New York Magazine has written a fair preview of Glaeser’s important new book.Â Â Â 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.Â Â Glaeser (a New Yorker by birth) celebrates New York City as America’s “greatest city”.Â 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.Â Â The reviewer’s dream New York City is creative, safe, low grit, green and accessible for all income groups.Â Â Â Meatloaf taught us that “two out of three ain’t bad”.Â Â Â Glaeser, and most urban economists, interprets rising real estate rents and Â gentrification as a sign of increased urban vibrancy.Â Not all will agree with this claim.
8 thoughts on “A Preview of Ed Glaeser’s Triumph of the City”
Prof. Glaeser's premises seem to be wrong: Los Angeles is obviously the greatest city in America (and the world, if I might so add).
I'll take a burrito over a slice of pizza any day.
Detroit was a lovely place, too, once upon a time. The most detached single-family homes of any city, good schools schools, Belle Isle, Greek town, the Fisher Theatre, the largest department store in the world (by some measures), excellent water.
Civilizations rise and fall; so do cities. A few decades from now, Manhatten, having (in our time) destroyed the (rest of the) U.S. economy, will be negotiating its demise with the rising sea, and Houston will be madly seeking some new rationale, as oil throughput dwindles.
"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”."
Two out of five, on the other hand?
Bruce, even the most apocalyptic projections of the AGW crowd would not, so I understand, require that Manhattan be surrounded by a dike "a few decades from now". Which they could afford in any case. Most of the island IS more than a meter above sea level, you know.
Most of the island IS more than a meter above sea level, you know.
Tell that to the engineers and planners and property owners who don't know how to pay for shoring up foundations, subway tunnels, underground steam pipes.
The good news is that the adults understand the daunting challenges and don't receive their counsel from deniers.
"Tell that to the engineers and planners and property owners who don’t know how to pay for shoring up foundations, subway tunnels, underground steam pipes"
Which, OTOH, are already below sea level…
Below and maintained at a particular MSL, which is increasing, making maintaining the infra that much more difficult and expensive.
Manhattan is threatened by sea-level rise, but for the time being it's OK. Parts of Brooklyn and Queens, in contrast, already flood whenever there's a storm surge. The airports are at sea level and on the water. So Manhattan's surrounding infrastructure will be under the creek long before the island itself is beset.
On the gentrification side, it seems that ship has long since sailed for manhattan, and for much of the rest of the city as well. Of the young-semi-professional and artist/performer cadre I hung out with when I lived in the city (at a time when real-dollar starting salaries were 50% higher than they are now) maybe half a dozen would be able to move to the city now, all of them heavily subsidized. Or perhaps the kind of vibrancy has just changed.
Comments are closed.