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

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9780143120544: Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Hap Pier

This title is about how our greatest invention makes us richer, smarter, greener, healthier and happier. This is a compellingly readable, agenda-setting account of how and why cities function as they do and why so many of us choose to live in them. In 2009, for the first time in history, more than half the world's population lived in cities. In a time when family, friends and co-workers are a call, text, or email away, 3.3 billion people on this planet still choose to crowd together in skyscrapers, high-rises, subways and buses. Not too long ago, it looked like our cities were dying, but in fact they boldly threw themselves into the information age, adapting and evolving to become the gateways to a globalized and interconnected world. Now more than ever, the well-being of human society depends upon our knowledge of how the city lives and breathes. Understanding the modern city and the powerful forces within it is the life's work of Harvard urban economist Edward Glaeser, who at forty is hailed as one of the world's most exciting urban thinkers. Travelling from city to city, speaking to planners and politicians across the world, he uncovers questions large and small whose answers are both counterintuitive and deeply significant. Should New Orleans be rebuilt? Why can't my nephew afford an apartment in New York? Is London the new financial capital of the world? Is my job headed to Bangalore? In "The Triuph Of Cities", Glaeser takes us around the world and into the mind of the modern city - from Mumbai to Paris to Rio to Detroit to Shanghai, and to any number of points in between - to reveal how cities think, why they behave in the manners that they do, and what wisdom they share with the people who inhabit them.

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'Edward Glaeser is one of the world's most brilliant economists, and Triumph of the City is a masterpiece. Seamlessly combining economics and history, he explains why cities are "our species' greatest invention." This beautifully written book makes clear how cities have not only survived but thrived, even as modern technology has seemingly made one's physical location less important.' --Steven D. Levitt, coauthor of FREAKONOMICS

'A book that is at once polymathic and vibrant... bursting with insights... if separating ideas from implementation can leave you a little light-headed you'll walk away dazzled by the greatness of cities and fascinated by this writer's nimble mind'
--New York Times Book Review

'Mr Glaeser clearly believes that hell isn't other people; heaven's more like it, for all out faults He's right, and he says it well.' --The Economist

'A book that is at once polymathic and vibrant ... bursting with insights ... if separating ideas from implementation can leave you a little light-headed you'll walk away dazzled by the greatness of cities and fascinated by this writer's nimble mind.' --New York Times Book Review

'Glaeser's research is actually something of an academic love letter to the "magic" of urbanism; a paean now condensed into his first book, Triumph of the City, published in March. Tall, dense, chaotic urban centres, he says, are more innovative, vibrant and environmentally friendly than rural or suburban communities. Even slums are a side effect of urban success, and generally far better for their inhabitants than the squalid villages they left behind...An intimidatingly clever 43-year-old professor, Glaeser won a place at Harvard's prestigious economics faculty in his mid-twenties. His research has since attracted widespread academic admiration; George Akerlof, an economics Nobel winner, has described him as "a genius.' --Prospect magazine

'Our good friend Edward Glaeser is a Harvard Professor and one of the world's most eminent urban economists, yet he has managed to write a book that will be comprehensible to anyone, whether novice or academic. In Triumph Of The City Glaeser argues that the close proximity of people in cities spurs creativity and that city living is better for the environment - mankind's future lies amid the high-rises and skyscrapers of the world's metropolises. And there's even a page or so on Dubai.' --What's On magazine (Middle East)

'Fascinating ... a vigorous charting out of the counter-intuitive territory that will turn many people's idea of hell into an urban paradise ... his book gives Nimbys, urban planners, and out-of-town developers plenty to think about.' --Sunday Telegraph

'Glaeser's enthusiasm for cities is catching... and for a book bursting with statistics, Triumph of the City is never dull, aided by anecdotes and Glaeser's gentle, self-deprecating humour. With more than half the world's population living in cities, Glaser had provided timely reminders of the benefits of urbanisation. Next time you are squashed into the tube, his words may be a small comfort: "Cities enable the collaboration that make humanity shine most brightly".' --Evening Standard

'A life-enhancing celebration of high-density city living... Resistance, he argues, is futile and it's this very provocation that makes this hymn to the city sing' --Metro

'Harvard urban economist Glaeser examines how cities have not only survived but thrived despite the fact that modern technology has threatened to make them redundant.' --TNT

'Replete with lightly borne learning, this is a tremendous book, not least because, like me, you will find yourself constantly seeking reasons to disagree. Like the poor in the city, this is a sign of success. If you hate the city and get moist-eyed at the thought of the country, then, one way or another, Glaeser is the man you will have to take on.' --Bryan Appleyard, Literary Review

'Insofar as it has been studied at all, the emphasis has been on the problems of urbanisation, particularly in the emerging economies, rather than the opportunities. So, it is truly refreshing that Ed Glaeser, Professor of Economics at Harvard, should give us this celebration of the boom in cities... A thrilling ride.' --Independent on Sunday

'This book is thoroughly recommended to anyone interested in the light that economics can throw on urban life.' --London Society Journal

'Glaeser is a Harvard Professor of Economics, but writes brilliantly on complex subjects with an impressive clarity, deftness and lightness of touch...An important and compelling book' --Building Design magazine

`The book is a grand tour, both geographically (from Boston to Mumbai) and historically (from Constantinople to Cordoba), and it makes a compelling case that humans should head for high rises rather than the hills.'
--Financial Times

`Glaeser's grasp of the economic factors that drive urban life is formidable.'
--Civil Service World

`...a brilliant explanation of why cities are mankind's greatest invention. Glaeser optimistically argues that the world can live longer, happier, greener lives in cities rather than in villages - and I for one was convinced.' --Boris Johnson, Mail on Sunday

Book Description:

A compellingly readable, critically acclaimed, agenda-setting account of how and why cities function as they do and why so many of us choose to live in them

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