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Atlas of Cities

by Paul Knox Princeton University Press
Pub Date:
Hbk 256 pages
AU$125.00 NZ$134.78
Product Status: In Stock Now
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More than half the world's population lives in cities, and that proportion is expected to rise to three-quarters by 2050. Urbanization is a global phenomenon, but the way cities are developing, the experience of city life, and the prospects for the future of cities vary widely from region to region. The Atlas of Cities presents a unique taxonomy of cities that looks at different aspects of their physical, economic, social, and political structures; their interactions with each other and with their hinterlands; the challenges and opportunities they present; and where cities might be going in the future. Each chapter explores a particular type of city--from the foundational cities of Greece and Rome and the networked cities of the Hanseatic League, through the nineteenth-century modernization of Paris and the industrialization of Manchester, to the green and 'smart' cities of today. Expert contributors explore how the development of these cities reflects one or more of the common themes of urban development: the mobilizing function (transport, communication, and infrastructure); the generative function (innovation and technology); the decision-making capacity (governance, economics, and institutions); and the transformative capacity (society, lifestyle, and culture). Using stunning info-graphics, maps, charts, tables, and photographs, the Atlas of Cities is a comprehensive overview of the patterns of production, consumption, generation, and decay of the twenty-first century's defining form. Presents a one-of-a-kind taxonomy of cities that looks at their origins, development, and future prospectsFeatures core case studies of particular types of cities, from the foundational cities of Greece and Rome to the 'smart' cities of todayExplores common themes of urban development, from transport and communication to lifestyle and cultureIncludes stunning info-graphics, maps, charts, tables, and photos Additional material for this book: Cities Featured: Abuja, Alexandria, Amsterdam, Athens, Augsburg, Babylon, Beijing, Berlin, Brasilia, Bruges, Budapest, Cairo, Canberra, Chandigarh, Chicago, Constantinople, Curitiba, Detroit, Dubai, Dublin, DA¼sseldorf, Florence, Frankfurt, Freiburg, Geneva, Ghent, Glasgow, GA¼ssing, Hong Kong, Innsbruck, Istanbul, Jakarta, Karachi, Knossos, Las Vegas, London, Los Angeles, LA¼beck, Manchester, Marseille, Masdar City, Mexico City, Miami, Milan, Mumba, Mumbai, Nairobi, New York, Paris, Pella, Portland, Rome, San Francisco, Santorini, SA£o Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Sheffield, Singapore, Sparta, St. Petersburg, Stockholm, Sydney, Syracuse, Tokyo, Vancouver, Venice, Vienna, Washington, D.C., Wildpoldsried

FOREWORD Richard Florida 8


THE FOUNDATIONAL CITY Lily Leontidou, Guido Martinotti 16

Core citiesAthens and Rome

Secondary citiesKnossos, Santorini, Sparta, Pella, Syracuse, Marseille, Alexandria, Constantinople, Babylon

THE NETWORKED CITY Raf Verbruggen, Michael Hoyler, Peter Taylor 34

Core citiesAugsburg, London, Venice, Florence, Innsbruck, Lübeck, Bruges, Paris, Ghent

THE IMPERIAL CITY Asil Ceylan Oner 52

Core cityIstanbul

Secondary citiesRome, St. Petersburg, Vienna, London, Beijing


Core cityManchester

Secondary citiesBerlin, Chicago, Detroit, Düsseldorf, Glasgow, Sheffield


Core cityParis

Secondary citiesVienna, New York, London, Budapest, Washington, D.C.

THE GLOBAL CITY Ben Derudder, Peter Taylor, Michael Hoyler, Frank Witlox 106

Core citiesLondon and New York

Secondary citiesFrankfurt, San Francisco, Geneva, Mumbai, Nairobi

THE CELEBRITY CITY Elizabeth Currid-Halkett 124

Core cityLos Angeles

Secondary citiesNew York, London, Milan, Mumbai, Las Vegas

THE MEGACITY Jan Nijman, Michael Shin 140

Core cityMumbai

Seconday citiesCairo, Mexico City, Jakarta, Karachi, Shanghai, São Paulo, New York

THE INSTANT CITY Lucia Cony-Cidade 158

Core cityBrasilia

Secondary citiesAbuja, Chandigarh, Canberra

THE TRANSNATIONAL CITY Jan Nijman, Michael Shin 176

Core cityMiami

Secondary citiesVancouver, Hong Kong, Dubai, Singapore, Dublin, Los Angeles


Core cityMilan

Secondary citiesParis, New York, London, Portland, Los Angeles

THE GREEN CITY Heike Mayer 210

Core cityFreiburg

Secondary cities Stockholm, Portland, Curitiba, Masdar City, Güssing, Wildpoldsried


Core cityLondon

Secondary citiesAmsterdam, Tokyo, New York, Singapore, Seoul, San Francisco, Chicago, Sydney, Vienna


Glossary 224

Resources 246

Contributors 250

Index 252

Acknowledgements 256





"This fascinating survey effectively complemented and enriched by color maps, charts, and illustrations, celebrates the urban landscape's past, present, and potential for the future. Intended for the general reader, Knox's reference is recommended to anyone interested in urban studies and geography."--Library Journal

"[T]he large format of this coffee-table book provides room for a stunning abundance of photographs, charts, graphs, maps, and other enhancements that make Atlas of Cities as much a visual experience as a narrative one."--Ray Bert, Civil Engineering

"This elegantly illustrated volume is a feast of maps and graphics. . . . Geographers, sociologists, architects, and urban planners have contributed clear thematic chapters, and the result is a book that will encourage readers to think differently about many cities, including their own."--Graeme Wood, Pacific Standard

"A cartographic buffet that lays out how our metropolises came to be and what makes them tick."--John King, San Francisco Chronicle

"[T]his is a volume that could excite exploration of those more flexible sources, and its prose, design and illustration will surely achieve that for some who come across it--perhaps in libraries or classrooms."--Alan Mabin, Urban Africa

"A lavish, exhaustive look at the history, transformation, and future of urban centres around the globe. The perfect book for the Richard Florida--who, coincidentally, wrote the foreword--in your life."--Globe and Mail

"Much more than a book. Through innovative maps, charts, info-graphics and tables, Atlas lays out the cycles of consumption, creation, and decay that drive the living spaces that will soon house three-fourths of the human race, up from today's half. This book doesn't tell you about cities, it lets you understand them."--Dan Bischoff, Newark Star-Ledger

"This atlas does not graph the usual geographic shapes of cities, but tries to diagram the many other dimensions within cities around the world. Taking example from many specific cities (such as Istanbul, or Cairo) it tries to dissect, almost like an x-ray, the many organs, tissues, cells, and anatomy of a typical city. . . . This book will likely illuminate your world."--Kevin Kelly, Wink

"The kind of book I imagine anyone in the field of Urban Studies would like to own. . . . Atlas of Cities is not just a well-edited book full of useful didactical maps but also the kind of book that the members of our map-loving species want to have."--Manuel B, Aalbers, Urban Studies

"Atlas of Cities serves its purpose as an easy-to-read, graphically-compelling entry point to understanding some of the complexity of cities exceedingly well--ideal for planning and design students, as well as budding urbanists of all ages. The high-quality of information design and printing will also appeal to those interested in city visualizations. For well-seasoned urban professionals and academics, the wide cross-section of cities covered in the book offers an easy and quick reference for information on some of the dominant cities in the contemporary world. Overall, Atlas of Cities follows in the footsteps of the most engaging atlases of recent decades, offering a little something special for everyone….in a beautifully designed package."--Erick Villagomez, Spacing

"Compelling and unique. . . . This is one of the most thought-provoking and accessible books available on contemporary urbanism."--Israel Book Reviews
Paul Knox is University Distinguished Professor of Urban Affairs and Planning and codirector of the Global Forum on Urban and Regional Resilience at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. His many books include ''Palimpsests: Biographies of 50 City Districts'', ''Cities and Design'', and ''Urban Social Geography''.