Its subtitle reads: How Our Greatest Invention [i.e. Cities] Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier.
For pro-quiet, pro-space me, I was sincerely curious as to how cities could be greener than non-cities (i.e. how can Manila be greener than Nuvali? –> it’s a stretch of a comparison, perhaps even inappropriate, but ultimately, we learn new things in order to apply them to our own situation: is the Philippine urban lifestyle potentially more environment-friendly and are we wrong to move away from it?).
This book comes highly recommended by a friend, most especially now that I’m moving away from the city.
I’m only in the first two chapters, and despite the numbers backing the author’s claims (btw, the book is by Edward Glaeser, a Harvard economics professor), I’ve found my eyebrows raised a number of times already. It’s clear that he’s an urbanite through and through, and I do think that there’s no better person to defend the city than one who loves it.
But such a statement as “We must stop idolizing home ownership, which favors suburban tract homes over high-rise apartments” goes against something at my very core, and I’m not sure it’s something I can rally behind, even given the figures to back it up.
I’m keeping an open mind though, especially since I agree with my whole heart with the book’s core thesis: “that ideas spread easily in dense environments,” and that “the strength that comes from human collaboration is the central truth behind civilization’s success and the primary reason why cities exist.”
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As an aside, do any of you use Kindle?
I got my new book in hardcopy for P1,200++ in Fully Booked (hardcover, boo–I’m a paperback fan), plus had to reserve and wait for one month for it to arrive. The long wait made me explore the idea of getting a Kindle, which they say increases one’s reading volume by 300%.
Hardcopy on Amazon is $18+shipping, while the kindle auto-delivered version is $17: Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier