The Evolution of Great World Cities: Urban Wealth and Economic Growth

The Evolution of Great World Cities: Urban Wealth and Economic Growth

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By Christopher Kennedy
Foreword by Richard Florida
Rotman-UTP Publishing
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2011
World Rights
224 Pages
ISBN 9781442611528
Published Aug 2011
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ISBN 9781442642737
Published Aug 2011
Online discount: 25%
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ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442694774
Published Aug 2011
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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.'

Christopher Kennedy is a professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Toronto.

'Trust me, I read a lot of books on cities. This one is different. The Evolution of Great World Cities is one of the most truly original takes on cities and their economic development that I've read in quite a while.'

From the foreword by Richard Florida

’Drawing on an extensive body of literature and examples from prosperous and not-so-prosperous cities around the world this book attampts to explain the evolution of great world cities....Vast mass of literature is coupled with illustrative cases in a way that makes the book informative and an enjoyable reading experience.’

Kristina Vaarst Anderson, Regional Studies, vol46:07:2012

‘Kennedy has written a lively and thoughtful book… he carefully builds a novel argument about wealth creation and urban form and does so in an accessible way that teaches urban history and economic concepts as it goes.’

Clinton J. Andrews, Journal of Industrial Ecology, 26 October 2012