P.D. Smith
Bloomsbury, London and New York, 2012, English
Nonfiction, Urban Design
9.1 x 7.3 inches, hardcover, 400 pages
ISBN: 9781608196760
Suggested Retail Price: $39.99

From the Publisher. For the first time in the history of the planet, more than half the population—3.3 billion people—are now living in cities. Two hundred years ago only 3 percent of the world's population were urbanites, a figure that had remained fairly stable (give or take the occasional plague) for about 1000 years. By 2030, 60 per cent of us will be urban dwellers. City is the ultimate handbook for the archetypal city and contains main sections on “History,” “Customs and Language,” “Districts,” “Transport,” “Money,” “Work,” “Tourist Sites,” “Shops and Markets,” “Nightlife,” etc., and mini-essays on anything and everything from Babel, Tenochtitlán, and Ellis Island to Beijing, Mumbai, and New York, and from boulevards, suburbs, shanty towns and favelas, to skylines, urban legends, and the sacred. Drawing on a wide range of examples from cities across the world and throughout history, it explores the reasons why people first built cities and why urban populations are growing larger every year. City is illustrated throughout with a range of photographs, maps, and other illustrations.

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Mark Lamster

An exhaustively researched but thoroughly entertaining history of the city told in the form of a guidebook by one of Britain’s leading cultural historians. There is no aspect of the city that Smith does not cover, from cemeteries to skyscrapers to street food. Reading it is like being seated next to the most-informed, and most charming guest at your dream dinner party, someone with an endless font of facts enlivened by quirky and often hilarious anecdotes.

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