Month: May 2011

Wrestling With Edward Glaeser

I have finished two books in the past couple of weeks that are about the same general topic: the future of our cities.  These works, however, come to strikingly different conclusions.  Triumph of the City is a 2011 work by Harvard economist Edward Glaeser.  In a burst of amazing publicity, Glaeser has been all over the media touting his ideas of more density, more density, and – did I say – more density as the prescription for our cities and the planet.  In contrast, my son passed along his copy of the 2009 book by former Boston Globe reporter Anthony Flint, Wrestling With Moses:  How Jane Jacobs Took on New York’s Master Builder and Transformed the American City which I finished last week.  This small yet eloquent tale reads like a novel and carries the punch of the biblical story of David vs. Goliath. In Triumph of the City, Glaeser makes a compelling overall argument:  that cities are efficient, inherently environmental, and healthful for the future of the planet.   I agree with that general thesis.  …