19 July 2010

Urban Economix ~ Glaeser on Power of Cities

Harvard Economics Professor Edward Glaeser writes about "the economics of cities, housing, segregation, obesity, crime, innovation and other subjects" in the NYTimes Economix column. Several of his pieces are especially worth reading, including...
  • Cities Do It Better -- Megacities are successful partly because "urban scale and density strengthen markets by bringing together an abundance of buyers and sellers in an information-rich setting";
  • Why Humanity Loves, and Needs, Cities -- Because cities "connect people and enable them to learn from one another, [so] an increasingly information-intensive economy will only make urban density more valuable";
  • A Tale of Many Cities -- On "the enormous value that human beings place on being near one another";
  • The Lorax Was Wrong: Skyscrapers Are Green -- "In almost every metropolitan area, we found the central city residents emitted less carbon than the suburban counterparts";
  • What Makes Cities Great -- "America does not prosper because of its “amber waves of grain” but because the nation’s human capital, especially in its “alabaster cities,” thrives in a connected world";
  • Slumdog Entrepreneurs -- The "Dharavi neighborhood of Mumbai is often described as the largest “slum” in the world. [...] The hygienic conditions are awful, but the area doesn’t feel desperate. It is a hive of economic activity";
  • Why Has Globalization Led to Bigger Cities? -- "Globalization and technological change have increased the returns to being smart; human beings are a social species that get smart by hanging around smart people. [...] Knowledge moves more quickly at close quarters, and as a result, cities are often the gateways between continents and civilizations."

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