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3.9 out of 5 stars34
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is more or less what I expect from most economics books I read. It has some interesting facts, explanations and examples of the merits of cities. For people who aren't used to thinking in economic terms, they might find this book refutes some bad ideas they have about cities: slums are bad and that sort of thing. If that's what you want you can pass a few hours reading this book and be entertained.
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on 19 January 2012
A superbly written, knowledgeable and entertaining look at why Cities work, why some some dont and why high rise urban living could be the answer to a lot of our current problems. It is also a celebration of the city. This book should be compulsory reading for all local councils, town planners and politicians.
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on 25 November 2015
Great insights and unique ability to demonstrate a fact based understanding of tthe evolution of cities, or in some the demise. I also really liked the way in which the writer conveyed the insights in such a compelling way, engaging throughout. A book that is highly relevant now and for the future.
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on 21 October 2013
The book arrived safe and sound at the time expected.
About the content I wouldn't be so excited, data is not for "the city" more of mega urban centers.
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VINE VOICEon 2 April 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The economic, rational arguments put forward in this book really can't be refuted. It's no surprise that start-ups are clustering about the Old Street roundabout in north-east London, for example. There's something of a J-curve effect as centre of gravity emerges in a sector and brings in supporting infrastructure and services.

However, in Britain there's a deep-rooted political instinct that this is wrong and the economic gains 'ought' to be widely available. To be told to 'get on your bike' is quite unacceptable if you live in the former mining towns of Wales or the North East. So civil servants end up 'picking winners' and using public money to create 'centres of excellence' which quickly die a death. Anyone like to estimate how many failing provincial Town Halls are now squandering money on 'green' enterprise zones?

The attraction of London can be seen in the failing effort by the BBC to move to a new 'media city' in Salford, a politically driven effort to appease New Labour. Is it any wonder hardly anyone wants to move?

The key message is for the politicians to accept that city living has to be supported not discouraged and that the growth of London and the SE is to be welcomed.
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on 30 June 2011
Harvard economics professor Edward Glaeser revels in cities. He loves the historical, cultural and economic forces that intersect to create cities, he loves what makes them fail or succeed, and he loves the collaborative exchange of ideas and energy that only cities offer. His wide-ranging, storytelling approach provides illustrative tales and resonant factoids, all in support of his main contention: Cities are healthier for people, economies and the environment than any other mode of living. Glaeser makes a strong, entertaining case as he travels around the world and through time. His episodic, anecdotal style both obscures and reveals his work's intent. The evocative history he unearths makes his theoretical points with more force than his attempts to plainly state his concepts. In fact, his conjectured solutions to urban problems read as academic, and he offers no practical plans to translate them into action. But those are smaller issues within an amusing read. getAbstract recommends his welcome distillation of current thinking about cities to those who live in one, who might be considering living in one or who swear they never would.
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VINE VOICEon 12 April 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is an enjoyable book that has been well written by someone who knows his subject and can explain it clearly and interestingly. It switches between cities in the developed and developing world and the same cities through their history so he is able to explain his points in relation to geography, economics and time.

The one criticism I do have of the book is that I would have liked to have had more empirical evidence within the book, be it tables, graphs etc. Usually I am not a fan of books with too much evidence presented in it but in this case I felt it was lacking.

I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in cities and their development. I would also read future books by this author as the writing is of a very high standard.
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on 15 February 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
All his championing of the city hits the spot. Glaeser's preaching to the converted, I'm a graduate of Urban Design, I've designed and led city walks in London, Paris and Barcelona, I've taught FE courses on London and social history, I'm a committed flaneur, urbanite and coughing, spitting Londoner. But... most denizens of the city (particularly cities in developing countries) are there not from choice but from necessity. Plus we're staring down the barrel of environmental catastrophe that's focused on the most densely packed and profligate cities while technology offers us options to decentralise like never before... the book touches on these things, but... Triumph? Not entirely. An interesting read, though. And one to lend to friends.
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on 16 February 2016
Great product arrived as stated
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
While it sounds like a potentially dull read, Triumph of the City is wonderfully written and will challenge your views on urban living. The views of the author are of particular pertinence in the UK where people are being priced out of the housing market due to chronic housing shortages. The author's response is to build, and build high, arguing that dense urban living is better for all of us, and for the environment. His arguments are persuasive and certainly won me over on many points. However, I felt he underestimates the disadvantages of over-development and lack of green spaces, common issues in cities.
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