In his latest book, esteemed architect and city planner Alexander Garvin explores the question What Makes a Great City. As Garvin visited great cities to answer this question, he found that a city’s greatness has little to do with beauty or function, but rather depends on its relationship with the people who inhabit it. It is about what citizens can do to make a city great.
Looking at several North American and European cities, from New York to Seattle and Paris to Madrid, Garvin examines how these cities have adapted and transformed over time. He analyzes the history, demographics, politics, economy, topography, history, architecture, and planning of great cities, but the heart of the book lies with the public realm and its influence on the actions of the people. The result is an inspiring look at how any city can become a great city. Check out Chapter 2 from the book below.