement in Mumbai
Three Simple Rules
Comparing Carbon Emissions
The Unintended Consequences of Environmentalism
The Prince and the Mayor
Greening India and China
Seeking Smarter Environmentalism
Tokyo
Singapore and Gaborone
Boston Minneapolis and Milan
Vancouver
Chicago and Atlanta
Too Much of a Good Thing in Dubai
Give Cities a Level Playing Field
Urbanization Through Globalization
Lend a Hand to Human Capital
Help Poor People Not Poor Places
The Challenge of Urban Poverty
The Rise of the Consumer City
The Curse of NIMBYism
The Bias Toward Sprawl
Green Cities
Gifts of the City
OUR URBAN SPECIES
WHAT DO THEY MAKE IN BANGALORE?
WHY DO CITIES DECLINE?
WHATS GOOD ABOUT SLUMS?
HOW WERE THE TENEMENTS TAMED?
IS LONDON A LUXURY RESORT?
WHATS SO GREAT ABOUT SKYSCRAPERS?
WHY HAS SPRAWL SPREAD?
IS THERE ANYTHING GREENER THAN BLACKTOP?
HOW DO CITIES SUCCEED?
FLAT WORLD TALL CITY
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About the author (2011)

Edward L. Glaeser is the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics at Harvard University. He studies the economics of cities, housing, segregation, obesity, crime, innovation and other subjects, and writes about many of these issues for Economix. He serves as the director of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government and the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston. He is also a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1992.

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