Review – Triumph of the City

Triumph of the City
How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier
Edward Glaeser, PhD

In his widely acclaimed book, Dr. Glaeser extolls the virtues of large cities, in fact the bigger the better.  He explores how residents of the largest cities are healthier, wealthier, smarter, more productive, and greener than folks living in smaller places.

In his 270-page book, the author takes us on a tour of several of the world’s largest and most important cities to tell their story and help us understand what makes some cities thrive, while others (like Detroit) fail.

However, Dr. Glaeser is an economist, not an urbanist, and his examples and arguments seem simplistic and naïve when one is familiar with the forces influencing urban development.  He falls back on the popular practice of cherry-picking certain examples which illustrate his point.

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America’s Fittest Cities – ACSM

The annual American Fitness Index is well-intentioned but conflicting metrics dilute its focus.

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has released their sixth annual American Fitness Index (AFI) which “evaluates the infrastructure, community assets and policies that encourage healthy and fit lifestyles in the 50 most populous metro areas in the United States.”

I’m going review their study and tell you what they did right, and where the ACSM could improve their analysis.  In fact, I’ll show you how in their effort to make a great study, they actually ended up making their index much weaker.

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