New York Magazine has written a fair preview of Glaeser’s important new book. His book highlights how cities have facilitated social interactions, learning and trade and thus have played a central role in our overall progress over time. Glaeser (a New Yorker by birth) celebrates New York City as America’s “greatest city”. Despite its cold winter weather, both young people and older people cluster there to start their careers and to live the good life in this ultimate “consumer city”.
The reviewer questions whether New York City’s rise since the bleak 1970s has benefited all of its residents. The reviewer’s dream New York City is creative, safe, low grit, green and accessible for all income groups. Meatloaf taught us that “two out of three ain’t bad”. Glaeser, and most urban economists, interprets rising real estate rents and gentrification as a sign of increased urban vibrancy. Not all will agree with this claim.