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Welcome to the Urban Revolution: How Cities Are Changing the World [Hardcover]

Jeb Brugmann

Price: CDN$ 29.63 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

May 19 2009
A powerful reappraisal of the role of cities and their inhabitants in solving global problems, from a leading expert in urban development.

In the second half of the twentieth century, revolutions reshaped our world—the civil rights movement in America, the fall of the shah in Iran, the collapse of the Soviet bloc, and the end of apartheid in South Africa. All of these revolutions were fundamentally urban. They were the revolutions of Detroit, Gdansk, Berlin, Tehran, and Johannesburg, uprisings of city dwellers intent on ending their marginalization and securing their place in the world economy.

In Welcome to the Urban Revolution, internationally recognized urbanist Jeb Brugmann draws on two decades of fieldwork and research to show how the city is now a medium for revolutionary change. Not just political upheaval but technological, economic, and social innovations are forged in our cities. We may think of cities as hotbeds of crime or engines of globalization, but Brugmann shows how cities are becoming laboratories for solving major challenges of the twenty-first century: poverty, inequality, and environmental sustainability.

Bridging urban studies, economics, and sociology, Brugmann gives us a new way of looking at cities, giving shape to the emerging practice of urbanism. His positive, unconventional analysis turns traditional ideas about the city on their head.

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“Brugmann provides compelling evidence of an often invisible connection between globalization and urbanization. In the process he shines a new light on large cities and urban slums.  He shows that slums are dynamic and well functioning economic hubs. Drawing on an exhaustive supply of first hand knowledge, he is about to change the conversation about globalization, economic development, city planning and poverty.  If you are interested in challenges of the 21st century, this book is for you.”—C.K. Prahalad,  Paul and Ruth McCracken Distinguished University Professor,  Ross School of Business,  the University of Michigan, author of The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty through Profits


"Writing from his long on-the-ground global experience, Jeb Brugmann has provided a rich and accessible menu of deep insights, engaging stories, and surprising facts about a world of cities. His Welcome to the Urban Revolution is a prophecy of hope and political challenge to us all."—Michael Cohen, Director of International Affairs Program, The New School, former Senior Advisor for Environmentally Sustainable Development at the World Bank


“Jeb Brugmann is a strategist of great analytical power… His book is the work of a person who with great acuity captures important moments in cities around the globe. It is a fundamental reference for all those who wish to understand how cities can change the world.”— Jaime Lerner, architect and urban planner, former mayor of Curitiba and governor of Paraná state, Brazil; president of International Union of Architects, 2002-2005

“Replete with detail and compelling analyses”— Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Jeb Brugmann has been instrumental in urban development in 49 cities in 21 countries in his two decades of work on urbanization. His work over the years has been officially recognized by the United Nations General Assembly, three UN Summits and the UN Climate Secretariat (Kyoto Protocol). He has received numerous awards and government funding from twelve different countries, and is a faculty member of the Cambridge University Business and Environment Program. He lives in Toronto with his wife and children.

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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Champion of Urbanism May 15 2009
By Tom Beakbane - Published on Amazon.com
Jeb was part of a discussion panel along with Richard Florida, Roger Martin and David Miller (The Mayor of Toronto). I was impressed by his experience and clarity - even when compared against these other high calibre communicators.

Jeb's book is new territory for me. I have not read any others on city planning and urbanism and regard myself as a granola-crunching anti-urbanite. Yet it made me realize just how urban I am - along with over half the population of the world. Whenever I travel I gravitate to the cities; when in Argentina I don't go to the Iguazu Falls but stay in Buenos Aires, when in Cuba I get bored at the beach but appreciate Havana. That is because cities are concentrations of human interest and they are stimulating.

This book is a celebration of urbanism and it reads like the cities it describes; rich in anecdote, busy, enthusiastic, provocative and multi-faceted.

Who should read it? City planners, architects, politicians, business people, educators... and anyone who loves (or hates) cities and wants to learn about the biggest mass migration of humanity in history.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some serious thinking about the future of cities July 23 2010
By S. J. Snyder - Published on Amazon.com
Jeb Brugmann has researched the growth, and sometimes decline, of cities throughout the world, from him native Toronto through Chicago and Detroit, then on to Curitiba, Brazil and a squatter city adjacent to Mumbai, India.

He is a "fan," to use an imprecise word, of the future of cities. He touts a plan-based urbanism, but one that reflects native strengths of individual cities and metropolitan areas, contrary to a New Urbanism that may be formulaic at times.

He acknowledges the need to address energy use and other issues of urban areas, while adding that the world is going to continue to urbanize, planning or no.

The one disagreement I had with him was his claim that urbanization will lead naturally to democracy. The verdict is still out on China, to be sure. It's iffy on other countries that may move in the direction of oligarchy. As for the past, whether or not urbanism contributed to the fall of the Iron Curtain, Hitlerite Germany was an already-urbanized nation.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strategic Cities as an Outgrowth of Community - Comparing Global Cities Sept. 3 2010
By C. Frewen Wuellner - Published on Amazon.com
As an architect, I had the pleasure of meeting Jeb Brugmann this spring at a ULI meeting in Kansas City and then read his brilliant book.

His theory: the best cities emerge from a way of life more than a system of speculative land development, that is, from "strong traditions of urbanism". In good examples, a city or community has a unique sense of who it is, its problems, and the best solutions. They tinker with development as an outgrowth of community, the "chaotic complexities," rather than impose master plans for the sake of development.

In particular, his typology of cities appealed to me: Crisis Cities (which have competing purposes), Great Opportunity Cities (incoherent growth), and the best ones -Strategic Cities. By working at conceptual and particular levels simultaneously, he effectively contrasts planned cities versus ad hoc cities.

In many ways, this approach parallels a triple bottom line method that considers social, economic, and environmental purposes. Brugmann bounces around the globe from Mumbai to Chicago and sees systematic answers, or as he calls them, citysystems or ecosystems.

here's an interview with Brugmann that summarizes many of the ideas in the book. [...]
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moving on to a New Era in Urbanism March 21 2012
By David Terrell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Jeb Brugmann does an excellent job introducing the paradox of urbanization (concentration of population in cities) and globalization (expansion of civilization around the world) working together. Brugmann has ample experience through many years of studying urbanization around the world so his examples are more than anecdotic they are based on a deep analysis of data. This is an excellent treaty for use as text in any Urban Studies program.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He is really on to something March 15 2013
By Lacy Fehrenbach-Marosfalvy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I think Jeb Brugmann has some interesting ideas that are very important to the future vitality of our way of life. His ideas and observations about what does and doesn't work in cities and neighborhoods around the world should be required reading for anyone in the urban planning/public policy field. This is a great book on the city based view of globalization. It is also well written and a pleasure to read.

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