What does it mean that half the world’s people now live in cities—and that two billion more will join them over the next 25 years? How does this change the way the world works?
In Welcome to the Urban Revolution, Jeb Brugmann draws on two decades of fieldwork to offer an eye-opening anatomy of our urbanizing planet. Taking readers on a street-level tour of the world’s cities, Brugmann challenges conventional thinking about globalization and reveals cities as the medium for revolutionary change. From Tehran to Gdansk to Caracas, he traces the roots of political revolutions to local patterns of urban growth; from Guangzhou to Mumbai to Miami, he shows how global health, financial, and environmental crises now arise from local approaches to urban development; and from Bangalore to Helsinki to Toronto, he shows how cities incubate new industries and environmental solutions.
Welcome to the Urban Revolution argues that the 21st century’s greatest challenges can—and must—be met through improved approaches to city building. Exploring the successes of cities like Barcelona, Chicago, Vancouver, and Brazil’s Curitiba, Brugmann shows how we can transform cities into more productive, equitable, and sustainable places. The most progressive cities, he reveals, have developed their own “practices of urbanism,” from the sidewalk up. These local urbanisms—ways of designing, governing, and living in cities that align competing interests behind common purposes—are what we need globally to guide an ever more urban civilization.