Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier and Happier. By Edward n; 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. Triumph of the City. Edward Glaeser. shortlist This paean to what his faintly ludicrous subtitle calls “our greatest invention” makes a good story. It won’t be.

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The best parts are when the author begins to explore the role of serendipity and historical decision-making on present urban forms. He advocates building up, skyscrapers within reason.

Triumph of the City | Manhattan Institute

Some are even looking for a greater sense of community. Especially edwrad in the crosshairs are the evil preservationists, who would choose to preserve the historical integrity of a city over turning over those lots to new skyscrapers so that we can keep housing prices low.

A great book for city planners and anyone who is interested in cities. There are a number of other snippets that make the book worth reading- like his argument that local environmentalism, especially on the coasts, is bad for the environment. If you follow that stream of logic, you know everything you need to about this book. There’s a fascinating breakdown of The Woodlands, a master-planned community a few miles northwest of Houston. Or, perhaps better put, it’s a convincing policy argument grounded on the past few centuries of urban and economic history.

View all 4 comments. New Yorkers, for instance, live longer erward other Americans; heart disease and cancer rates are lower in Gotham than in the nation as a whole. Return to Book Page. He discovers why Detroit is dying while other old industrial cities—Chicago, Boston, New York—thrive.


I don’t really know why reading this was such a complete and utter chore – in small doses it was quite interesting, but blaeser to read it for any longer than a couple of pages resulted in my mind wandering off and subsequently having to re read the last paragraph again.

He explains how West Coast environmentalists have harmed the environment, and how struggling cities from Youngstown to New Orleans can “shrink to greatness. Field, Chicago does have its gorgeous lakefront free for everyone to use. Public transportation that is as inviting as a luxury automobile like many European cities. By doing this it only favours to contractors pocket and not existing residents.

Its population is a small fraction of what it was inand large sections of it are nearly deserted. No trivia or quizzes yet. Some are provocative, others just eccentric.

Triumph of the City

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Predictably, NYC proved much nimbler at coping with environmental change than its dinosaur-like counterpart, Detroit.

Edward Glaeser outlined the principles of a successful city and how a city triumpj to function properly. While industrial diversity, entrepreneurship, and education lead to innovation, the Detroit model led to urban decline. He pinpoints the single factor that most influences urban growth-January temperatures-and explains how certain chilly glaseer manage to defy that link. Are you going to take them to their private schools on the back of your bicycle? La ciudad triunfante descrita en un libro triunfal.


Modern statistical evidence finds that young professionals today work longer hours if they live in a metropolitan area with plenty of competitors in their own occupational niche. Detroit was once a buzzing beehive of small-scale interconnected inventors—Henry Ford was just one among many gifted entrepreneurs.

In summary, if you have a friend that rags on cities and talks about the “Real America” and excludes cities from it, hide this book from them. Governments conflate the two but they are very different things.

Triumph of the City Quotes

It has the same effect in the housing market. One experiment performed by two researchers at the University of Michigan challenged groups of six students to play a game in which everyone could earn money by cooperating.

Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. I do have some bones to pick, this author comes across as a free-market economist, which given who he works for is not surprising. NYC relied on small businesses with a relatively high proportion of skilled workers, and invested in an excellent educational system. But it is incredible how wrong we got it in the US throughout the 20th century.