Emergic: Rajesh Jain's Blog

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Good Books: Triumph of the City by Edward Glaeser

July 25th, 2011 · No Comments

Cities are amazing places to live. I for one have lived almost all my life in two of the biggest of them all – Mumbai and New York. Glaeser’s book celebrates cities and discusses what makes cities different and successful. Given that one of India’s biggest challenges is going to be to create new cities to house people moving away from agriculture to manufacturing in the coming books, this book can offer a lot of good inputs.

A brief from Booklist:  “One thing constantly attracts people to one city rather than another — how much housing construction is permitted. Restrictive places, such as New York City, coastal California, and Paris, have a tight housing supply with prices only the wealthy can afford. Hence, middle-class people move to the suburbs or cities like Houston. Other features of metropolises — their incidences of poverty and crime, traffic congestion, quality of schools, and cultural amenities — also figure in Glaeser’s analysis. Whatever the city under discussion, Mumbai or Woodlands, Texas, Glaeser is discerning and independent; for example, he believes that historic preservation isn’t an unalloyed good and that bigger, denser cities militate against global warming. Thought-provoking material for urban-affairs students.”

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