Triumph of the City
How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier
Автор(и) : Edward Glaeser
Издател : The Penguin Press
Място на издаване : New York, USA
Година на издаване : 2011
ISBN : 978-0-230-70938-6
Брой страници : 338
Език : английски
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A pioneering urban economist offers fascinating, even inspiring proof that the city is humanity's greatest invention and our best hope for the future.
America is an urban nation. More than two thirds of us live on the 3 percent of land that contains our cities. 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 myth-shattering book, cities are actually the healthiest, greenest, and richest (in cultural and economic terms) places to live. New Yorkers, for instance, live longer than other Americans; heart disease and cancer rates are lower in Gotham than in the nation as a whole. More than half of America's income is earned in twenty-two metropolitan areas. And city dwellers use, on average, 40 percent less energy than suburbanites.
Glaeser travels through history and around the globe to reveal the hidden workings of cities and how they bring out the best in humankind. Even the worst cities-Kinshasa, Kolkata, Lagos- confer surprising benefits on the people who flock to them, including better health and more jobs than the rural areas that surround them. Glaeser visits Bangalore and Silicon Valley, whose strangely similar histories prove how essential education is to urban success and how new technology actually encourages people to gather together physically.
"Indeed, for many Americans, the latter half of the twentieth century—the end of the industrial age—was an education not in urban splendor but in urban squalor. How well we learn from the lessons our cities teach us will determine whether our urban species will flourish in what can be a new golden age of the city.
My passion for the urban world began with the New York of Ed Koch, Thurman Munson, and Leonard Bernstein. Inspired by my metropolitan childhood, I’ve spent my life trying to understand cities. That quest has been rooted in economic theory and data, but it has also meandered through the streets of Moscow and São Paulo and Mumbai, through the histories of bustling metropolises and the everyday stories of those who live and work in them.
I find studying cities so engrossing because they pose fascinating, important, and often troubling questions. Why do the richest and poorest people in the world so often live cheek by jowl? How do once-mighty cities fall into disrepair? Why do some stage dramatic comebacks? Why do so many artistic movements arise so quickly in particular cities at particular moments? Why do so many smart people enact so many foolish urban policies?
There’s no better place to ponder these questions than what many consider to be the archetypal city—New York. Native New Yorkers, like myself, may occasionally have a slightly exaggerated view of their city’s importance, but New York is still a paradigm of urbanity and therefore an appropriate place to start our journey to cities across the world. Its story encapsulates the past, present, and future of our urban centers, and provides a springboard for many of the themes that will emerge from the pages and places ahead."
Edward Ludwig "Ed" Glaeser (born May 1, 1967) is an economist at Harvard University. He was educated at The Collegiate Schoolin New York City before obtaining his B.A. in economics from Princeton University and his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago. Glaeser joined the faculty of Harvard in 1992, where he is currently the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor at the Department of Economics, the Director of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government, and the Director of the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston (both at the Kennedy School of Government). He is also an editor of the Quarterly Journal of Economics. Glaeser's connections with both Chicago and Harvard make him a linkage between the Chicago School and the Cambridge School of Economics. Glaeser and John A. List were prominent names mentioned as reasons why the AEA committee began to award the Clark Medal annually in 2009.
He is the author of the book Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier, published by Penguin Press in 2011. According to a review in the New York Times, the book summarizes Glaeser's years of research into the role that cities play in fostering human achievement and "is at once polymathic and vibrant."
Glaeser has published at a rate of almost five articles per year since 1992 in leading peer-reviewed academic economics journals, in addition to many books, other articles, blogs, and op-eds. Glaeser has made substantial contributions to the empirical study of urban economics. In particular, his work examining the historical evolution of economic hubs like Boston and New York City has had major influence on both economics and urban geography. Glaeser also has written widely on a variety of other topics, ranging from social economics to the economics of religion, from both contemporary and historical perspectives.
His work has earned the admiration of a number of prominent economists. George Akerlof (2001 Economics Nobel Prize) praised Glaeser as a "genius," and Gary Becker (1992 Economics Nobel Prize) commented that before Glaeser "urban economics was dried up. No one had come up with some new ways to look at cities."
Despite the seeming disparateness of the topics he has examined, most of Glaeser's work can be said to apply economic theory (and especially price theory and game theory) to explain human economic and social behavior. Glaeser develops models using these tools and then evaluates them with real world data, so as to verify their applicability.