Themes The Power of Cities

The Power of Cities It seems that all roads lead to Chicago in Bill Ross' twilight shot.

In the last 3,000 years, the history of humankind has been tied to the history of cities. With half of the world's population living in urban settings now, it's urgent that we examine them and update our understanding.

Robert Neuwirth lived in and studied the overcrowded slums of megacities such as Nairobi and Rio de Janeiro -- and found hope and vitality there. Majora Carter talks about how enlightened policymaking can "green the ghetto," offering an eye-opening look at why ghettos exist. Steven Johnson, meanwhile, shares the history of a mapping innovation that helped wipe out a deadly disease in London -- and brought about a new reading of urban epidemics and public health.

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