Books
Joel Kotkin

The Human City

The author of The Coming of Neo-Feudalism and The New Class Conflict challenges conventions of urban planning.
Around the globe, most new urban development has adhered to similar tenets: tall structures, small units, and high density. In The Human City, Joel Kotkin―called “America’s uber-geographer” by David Brooks of the New York Times―questions these nearly ubiquitous practices, suggesting that they do not consider the needs and desires of the vast majority of people. Built environments, Kotkin argues, must reflect the preferences of most people―even if that means lower-density development. The Human City ponders the purpose of the city and investigates the factors that drive most urban development today. Armed with his own astute research, a deep-seated knowledge of urban history, and a sound grasp of economic, political, and social trends, Kotkin pokes holes in what he calls the “retro-urbanist” ideology and offers a refreshing case for dispersion centered on human values. This book is not anti-urban, but it does advocate a greater range of options for people to live the way they want at all stages of their lives.
Praise for The Human City
“Kotkin . . . presents the most cogent, evidence-based and clear-headed exposition of the pro-suburban argument . . .. In pithy, readable sections, each addressing a single issue, he debunks one attack on the suburbs after another. But he does more than that. He weaves an impressive array of original observations about cities into his arguments, enriching our understanding of what cities are about and what they can and must become.” —Shlomo Angel, Wall Street Journal
“The most eloquent expression of urbanism since Jane Jacobs’s The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Kotkin writes with a strong sense of place; he recognizes that the geography and traditions of a city create the contours of its urbanity.” —Ronnie Wachter, Chicago Tribune
438 printed pages
Original publication
2016
Publication year
2016
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