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Welcome to the Urban Revolution: How Cities Are Changing the World
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Welcome to the Urban Revolution: How Cities Are Changing the World

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  57 ratings  ·  8 reviews
As of this decade, more than half the earth's population lives in cities; our world is not just globalized, but urbanized. This powerful reappraisal draws on two decades of fieldwork and research to show how the metropolis has become a medium for revolutionary social change. Not just political upheaval but technological, economic, and cultural innovations are forged in our ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published April 27th 2010 by Bloomsbury Press (first published May 19th 2009)
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One of my new favorites on modern urbanism...truly something I wish everyone would read, its take on the changing urban nature of our world and how to prepare for it provides insights that redefine my goals in going into urban planning.
After a brief drought of enjoyable reading material I discovered Jeb Brugmann's Welcome to the Urban Revolution: How Cities are Changing the World (New York: Viking, 2009). Listening to the CBC one day in the car I heard Brugmann on The Current discussing his work on urban issues. I was intrigued and ordered his book from my local library. Brugmann's book discusses the developments of cities and urbanism using examples from across the globe and places all these issues in a broad comparative cont ...more
If there is a take-home message to Welcome to the Urban Revolution it is that if you want to see the forefront of human endeavour (technology, business, art, social interaction) the city is the place to go to find it.

Overall, a very interesting read. Living in Sydney, Australia I'm painfully aware of what Brugmann describes as the Great Opportunities City. I'm going to go back to this for a skim/notes read after the next book on my list (Absolution Gap). My score might go up to 4 stars then, as
I had made a promise to myself: no more books with the word "revolution" in the title. You know, unless they were about, like, the American or French or Industrial revolutions.

Then again, I came to think half way through this book, maybe urbanization really is as consequential a factor in human history as, say, the agrarian, scientific, and industrial revolutions. Author Jeb Brugmann makes the case — and does a decent job at it, but he sure could have benefited from a more demanding editor. This
Initially Brugmann seems to offer a thesis about how the logical outcome of combining an ever-increasing urban majority worldwide with globalized technologies, information networks, and commerce will result in a comprehensive “Citysystem.” “The City” is no longer that place with the Empire State Building, hot dog vendors, and a large Christmas tree, but the place with the Empire State Building, Gherkin, Petronas Towers, and contorted CCTV tower. It also includes Dharavi, Chicago’s Uptown, and wh ...more
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Josh McConnell
An interesting read that gets very drawn-out and repetitive in the middle. Some definitely good takeaway points are to be found, it's just a shame that some may give up reading the book and miss them due to it's receptiveness. If you like urbanization, check this one out. I still enjoyed it overall, but it was a struggle in certain areas.
Oct 11, 2013 Eddie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Urban Planning and Geography Students and Industry folk.
Recommended to Eddie by: It was a gift.
I thought this book was great. It was an easy read and the author lays his points very out in a very easy to comprehend manner.
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For 25 years Jeb Brugmann has developed strategies for governments, corporations, and international agencies to tackle global issues at the local level. From 1990-2000, he served as founding Secretary General of the international environmental agency for cities, where his initiatives involved thousands of cities in more than 50 countries. A strategy consultant to organizations internationally, he ...more
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“Today's anti-immigration debates lack essential perspective about the nature of migration, the character of the migrant and the imperatives that drive the world to the City....It does not and cannot stop the Great Migration, for one simple reason: access to the raw potential of urban advantage cannot be entirely controlled.” 0 likes
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