The Sunday Review: Triumph of the City, by Ed Glaeser, Edward Glaeser, Labor Uncut, 5-08-11
Triumph of the City achieves something exceedingly radical. It not only develops a powerful case for the city per se, it asks us to challenge our entire
notion of what a city is. In Glaeser's world, the city is not the physical structures of the built environment, but rather the human networks that create culture,
value, love, ideas and opportunity. In this, he echoes the social urbanist, Jane Jacobs, though sees her as ultimately too small-scale and conservative.
The Triumph of the City, John Buntin, Governing, 4-25-11
Harvard economist Ed Glaeser is one of the nation's most influential thinkers on urban affairs -- and rightly so. In his academic papers, his frequent posts to the
New York Times's Economix blog, and in essays for such publications as The New Republic and City Journal, Glaeser addresses big questions in creative
ways: "Do Mayors Matter?," "Can Cheap Credit Explain the Housing Boom?," "When Are Ghettos Bad?" His writing is vigorous; his perspective, fresh. Now comes Glaeser's
eagerly anticipated book, Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier.
We Built This City On Hipsters And Airports, Christopher Shea, Washington Post, 3-17-11
I thought of the "cool cities" debate while reading two new books on urban affairs, because they also split along cool and sober lines. Edward Glaeser's
"The Triumph of the City" takes the unflashy approach you might expect from a Harvard economist "which Glaeser is). It provides an illuminating mix of
history, statistics and polite polemic, while displaying a basic faith that cities are sufficiently interesting to hold the reader's attention. . .
Book Review: Triumph of the City by Edward Glaeser, Alex Massie, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, 3-17-11
.. . .Many metropolitan areas have developed into dense grids of humanity surrounded by soulless office parks and a few nice, leafy streets where the nouveau
riche can buy heavily fortified townhouses—or high-rise apartments with a fitness center in the basement. All amid a cluster of Starbucks
(SBUX). Yet this, according
to Edward Glaeser, can be a good thing. Triumph of the City, the Harvard University economics professor's deeply researched manifesto on the importance of
urban life to, among other things, business and innovation, suggests the most important investment in any city is human capital—or, more simply, population. . .
Metropolis on a Hill,
Matthew Yglesias, Washington Monthly, March/April 2011
. . .Many metropolitan areas—San Francisco, New York, Boston, Chicago—initially envisioned as manufacturing or transportation hubs have become thriving
centers of the information economy. Meanwhile, much of the Third World has experienced explosive economic growth and massive new waves of urbanization.
In a world where instant, cheap, global communication is possible, more people than ever are packing themselves into big cities. Explaining all this is
the main task of Harvard economist Edward Glaeser’s new book, Triumph of the City.
How To Save Dying Cities,
Witold Rybczynski, Slate, 3-9-11
I don't know if Edward Glaeser, whose father was born in Berlin, had Leni Riefenstahl's
1935 propaganda film in mind when he titled his book
Triumph of the City, but his stirring subtitle, "How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer,
Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier," suggests that he may. Glaeser's thesis is simple: The chief role of cities is to magnify human strengths. This is
true in commerce, science, technology, and the arts; indeed, it is easy to argue, as
Jane Jacobs did, that civilization and cities are synonymous. . .
The Glories of Cities,
Matthew Shaffer, National Review Online, 3-8-11
Say "Urban Economics," and for those familiar with the discipline, Ed Glaeser is the first name that comes to mind. The Harvard professor and Manhattan
Institute senior fellow has become an authority on the subject within the academic world and without - his pieces in City Journal and the New York Times's
Economix blog have deployed accessible economic analysis to dispel myths about and highlight the benefits of the city. Glaeser's latest book, Triumph of the
City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier, is a tour of his greatest insights about urban economics,
written for a general audience (no math!).
Reach For The Sky, Marcus Gee, The Globe and Mail, 3-4-11
It takes nerve to tell a Toronto audience that Jane Jacobs was wrong. The American-born thinker and activist lived here from 1968 until her death in 2006.
She is revered for her insight – now conventional wisdom – that diversity is the key to a livable city. . .But according to Harvard economist Edward Glaeser,
she was wrong about at least one thing: tall buildings. In his smart new book Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter,
Greener, Healthier and Happier, he says that “Jane Jacobs’ opposition to urban renewal led her to a more sweeping dislike for tall buildings in general.”
Why We Still Need Cities,
Ezra Klein, WashingtonPost.com, 03-4-11
There's lots of interesting stuff in Ed Glaeser's new book,
"The Triumph of the City". One of Glaeser's themes, for instance, is the apparent paradox of cities becoming more
expensive and more crowded even as the cost of communicating over great distances has fallen dramatically. New York is a good example of this, but
Silicon Valley is a better one.
Macy Halford, The New Yorker's Book Bench, 03-2-11
I've been reading and enjoying Edward Glaeser's
"Triumph of the City", which celebrates cities for making us "richer, smarter, greener, healthier, and happier." "Smarter" is the word that most
caught my attention. Glaeser talks about cities as historical centers of publishing. . .
A Self-Affirmation Manual for Urbanites,
Carly Berwick, Next American City, 03-2-11
. . .Just in time, a Harvard economics professor has arrived to reassure us of the rightness of our way of life. Edward Glaeser’s recent book
Triumph of the City is both a manifesto on behalf of the best cities and a self-affirmation book for confirmed urbanites who may just once have
considered cheating with a suburb. . .
The Urban Edge, Alan Wallace,
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 02-27-11
Edward Glaeser's new "Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier and Happier" (The Penguin Press) is one
book you can judge by its cover.
An Urgent Ode to the Urban in Edward
Glaeser's 'Triumph of the City', Jonathan Liu, The New York Observer, 02-22-11
Edward Glaeser, who was raised in Manhattan and is now an economist at Harvard, has made turning our provincials on to the metropole a patriotic project. Since
the early 1990s, he's published reams of technical papers modeling urban histories and futures. Now comes the popular omnibus to convince the rubes themselves,
and perhaps their rulers, too.
Books About Urbanism In The Age Of Climate
Change, John King, San Francisco Chronicle, 02-13-11
Glaeser's starting point is that physical proximity still matters, that innovation is sparked by like-minded people who meet and challenge each other.
Up, Up, Up,
Diana Silver, New York Times Sunday Book Review, 02-13-11
Edward Glaeser, a Harvard professor of economics, has spent several decades investigating the role cities play in fostering human achievement. In "Triumph
of the City," he has embedded his findings in a book that is at once polymathic and vibrant. Glaeser's essential contention is that "cities magnify humanity's
strengths." They spur innovation by facilitating face-to-face interaction, they attract talent and sharpen it through competition, they encourage entrepreneurship,
and they allow for social and economic mobility.
A Tale Of Many Cities, The Economist,
Mr Glaeser, a Harvard economist who grew up in Manhattan, this is a happy prospect. He calls cities “our species’ greatest invention”: proximity makes people
more inventive, as bright minds feed off one another; more productive, as scale gives rise to finer degrees of specialisation; and kinder to the planet, as
city-dwellers are more likely to go by foot, bus or train than the car-slaves of suburbia and the sticks. He builds a strong case, too, for town-dwelling, drawing
on his own research as well as that of other observers of urban life. And although liberally sprinkled with statistics, “Triumph of the City” is no dry work. Mr
Glaeser writes lucidly and spares his readers the equations of his trade. This is popular economics of the best sort.
Booklist Reviews Triumph of the City, Gilbert Taylor,
Booklist Volume 107; Issue 11, 02-1-11 (subscription required)
Glaeser's academic specialty, urban economics, informs his survey of how cities around the world thrive and wither. Using a range of expository forms-history, biography, economic research, and personal story-he defines what makes a city successful. That changes through time, and a flourishing Industrial Age model may not work in the service-age economy, as rust-belt towns like Detroit have learned. One thing constantly attracts people to one city rather than another-how much housing construction is permitted. Restrictive places, such as New York City, coastal California, and Paris, have a tight housing supply with prices only the wealthy can afford. Hence, middle-class people move to the suburbs or cities like Houston. Other features of metropolises-their incidences of poverty and crime, traffic congestion, quality of schools, and cultural amenities-also figure in Glaeser's analysis. Whatever the city under discussion, Mumbai or Woodlands, Texas, Glaeser is discerning and independent; for example, he believes that historic preservation isn't an unalloyed good and that bigger, denser cities militate against global warming. Thought-provoking material for urban-affairs students.