The City and Urban Life: Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania, and the Americas (Editor)
The City is a major and important work. In three full-size volumes, it presents up-to-date information about urban institutions and urban society in all regions of the world. A comprehensive study, The City traces the development of urban places from the first cities to the present day. It describes recent foundations as well as the ruined cities of Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America.
Urban places have developed, flourished, and declined as part of larger social communities. Thus the evidence and data is presented in two dozen separate segments. Each section is devoted to one cultural and geographical region that possesses a distinctive and characteristic urban history and urban tradition. For each of these regions, The City presents two types of essays (1) longer chronological overviews dealing with an entire region, and (2) briefer descriptions of individual cities in that region.
Each section thus begins with a major essay, describing institutions and historical developments shared by all cities in a specific region. Focusing directly on urban society, each chronological overview describes political and economic events relevant to urban life. In the same way, each overview analyzes technological changes that directly affected urban development. Cities are sacred places as well as market centers. Thus the overviews also portray religious, spiritual, and artistic beliefs that influenced urban society and the ways in which cities have been built and spatially organized.
Following this regional overview, each section continues with essays on individual cities. Each place incuded either is significant now or was significant in the past. These essays begin by locating each city on the map of the region and describing how its location has affected its fortunes. They then trace each city's development from its founding until the present or until it became extinct.
For almost all parts of the world, there is no work that traces-–succinctly yet comprehensively--the entire history of urban life in that region. The City is the first book that even lists all the major cities that have existed. Thus both the regional overviews and the descriptions of individual cities present information that can be found no where else. Moreover, the two sections work together synergistically. The essays on specific cities provide facts and evidence supporting the analysis in the chronological overviews. By describing how urban life evolved over time throughout the entire region, the chronological overview helps us understandthe growth (and decline) of the individual cities in that region.
Throughout The City and Urban Life, the essays were written by distinguished scholars with a deep knowledge and understanding of urban life. The City presents information on every part of the world, contributed by authors who are experts on and personally familiar with the cities they describe. In addition to those from the United States, the contributors to The City live and work in Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Russia, Argentina, Chile, Turkey, Nigeria, India, China, Japan, Singapore, and other countries.