The Wealth and Poverty of Regions: Why Cities Matter Reviews

The Wealth and Poverty of Regions: Why Cities Matter

The Wealth and Poverty of Regions: Why Cities Matter

As the world becomes more interconnected through travel and electronic communication, many believe that physical places will become less important. But as Mario Polèse argues in The Wealth and Poverty of Regions, geography will matter more than ever before in a world where distance is allegedly dead.


This provocative book surveys the globe, from London and Cape Town to New York and Beijing, contending that regions rise—or fall—due to their location, not only within nations but also on the world map. Polèse reveals how concentrations of industries and populations in specific locales often result in minor advantages that accumulate over time, resulting in reduced prices, improved transportation networks, increased diversity, and not least of all, “buzz”—the excitement and vitality that attracts ambitious people. The Wealth and Poverty of Regions maps out how a heady mix of size, infrastructure, proximity, and cost will determine which urban centers become the thriving metropolises of the future, and which become the deserted cities of the past. Engagingly written, the book provides insight to the past, present, and future of regions.

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  3. Michael Brown says:
    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Centrally Thought Urbanism, March 6, 2012
    Michael Brown (Cleveland, Ohio USA) –

    This review is from: The Wealth and Poverty of Regions: Why Cities Matter (Paperback)

    A very well paced, readable text, which while academic, rather than popular in tone, does not get lost in statistics as many other texts on the topic area often do. The author takes an interesting, more centrist approach towards the study of urban regions and the periphery. He acknowledges, without a race to judge, the urbanist and economic literature from a more leftist or rightist perspective.

    The title of the book is the focus of the entire text and the author develops and proposes how the inverse is equally as applicable. His thought is of a general skepticism towards all-encompassing economic and urbanist theories and is willing to highlight exceptions and the very unpredictability of success. Still, he successfully points to most likely outcomes as regards the generation and maintenance of wealth and economic viability.

    I only include one substantial criticism: the author should seriously revise his editing skills or fire his editor, as there are many strange and embarrassing misspellings in the latter half of the text! One can overlook an occasional word, but after so many it begins to detract from the otherwise excellent text.

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