Over the past two decades, city economies have restructured in response to the decline of older industries. This has involved new forms of planning and urban economic development, a return to traditional concerns of city building and a focus on urban design. During this period, there has also been a marked rise in our understanding of cultural development and its role in the design, economy and life of cities. In this book, John Montgomery argues that this amounts to a shift in urban development. He provides a long overdue look at the dynamics of the city, that is, how cities work in relation to the long cycles of economic development and suggests that a new wave of prosperity, built on new technologies and new industries, is just getting underway in the Western world. The New Wealth of Cities focuses on what effect this will have on cities and city regions and how they should react. Original and wide-ranging, this book will be a definitive resource on city economies and urban planning, explaining why it is that cities develop over time in periods of propulsive growth and bouts of decline.
"Learned, iconoclastic and exciting...Jacobs' diagnosis of the decay of cities in an increasingly integrated world economy is on the mark."—New York Times Book Review "Jacobs' book is inspired, idiosyncratic and personal...It is written with verve and humor; for a work of embattled theory, it is wonderfully concrete, and its leaps are breathtaking."—Los Angeles Times "Not only comprehensible but entertaining...Like Mrs. Jacobs' other books, it offers a concrete approach to an abstract and elusive subject. That, all by itself, makes for an intoxicating experience."—New York Times
Some cities seem destined to become major financial capitals, yet never do—Seville, for instance, was the centre of Spain's opulent New World Empire, but failed to become a financial metropolis. Others, like former colonial backwater Hong Kong, defy the odds by growing into major trading centres. What are the key factors distinguishing those cities that become wealthy from those that don't? Christopher Kennedy illuminates how geography, technology, and especially the infrastructure of urban economies allow cities to develop and thrive. The Evolution of Great World Cities unfolds through the tales of several urban centres—including Venice, Amsterdam, London, and New York City—at key junctures in their histories. Kennedy weaves together significant insights from urbanists such as Jane Jacobs and economists such as John Maynard Keynes, drawing striking parallels between the functioning of ecosystems and of wealthy capitals. The Evolution of Great World Cities offers an accessible introduction to urban economies that 'will change the way you think about cities.'
This book looks at architecture today as a force for regenerating the culture of cities and the possibilities offered by technical progress for improving cities in the light of increasing concern for a sustainable human environment.
How to leverage existing resources to meet the current and future needs of cities Crumbling streets and bridges. Poorly performing schools and inadequate social services. These are common complaints in cities, which too often struggle just to keep the lights on, much less make the long-term investments necessary for future generations. It doesn’t have to be this way. This book by two internationally recognized experts in public finance describes a new way of restoring economic vitality and financial stability to cities, using steps that already have been proven remarkably successful. The key is unlocking social, human, and economic wealth that cities already own but is out of sight—or “hidden.” A focus on existing public wealth helps to shift attention and resources from short-term spending to longer-term investments that can vastly raise the quality of life for many generations of urban residents. A crucial first step is to understand a city’s balance sheet—too few cities comprehend how valuable a working tool this can be. With this in hand, taxpayers, politicians, and investors can better recognize the long-term consequences of political decisions and make choices that mobilize real returns rather than rely on more taxes, debt, or austerity. Another hidden asset is real estate. Even poor cities own large swathes of poorly utilized land, or they control underperforming utilities and other commercial assets. Most cities could more than double their investments with smarter use of these commercial assets. Managing the city’s assets smartly through the authors’ proposed Urban Wealth Funds—at arm’s-length from short-term political influence—will enable cities to ramp up much needed infrastructure investments.