Book Reviews in 100 Words or Less: 'Atlas of Cities' - Pacific Standard

Book Reviews in 100 Words or Less: 'Atlas of Cities'

This elegantly illustrated volume is a feast of maps and graphics about “humanity’s greatest invention.”
Author:
Publish date:

Atlas of Cities
Paul Knox
Princeton University Press

nov-book-2

This elegantly illustrated volume is a feast of maps and graphics about what Richard Florida’s introduction calls, with self-conscious use of cliché, “humanity’s greatest invention.” The book presents 13 paradigmatic types of city, including London (a “Global City”), Bombay (a “Megacity”), Freiburg (a “Green City”), and Manchester (an “Industrial City”). Most are mapped several times, to illustrate aspects of their history and lessons for urban geography. We see Paris’ sewers extend like capillaries during the 19th century, with the advent of centrally planned public health services; colored dots on a map of Miami (a “Transnational City”) show that city’s diversity of household languages. Geographers, sociologists, architects, and urban planners have contributed clear thematic chapters, and the result is a book that will encourage readers to think differently about many cities, including their own. —Graeme Wood

For more on the science of society, and to support our work, sign up for our free email newsletters and subscribe to our bimonthly magazine. Digital editions are available in the App Store (iPad) and on Google Play (Android) and Zinio (Android, iPad, PC/MAC, iPhone, and Win8).

Related