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City: A Guidebook for the Urban Age | [P. D. Smith]

City: A Guidebook for the Urban Age

For the first time in the history of our planet, more than half the population - 3.3 billion people - is now living in cities. City is the ultimate guidebook to our urban centers - the signature unit of human civilization. With erudite prose, this unique work of metatourism explores what cities are and how they work. It covers history, customs and language, districts, transport, money, work, shops and markets, and tourist sites, creating a fantastically detailed portrait of the city through history and into the future.
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Publisher's Summary

For the first time in the history of our planet, more than half the population - 3.3 billion people - is now living in cities. City is the ultimate guidebook to our urban centers - the signature unit of human civilization. With erudite prose, this unique work of metatourism explores what cities are and how they work. It covers history, customs and language, districts, transport, money, work, shops and markets, and tourist sites, creating a fantastically detailed portrait of the city through history and into the future.

The urban explorer will revel in essays on downtowns, suburbs, shantytowns and favelas, graffiti, skylines, crime, the theater, street food, sport, eco-cities, and sacred sites, as well as mini essays on the Tower of Babel, flash mobs, ghettos, skateboarding, and SimCity, among many others.

Acclaimed author and independent scholar P. D. Smith explores what it was like to live in the first cities, how they have evolved, and why in the future, cities will play an even greater role in human life.

©2012 P.D. Smith (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (41 )
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3.9 (35 )
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4.2 (34 )
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  •  
    Lauren 02-01-15
    Lauren 02-01-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    "Loved it!"


    Very interesting! I would absolutely recommend! I'd like to read more by this author. Audio performance was great as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alex 01-30-15
    Alex 01-30-15
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    "Whirlwind tour of cities - past, present, future"

    Smith's masterfully explores what 'city' really means. It's a portrait painted with examples, past and present that extend off into a hypothetical future. He covers transportation from walking cities to the impact of the automobile, city sports from gladiators to football to parkour, the influence of technology on cities, family relations, and a wide range of other topics. I've really come away with a more rooted view of cities, and a heck of a lot more knowledge about how and why they work the way they do.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Gann 01-29-15
    M. Gann 01-29-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I really loved this book. Great overview of essentially urban geography and urban history. I really appreciate the way the book is organized by different aspects of the city (Train station, slums, marketplaces, etc.). Author provides wonderful historical context balanced with current urban trends and future speculation of urban life and development. I would recommend it for any student or practitioner of geography, anthropology or sociology.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    N/A - non-fiction


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    john zaitz 01-10-15
    john zaitz 01-10-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Worth it"

    I am a architecture student and found this book to be extremely informative. Anyone who is interested In architecture needs this book in there stable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim United States 12-15-14
    Tim United States 12-15-14 Member Since 2011

    Putting books on the back burner.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    406
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    "Jumble Together"

    The information that is presented in "City: A Guidebook for the Urban Age" is jumble together. The author has no organization skills. The book jumps from topic to topic with no cohesiveness. I don't mind text book writing, but I would hate to see the index of this book because the audiobook wasn't well put together. I don't know what Peter D. Smith was thinking, but the information of the topic is so random, that you feel that you are playing Trivial Pursuit. Poorly written in all counts.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna 05-19-13
    Anna 05-19-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Commuters companion"

    Before buying this book I saw a review describing this book as a "coffee table book" and I cannot think of a better way of describing it. It is no historical thesis; it jumps from topic to topic in time and place - but as long as that's what your expecting it is enjoyable. It is filled with interesting historical and anthropological facts and is an excellent commuters companion.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MICHAEL J. TAYLOR 02-05-15
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    "Yikes! Remedial and boring"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    It was like a very long, very boring overview of a history of western civilization - I learned nothing and was very bored for ... 9 hours. I couldn't finish it.


    What was most disappointing about P. D. Smith’s story?

    It contained no thesis and made no argument.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Nope.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Apathy turning to distaste and eventually surrender.


    Any additional comments?

    Save yourself! Don't buy this book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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