In 1961, Jane Jacobs published her seminal work The Death and Life of Great American Cities. The book went on to become ingrained as near-doctrine in planning and urban theory, exposing the problems of modern cities and offering prescriptions for the successful design and organization of cities and communities.
Today, however, Harvard economist Edward Glaeser is challenging Jacobs in his recently-released book, Triumph of the City. While Jacob’s brought a pedestrian sensibility to the nuances of good urban planning in contrast to the master-planning schemers and aerial perspectives of the modern era, Glaeser critiques these assumptions from a broader economic lens, looking at cities across the globe. Glaeser’s main critique, also the title of his book, is that cities are in fact a “Triumph.”