The average population density of its built-up areas tripled during this period. There were people per acre, on average, in the walk-up tenements of the Lower East Side and people per acre, on average, in the East Village. Today a majority of Americans live in what are by any reasonable definition very large cities, metropolitan areas with populations above 1 million. But the urban planning profession remains fixated on just one small portion of these metropolises, the central city downtowns, though none outside New York contains more than 10 percent of metropolitan area jobs.

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Japanese and Korean editions are also available. Cities are the fulcrum of civilization. In this short, authoritative yet winningly informal account, urbanist Joel Kotkin examines the evolution of cities and urban life over thousands of years. He begins with the religious roots of urbanism in Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and China, and takes us to emergence of the Classical City; Byzantium and the cities of the Middle East; the rise of Venice and subsequent commercial city-empires; the industrial city from London to Shanghai to Detroit ; and on to the post-industrial, suburban realities of today.

He concludes with a shrewd diagnosis of the problems and crises facing cities in the 21st-Century. In looking at the history of city life as a continuous whole, THE CITY is nothing less than a breathtaking account of the human achievement itself. Kotkin does not waste a word. You can read The City in an afternoon, but if you are interested in cities, and the great debate about how to ensure their success, you will turn to it for reference again and again.

At the beginning of the book, he lays out a seven-page chronology of the history of cities that alone provides a wealth of information. Aspiring urban scholars, former urban scholars in need of a refresher course, and anyone with even a passing interest in the urban built form will find The City: A Global History to be a virtual encyclopedia of cities, packaged neatly in a compact book.

Kotkin, author of an intriguing book, The City: A Global History , is big on solid infrastructure, good schools and a vibrant middle class. Chicago TribuneEditorial Joel Kotkin, an internationally recognized expert on the economic, social and political trends of cities, knows what makes cities grow, what makes them die, and what it takes to make them worth living in.

Bill SteigerwaldPittsburgh Tribune-Review Over the course of this breakneck survey of 5, years of urban history, Kotkin makes a credible case for his ideas. When I got to the end, I wished it had been longer. Interestingly, Kotkin ventures that monoculture is one recipe for collapse. Kirkus Reviews Kotkin, a senior fellow with the New American Foundation and the author of five previous books, including Tribes and The New Geography, is certainly a fine, engaging writer.

In The City, Kotkin takes us on a brisk and invigorating tour of cities from the Babylon of ancient times to the burgeoning exurbs of today. It is impossible not to learn a lot from this book. News and World Report Kotkin is an eminent L.

As a big-picture guy, comparing the Chinese and European cities of the year , Kotkin is nuanced and authoritative. Harold MeyersonLA Weeekly.


Joel Kotkin

In this authoritative and engagingly written account, the acclaimed urbanist and bestselling author examines the evolution of urban life over the millennia and, in doing so, attempts to answer the age-old question: What makes a city great? Despite their infinite variety, all cities essentially serve three purposes: spiritual, political, and economic. Despite widespread optimistic claims that cities are "back in style," Kotkin warns that whatever their form, cities can thrive only if they remain sacred, safe, and busy-and this is true for both the increasingly urbanized developing world and the often self-possessed "global cities" of the West and East Asia. Looking at cities in the twenty-first century, Kotkin discusses the effects of developments such as shifting demographics and emerging technologies. He also considers the effects of terrorism-how the religious and cultural struggles of the present pose the greatest challenge to the urban future. Truly global in scope, The City is a timely narrative that will place Kotkin in the company of Lewis Mumford, Jane Jacobs, and other preeminent urban scholars. From the Hardcover edition.


The city : a global history



Modern Library Chronicles: The City : A Global History by Joel Kotkin (2006, Paperback)


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