I am not an economist nor a city planner. I am a former city dweller having lived in small cities and some of the larger better known such as Milan, Rome, Amsterdam and London. In addition, I have travelled to many of the cities mentioned in this book on business; Shanghai, Beijing, Mumbai, Bangalore, Sidney, Stockholm and Munich but to name a few and so I wanted to read something which I thought would give me some historical perspective of what makes these cities function and how the people within them act like a cog within the larger workings of a vast political, economic and human machine. I was not disappointed in its content. The author certainly knows his onions from his shallots but I was disappointed to find that he is a firm advocat of large cities and all that they can produce, seeming to believe that the economic viability and the richness and diversity of experiences of large, complex and overgrown cities is enough to make this world go around and even the best way forward is to build upwards and bigger and better.
There of course is a much deeper argument to the author's viewpoint and the sheer volume of facts and details were in themselves, very interesting.
This is a highly technical perspective on cities and perhaps not the more humanistic level I had been interested in. However, it is well written, well researched and certainly a must for environmental planners or even a good read for business analysts.