Jeb Brugmann


“This goes way beyond globalization…Totally fascinating.”


“Urbanist Brugmann proposes a transformation in the way we view our cities. At the heart…is his argument that we must shape urbanism for the new millennium by incorporating all of an area’s citizens…[a] positive perspective on an extremely broad and challenging issue.”


“Brugmann provides compelling evidence of an often invisible connection between globalization and urbanization. In the process he shines a new light on large cities and urban slums. He shows that slums are dynamic and well-functioning economic hubs. Drawing on an exhaustive supply of firsthand knowledge, he is about to change the conversation about globalization, economic development, city planning, and poverty. If you are interested in challenges of the twenty-first century, this book is for you.”

C.K. Prahalad, Paul and Ruth McCracken Distinguished University Professor, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan; author of The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits

Jeb Brugmann is a strategist of great analytical power…His book is the work of a person who with great acuity captures the important moments of cities around the globe. It is a fundamental reference for all those who wish to understand how cities can change the world.

Jaime Lerner, architect and urban planner; former mayor of Curitiba and governor of Parana state, Brazil; president of the International Union of Architects, 2002-2005

“Writing from his long on-the-ground global experience, Jeb Brugmann has provided a rich and accessible menu of deep insights, engaging stories, and surprising facts about a world of cities. His Welcome to the Urban Revolution is a prophecy of hope and political challenge to us all.”

Michael Cohen, Director of the International Affairs Program, The New School; former Senior Advisor for Environmentally Sustainable Development at the World Bank

“The breadth of the book’s explanatory power is stunning. Brugmann has created a kind of “universal field theory” of urbanization that connects dots and integrates different disciplines. He’s added new layers to the whole “world is flat” debate, and also made the kind of ingeniously simple observations of human behavior that Jane Jacobs made about cities—but figured them out in the context of complex, 21st century globalism. Plus, the compelling true-life human stories give the entire book a genuine drama. I’m going to read it a second time!”

Elwood Hopkins, urban planner and Managing Partner, Emerging Markets, Inc.

“Brugmann has made a major, penetrating statement that establishes a high water mark and will stir a lot of debate worldwide. I was reminded of the JFC Turner comment about squatter settlements in Lima in the 60s: “The authorities show me these shacks—what they see as problems—and I see solutions, and then they show me the solutions—semi-industrial detached units out on the periphery—I see as problems.” Brugmann is making the same kind of turn it upside down statement with clues about fresh directions for remedies. It’s a great piece of work.”

Tim Campbell, PhD, Chairman, Urban Age Institute

“Brugmann, an urban development expert, argues passionately in favor of what he terms “urban advantage”—the unique constellation of economies and political life spawned by population density and sheer size of cities. According to Brugmann, urban advantage has been the catalyst for the great social and economic revolutions of the last century, including the end of the cold war. He reasons that higher population densities in eastern bloc cities made it easier for refuseniks, nationalists and artists to extend their organizational networks, and the geometric increase in communication made monitoring by the state all but impossible. More recently, urbanization has been creating new opportunities for indigent Third World populations across the globe, as seen in Dharavi, a Mumbai slum turned billion-dollar mercantile economy attracting waves of migrations from rural areas. The book’s examples of cities that have misunderstood or misued urban advantage (e.g., Detroit and Kuala Lumpur) are just as compelling as the success stories…the book is replete with detail and compelling analyses.”

Publisher’s Weekly