The Human City (Hardcover)

Urbanism for the Rest of Us

By Joel Kotkin

Agate B2, 9781572841727, 304pp.

Publication Date: April 12, 2016

List Price: 24.95*
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"The Human City presents the most cogent, evidence-based and clear-headed exposition of the pro-suburban argument. . . . enriching our understanding of what cities are about and what they can and must become." --Wall Street Journal

Around the globe, most new urban development has adhered to similar tenets: tall structures, small units, and high density. In The Human City, Joel Kotkin--called "America's uber-geographer" by David Brooks of the New York Times--questions these nearly ubiquitous practices, suggesting that they do not consider the needs and desires of the vast majority of people. Built environments, Kotkin argues, must reflect the preferences of most people--especially those of families--even if that means lower-density development.

The Human City ponders the purpose of the city and investigates the factors that drive most urban development today. Armed with his own astute research, a deep-seated knowledge of urban history, and a sound grasp of economic, political, and social trends, Kotkin pokes holes in what he calls the "retro-urbanist" ideology and offers a refreshing case for dispersion centered on human values.

This book is not anti-urban, but it does advocate a greater range of options for people to live the way they want at all stages of their lives.

About the Author

Joel Kotkin is Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University, Executive Director of the Houston-based Center for Opportunity Urbanism, and Executive Editor of the widely read website, He is the author of seven previous books, and a regular contributor to the Daily Beast,, RealClearPolitics, and the Orange County Register. His writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, City Journal, Politico, and many more outlets.