How will the future of cities look?

A Series of Essays on the Urban Future

The Future of Cities

Too many urbanists start their analysis of cities too late. They look at booming urban areas and see the amenities and jobs as the essential building blocks of urban dynamism. But before those amenities and jobs existed, these were places of aspirations with ambitious founders. What began as a river outpost here or crossroads there became a place where people with overlapping aspirational goals realized they would do better by cooperating or maybe even competing.

This book is being published as a series, with permission of the American Enterprise Institute. Each week a new chapter will be published, with links to each chapter.

Click or tap a link below to read or download each chapter. (PDFs open in new tab or window)

Introduction: Welcome to the Urban Future – Joel Kotkin

I. The Big Picture for Global Geography

American Aspiration is Metropolitan – Ryan Streeter (new this week)

Ryan Streeter is the director of domestic policy studies and State Farm James Q. Wilson Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Before joining AEI, he was executive director of the Center for Politics and Governance at the University of Texas at Austin. Previously, he served as a senior fellow at the Legatum Institute and as a research fellow at the Hudson Institute.