A die-hard Urbanist's book recommendation: Triumph of the City, by Edward Glaeser

By urban economist extraordinaire and Harvard professor Edward Glaeser, Triumph of the City is a triumph of urban discourse, tackling the ingredients of success that make cities endure and thrive in this age of seemingly unfettered sprawl in America and elsewhere.  From fast-paced New York, to intellectual Boston, to inexpensive Atlanta, to booming Mumbai, to teeming Kinshasa, Glaeser explores how cities are "our species' greatest invention" and our best hope for the future.  If you liked Freakonomics, you'll love Triumph of the City.
"Contrary to popular belief, 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."

"If you live in a city, if you're planning on living in a city, if you ever lived in a city-this is a great book to read to give yourself a nice feeling of what you're accomplishing. It's a tremendous book."
-Jon Stewart, Host of The Daily Show

"If you would like to improve slums, turn poverty into prosperity, or get a grip on urban sprawl, read this thoughtful and thought-provoking book."
-Simon Johnson, author of 13 Bankers; professor of entrepreneurship at MIT Sloan School of Management

"At once polymathic and vibrant... Glaeser loves an argument, and he's a wonderful guide into one. Triumph of the City is bursting with insights and policy proposals to debate. You'll... walk away dazzled by the greatness of cities and fascinated by this writer's nimble mind."
-The New York Times Book Review

"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. Mr Glaeser clearly believes that hell isn't other people; heaven's more like it, for all our faults. He's right, and he says it well."
-The Economist

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