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Friday, 19 January 2024 18:43

Age of the City: Why our Future will be Won or Lost Together.

By Jacob Mawela.

An in-depth look at the major challenges facing humanity today and why the city – the ultimate symbol of human ingenuity –is where these battles will be won or lost.

Visionary Oxford professor Ian Goldin and The Economist's Tom Lee-Devlin show why the city is where the battles of inequality, social division, pandemics and climate change must be faced.

From centres of antiquity like Athens or Rome to modern metropolises like New York or Shanghai, cities throughout history have been the engines of human progress and the epicentres of our greatest achievements. Now, for the first time, more than half of humanity lives in cities, a share that continues to rise. In the developing world, cities are growing at a rate never seen before.

In this book, Professor Goldin and Tom Lee-Devlin show why making our societies fairer, more cohesive and sustainable must start with our cities.Globalization and technological change have concentrated wealth into a small number of booming metropolises, leaving many smaller cities and towns behind and feeding populist resentment. Yet even within seemingly thriving cities like Cape Town, London or San Francisco, the gap between the haves and have-nots continues to widen and our retreat into online worlds tears away at our social fabric. Meanwhile, pandemics and climate change pose existential threats to our increasingly urban world.

Professor Goldin and Tom Lee-Devlin combine the lessons of history with a deep understanding of the challenges confronting our world today to show why cities are at a crossroads – and hold our destinies in the balance.

Ian Goldin is Professor of Development and Globalisation at the University of Oxford and former Vice President of the World Bank and Chief Executive of the Development Bank of Southern Africa and Advisor to former President Nelson Mandela. Ian's recent publications include Rescue: From Global Crisis to a Better World (HC, 2021), Terra Incognita: 100 Maps to Survive the Next 100 Years (PRH, 2020), and Age of Discovery (Bloomsbury, 2016).

Tom Lee-Devlin is a writer at The Economist. He previously worked as a management consultant at Bain & Company and led research for the firm's global think tank, Bain Futures.