Cities Matter: A Montrealer's Ode to Jane Jacobs

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People ask themselves why cities exist? Can’t there be other ways of organizing life on earth? Given the climate crisis and environmental concerns, how can we justify living in cramped quarters? Cities Matter answers those questions. Though Jane Jacobs is known mainly as an urbanist, Ramsay shows how important an economist she was, particularly with regards to cities and their economic relationships to nations and international trade. He has corralled much of Jane Jacobs’ writings on economics, in a palatable and concise format. He also explains classical economic geography, such as central location theory, and Alfred Marshall’s economies of agglomeration. Borrowing from Jane Jacobs’ approach, he proposes real-life exercises for regular people wishing to compare suburban and urban living conditions, real estate investments, or transport-cost analysis for businesses. The Covid-19 pandemic has prompted some to predict the demise of cities. Will everybody continue to work from home and abandon city centres? Will the bucolic periphery take over from bustling and messy cities? Ramsay responds with a resounding NO, and posits that Jane Jacobs would too.

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Baraka Books
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