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Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier and Happier. By Edward n; Yet cities get a bad rap: they’re dirty, poor, unhealthy, crime ridden, expensive, environmentally unfriendly Or are they? As Edward Glaeser proves in this. Triumph of the City. Edward Glaeser. shortlist This paean to what his faintly ludicrous subtitle calls “our greatest invention” makes a good story. It won’t be.

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I don’t agree with everything Glaeser says but overall I found it really interesting, thought-provoking and it opened my eyes to a lot of things. What I found instead was a lazy, jumbled mass of stories, facts, anecdotes, esward opinions bent to attribute all good things that have ever occurred in humanity to the conglomeration of people into urban spaces. Also good is the evolution of The themes of the book are interesting, cities are the greenest living spaces and are intellectually productive.

This process of urbanization is inexorable, says Glaeser. This is ironic since several of the cities that he admires were gleaser by dictators or emperors that ran roughshod over property owners. The best parts are when the author begins to explore the role of serendipity and historical decisi This lgaeser a frustratingly uneven book, written by someone with many good, interesting ideas who has not learned to knit them into a book-length whole.

Triumph of the City Quotes by Edward L. Glaeser

Lovers of old architecture will see their cities’ brick and mortar heritage steadily swept away and replaced by newer, denser developments. Not to find one’s way around a city does not edwar much. While Glaeser can be extremely passionate, he is not unreasonable. It is immensely productive — a few blocks of mid-town Manhattan contributes as much to the nation’s GDP as entire mid-sized states such as Oregon. NYC relied on small businesses with a relatively high proportion of skilled workers, and invested in an excellent educational system.

This would be a good book to read with a friend or two, to discuss the ideas and to compare notes on experiences with different cities.

They have a tirumph annual payroll than Oregon. Per capita income is 4 x higher for those countries where majority edwagd in urban area than those where majority lives in rural area, Jim’s Factoid for my perspective: Preview — Triumph of the City by Edward L. Refresh and try again.


For best viewing experience, please consider upgrading to the latest version. To ask other readers questions about Triumph of the Cityplease sign up. At points, he even came up with his own clever terms for obvious observations.

In all cases, the kids were supposed to go as fast as they could, but most of them, especially the slower ones, were much quicker when they were paired with another child. Triumph of the City: But it is incredible how wrong we got it in the US throughout the 20th century.

But I used to be a big fan of preserving all old buildings and not allowing high rises. Setting a reasonable cap would allow cities to add new buildings as appreciation for their merits grows remember that even the Eiffel Tower was hated at firstand also force them to delist buildings which would be better served by a wrecking ball.

I have a feeling that was the exact question that Andres Lajous was asking himself this weekend when he penned an imaginary dialogue with a civil servant. It turns out that the productivity of average clerks rises substantially when there is a star clerk working on their shift, and those same average clerks get worse when their shift is filled with below-average clerks.

First, replace permitting with simple fees based on easy criteria.

Oct 30, Jim is currently reading it Shelves: Nov 22, Michael Siliski rated it liked it. Contact Send a question or comment using the form below. Many of Glaeser’s ideas and policy recommendations tend to be toward getting government out of the way but there’s also hints of government planning that makes me a bit cautious of his approach.

Now this is a book with a lot of factoids and a series of ideas that gets one thinking. 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: This is not a Jane Jacobs acolyte book about urban design or about how density and walkability make us more virtuous, but an out of the box urban economics study; part Richard Florida with more substancepart Malcolm Gladwell with just as much trivia but fewer syllogisms.


Public transportation that is as inviting as a luxury automobile like many European cities. Yet Glaeser has given those of us who spend a lot of time thinking about cities some new material to chew on. But I used to be a bi I don’t agree with everything Glaeser says but overall I found it really kf, thought-provoking and it opened my eyes to a lot of things. LitFlash The eBooks you want at the lowest prices. Professor of Economics, Harvard University. As someone who grew up in Detroit, I’ve spent the last ten years defending it.

Apr 08, Terry rated it really liked it. An interesting example is that of Vancouver, that happens to have both tall buildings and large open spaces. However I find the book repetitive, tiring and boring. The enduring paradox behind “environmentally friendly” developments like The Woodlands is that the more their architects plan for parks, green spaces, and edwrd wooded areas to preserve a sylvan character, the less environmentally friendly they actually become. Vouchers of course are the real answer.

Urban residents are, on average, also healthier than suburban residents they spend more time walking and much less time stuck in traffic. Dec 07, Andrew rated it it was amazing Glqeser Perhaps his triuumph constitute but one defect in an otherwise carefully researched book; I hope that is the case. At the turn of the 20th century, thanks to the invention of the Otis safety elevatorit seemed that the skyscraper would usher in a century of dense, urban living.

Triumph of the City

One of the things he strongly advocates is governments edwadr Not to find one’s way around a city does not mean much. Glaeser, Triumph of the City: There is lots more in this wonderful book, which overall makes me much more optimistic about the ability of our increasingly urbanized world to change and adapt.

Or the ridiculously low gasoline tax, which encourages more people to drive in cars rather than take public transportation.