Monday, April 9, 2018

A History of Future Cities (Daniel Brook)

While not a new book (it was released in 2013), Daniel Brook's A History of Future Cities looked like a worthwhile read when I stumbled across it in a used bookstore. My thought was proven correct. If you're into history, geography, politics and/or economics, you should find Brook's study of four major global cities enlightening. It also shows the trends that tend to overlap most of these cities' histories.
Shanghai, Mumbai, St. Petersburg, and Dubai are all "boom" global cities, fixed on a battle between cosmopolitan and national, west versus east, capitalist versus statist. Each city has its own unique tale, but those consistent battles weave through the history of each. Brook chronologically bounces between the cities beginning with the creation of St. Petersburg through the modern dramas taking shape, effectively sharing the common storylines but with unique tales from each community as the book progresses.
For those curious about city evolution, A History of Future Cities is well researched and effective. It's a smart historical book that will help give you a sense of understanding the role of the West (and the tug of each nation's traditions) in creating these 21st Century metropolises.