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March 14, 2011 / Leo Hollis

The triumph of the city

I went to see Ed L Glaeser talk at the LSE on his new book The triumph of the city. It was well worth it as he gave a very good précis of the book as well as a bit of a show. In particular I liked the fact that he talked about the advantages of the city being an equation that balances knowledge with space. You have to make your own personal deal on how close you want to be to the action as opposed to the level of privacy that you feel comfortable with.

However, while Glaeser correctly says that it is people and structures that make a city, he is rather too silent on ideas of community, neighbourliness and trust which are just as important as productivity, supply and demand. Perhaps they are all connected. perhaps the city can not just be circumscribed by an economist. Like the city itself it needs a multidisciplinary approach.

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