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Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier A Pioneering Urban Economist Presents A Myth Shattering Look At The Majesty And Greatness Of CitiesAmerica 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 A Masterpiece Steven D Levitt, Coauthor Of Freakonomics Bursting With Insights The New York Times Book Review Everything ok Perhaps you live in a large city If not, you have certainly wondered about life there Triumph Of the City answers all your questions why they succeed educated skilled people and diverse industries why they fail not enough entrepreneurs and one dominant industry why they look so different do people mostly walk Drive Take the bus what are sprawl s benefits space and time and costs pollution You find out why in a city you are likely to eat gourmet food, be pick pocketed, or meet your ideal mate You also make counter intuitive discoveries the movement against building in the coastal California actually makes the world browner, not greener I greatly admire Edward Glaeser He revived the field of urban economics, almost single handedly He has investigated every aspect of city life He masters theory, statistics, and history He is not ideological All his qualities transpire here Yet The book reads easily The economics and statistics are clearly explained Examples abound New York, Detroit, Houston, Milan, Mumbai, Rio, and then some As a non ideologue, Glaeser heaps both scorn and praise on both markets and governments Want to make house affordable Let developers build up and out in passim he criticizes the eyes on the street theory Do not look down on suburbia many embraces it because life is cheaper and better than in the center But you need governments to take care of public health, congestion and global warning Glaeser endorses water utilities, congestion taxes and some infrastructure He lambasts the mortgage interest deduction, most building restrictions including for Conservancy and Preservation and most efforts at urban renewal, like conference centers On the eternal struggle over the merits of centralized versus decentralized government he takes a middle ground different levels are needed to look over each others shoulders I appreciated such nuanced views This is the best pop econ book I have read Highly recommended This book is a hymn to the civic value and importance of city lifeFor it is Glaeser s contention that it is city life, where smart people gather to live and work, that is the mother of invention, productivity and entrepreneurship and that these three factors, above all, are the sine qua non of great cities and great civic life.Yes, successful cities need other basic things like clean water, good schools, alert and aggressive policing, an abundance of good housing options, safe and attractive public places, and a pro business, pro development public sector, but it is the gathering together in close proximity of large numbers of bright, entrepreneurial people that is the ultimate life source of great urban living.Ultimately, for Glaeser, it is great wealth that makes for great cities New York, Boston and Houston are each for partially different reasons the exemplar cities of his thesis LA,though he doesn t say it, would seem to be the anti city of his thesis.This is a wonderful book..full of engaging and interesting factsthat builds to a compelling thesis about the value and importance of great cities, and of the bedrock foundational conditions underlying their greatness..

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