Virtual Event: Edward Glaeser and David Cutler
Survival of the City:
Living and Thriving in an Age of Isolation
moderated by KATHERINE BAICKER
September 15, 2021
7:00 PM ET
Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Free - $5 contribution suggested at registration
Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes urbanist EDWARD GLAESER and public health expert DAVID CUTLER for a discussion of their latest, co-authored book, Survival of the City: Living and Thriving in an Age of Isolation. Their conversation will be moderated by University of Chicago Dean KATHERINE BAICKER, the Emmett Dedmon Professor at the UoC Harris School of Public Policy.
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While payment is not required, we are suggesting a $5 contribution to support this author series, our staff, and the future of Harvard Book Store—a locally owned, independently run Cambridge institution. In addition, by purchasing a copy of Survival of the City on harvard.com, you support indie bookselling and the writing community during this difficult time.
About Survival of the City
Cities can make us sick. They always have—diseases spread more easily when more people are close to one another. And disease is hardly the only ill that accompanies urban density. Cities have been demonized as breeding grounds for vice and crime from Sodom and Gomorrah on. But cities have flourished nonetheless because they are humanity’s greatest invention, indispensable engines for creativity, innovation, wealth, and connection, the loom on which the fabric of civilization is woven.
But cities now stand at a crossroads. During the global COVID crisis, cities grew silent as people worked from home—if they could work at all. The normal forms of socializing ground to a halt. How permanent are these changes? Advances in digital technology mean that many people can opt out of city life as never before. Will they? Are we on the brink of a post-urban world?
City life will survive but individual cities face terrible risks, argue Edward Glaeser and David Cutler, and a wave of urban failure would be absolutely disastrous. In terms of intimacy and inspiration, nothing can replace what cities offer. Great cities have always demanded great management, and our current crisis has exposed fearful gaps in our capacity for good governance. It is possible to drive a city into the ground, pandemic or not. Glaeser and Cutler examine the evolution that is already happening, and describe the possible futures that lie before us: What will distinguish the cities that will flourish from the ones that won’t? In America, they argue, deep inequities in health care and education are a particular blight on the future of our cities; solving them will be the difference between our collective good health and a downward spiral to a much darker place.
Praise for Survival of the City
“In this readable yet rigorous book, two brilliant economists tackle the question of our time: How can the people and places whose energies drive our economy thrive in a post-COVID world? Their answer: put health improvement above medical care, striving outsiders before privileged insiders, and cities at the heart of a revitalized American dream.” —Jacob S. Hacker, Stanley B. Resor Professor of Political Science, Yale University; coauthor of Let Them Eat Tweets
“Survival of the City is a smart and surprising account of how the modern metropolis can bounce back from the current crisis, and a compelling argument for sweeping policy change. The authors—one liberal, one conservative—are not ideologically aligned, but their differences yield fresh ideas and bursts of insight. I found myself learning from, arguing with, and thoroughly enjoying every part of this totally necessary book.” —Eric Klinenberg, Helen Gould Shepard Professor in Social Science, New York University
“Survival of the City is a work of stunning brilliance. I learned something on every page, and these are topics I thought I understood. This book is a must read for anyone who hopes to talk intelligently about a post-COVID world.” —Steven Levitt, William B. Ogden Distinguished Service Professor of Economics, University of Chicago; co-author of Freakonomics
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