Author(s): P. D. Smith
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 per cent 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, Tenochtitlan 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.
This remarkable history of urban culture worldwide, from the first city builders 7000 years ago, to today's sprawling megacities, using the form of a popular guidebook to get to the heart of what makes cities thrive.
PRAISE FOR 'DOOMSDAY MEN' 'Weaving together biography, science and art, Smith has created a compelling history of physics in the 20th century ... Smith's dynamic, riveting narrative reveals details of people, places and events that are rarely covered in textbooks, bringing to life not just scientists like Robert Oppenheimer and Leo Szilard, but the horrors of chemical and atomic warfare ... Captivating and thoroughly referenced.' Publishers Weekly 'Superb ... The research is impressive, but it's his eye for revealing anecdotes and his ability to distil it all into lively prose that makes this a real pleasure to read.' Sunday Business Post 'Always readable and entertaining' Tibor Fischer
P. D. Smith is an independent researcher and writer. He has taught at University College London where he is an Honorary Research Fellow in the Science and Technology Studies Department and has contributed to the Guardian and writes for other national publications including The Times, Independent and the Times Literary Supplement and regularly contributes to the acclaimed website 3 Quarks Daily. His books include Doomsday Men: The Real Dr Strangelove and the Dream of the Superweapon. Author's website: www.peterdsmith.com