City by P.D. Smith
A Guidebook for the Urban Age

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The sorcery of cities should not be lost; Smith's ebullient guidebook helps to remind us why.


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, Tenochtitlán 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.

About P.D. Smith

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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 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:
Published June 19, 2012 by Bloomsbury Press. 400 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, Education & Reference. Non-fiction
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Reviewed by Jonathan Glancey on Jun 08 2012

The sorcery of cities should not be lost; Smith's ebullient guidebook helps to remind us why.

Read Full Review of City: A Guidebook for the Urb... | See more reviews from Guardian

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