Age of the City: -- A Financial Times Book of the Year -- Why our Future will be Won or Lost Together (Hardcover)

Age of the City: -- A Financial Times Book of the Year -- Why our Future will be Won or Lost Together By Ian Goldin, Tom Lee-Devlin Cover Image
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One of the Financial Times' Best Economics Books of 2023

Visionary Oxford professor Ian Goldin and The Economist's Tom Lee-Devlin show why the city is where the battles of inequality, social division, pandemics and climate change must be faced.

From centres of antiquity like Athens or Rome to modern metropolises like New York or Shanghai, cities throughout history have been the engines of human progress and the epicentres of our greatest achievements. Now, for the first time, more than half of humanity lives in cities, a share that continues to rise. In the developing world, cities are growing at a rate never seen before.

In this book, Professor Goldin and Tom Lee-Devlin show why making our societies fairer, more cohesive and sustainable must start with our cities. Globalization and technological change have concentrated wealth into a small number of booming metropolises, leaving many smaller cities and towns behind and feeding populist resentment. Yet even within seemingly thriving cities like London or San Francisco, the gap between the haves and have-nots continues to widen and our retreat into online worlds tears away at our social fabric. Meanwhile, pandemics and climate change pose existential threats to our increasingly urban world.

Professor Goldin and Tom Lee-Devlin combine the lessons of history with a deep understanding of the challenges confronting our world today to show why cities are at a crossroads – and hold our destinies in the balance.

About the Author

Ian Goldin is Director of the Oxford Martin School and Professor of Globalisation and Development at the University of Oxford. He was Vice President of the World Bank and prior to that the Bank's Director of Development Policy. From 1996 to 2001 he was Chief Executive and Managing Director of the Development Bank of Southern Africa, and also served as an advisor to President Nelson Mandela. He has been knighted by the French government and is an acclaimed author of 20 books, including Rescue: From Global Crisis to a Better World, Terra Incognita: 100 Maps to Survive the Next 100 Years, and Age of Discovery: Navigating the Risks and Rewards of our Second Renaissance.

Tom Lee-Devlin is a writer at The Economist and co-host of the Money Talks podcast. He previously worked as a management consultant at Bain & Company and led research for the firm's global think tank, Bain Futures.

Praise For…

A fresh, clear-eyed and timely analysis of the challenges and opportunities that comes from one of the most important themes of the 21st century – the rise of urbanisation and the fact that more people live in cities than at any time in human history.” —Peter Frankopan, author of The Earth Transformed and The Silk Roads

Age of the City takes us on an absorbing journey through the relationships connecting civilization, progress, and the city.
” —Tim Marshall, author of The Future of Geography

Age of the City is the book we need now. Ian Goldin and Tom Lee-Devlin take aim at those who believe the age of our great cities is over. They marshal powerful and much needed evidence to show that cities are becoming even more important to our economy and society. Their book illuminates the ongoing ability of cities to preserve and thrive in the face of all manner of adversity, as platforms to harness and unleash the human creativity which stands as the engine of human progress. Their book is essential reading for political and business leaders and each and every one of us who cares about and wishes to help create a better collective future.” —Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class.

A sweeping survey of the history and modern challenges facing cities that will persuade you that they are the key to a happier and more sustainable future together.” —Baroness Minouche Shafik, President and Vice-Chancellor, London School of Economics and Political Science

“Ian Goldin and Tom Lee-Devlin have written a compelling volume explaining why cities will survive and thrive despite the twin threats of remote work and pandemic. This book vividly explains how cities are engines of cooperation, which fundamentally enable us to become more human. Using a compelling combination of history and data, the authors remind us that life is better lived in urban streets and cafes than in Zoom waiting rooms. This is an important read for anyone who cares about cities.” —Professor Edward Glaeser, Economics Department Chair, Harvard University

Age of the City provides a startlingly fresh and compellingly readable account of the forces that have defined our past and will shape our future. An essential and enjoyable guide for all our lives.” —Professor Saskia Sassen, Columbia University and author of The Global City

“Goldin and Lee-Devlin offer a fascinating and lucid analysis of the problems confronting modern society and the unique role that cities can play in tackling them. The history of cities is an immense field of research and yet they provide just enough historical background to give the reader a sense of the extraordinary richness of urban life, back to the first urban cultures in the Middle East some seven to eight thousand years ago. However, the main focus of this very readable and important book is on current and future trends, and how “to make our urban world fairer, more cohesive and more sustainable”.” —The Guardian

A compelling, holistic and well-balanced narrative on the critical role of cities in an age of global warming – full of insights based on hard data. From cover to cover, a great read. Full of positive ideas for the future, and grounded in vital lessons from the past. The authors link together many disparate subjects into one integrated whole – bringing alive history, planning, infrastructure, pandemics, urbanism, deprivation, industrialisation, fertility, wars, governance and more – all in support of the city.
” —Lord Norman Foster, architect and designer

A sharp and lively urbanist manifesto…the chapters on pandemics and the rise of remote work sound a fresh and timely note.” —The Times Literary Supplement

An insightful analysis.” —Irish Times

“This fascinating book explains the challenges [cities] pose and what needs to be done to make them work better for all their inhabitants.” —Financial Times

Represent[s] useful approaches for understanding the urban space in which we live, work and play.” —

Product Details
ISBN: 9781399406147
ISBN-10: 1399406140
Publisher: Bloomsbury Continuum
Publication Date: September 12th, 2023
Pages: 256
Language: English