Cities Around the World: Struggles and Solutions to Urban Life

ABC-CLIO. 2 vols. Jul. 2019. 646p. ed. by ed. by Jing Luo. photos. index. ISBN 9781440853852. $189; ebk. ISBN 9781440853869. REF
With this two-volume set, Luo (languages & cultures, Bloomberg Univ.) has compiled about 100 articles on the most pressing challenges facing urban communities today. Each section starts with a topic summary (such as employment, energy, and migration and demographic changes) from a global perspective, followed by ten alphabetically arranged sketches of cities struggling with the issue as well as areas that have found solutions. The portraits conclude with see-also references and a list of further reading resources. Contributors are scholars from a variety of academic fields who offer balanced, knowledgeable pieces about disparate historical trends, current research, and future scenarios. Megacities such as Beijing, Mexico City, New York, and Tokyo, are well represented, but several smaller communities are also among the 84 cities profiled, including Williamsport, PA, and Flint, MI. Portraits of many African communities such as Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo; and Touba are particularly revealing. The timeliness and assortment of issues and localities discussed make this a worthy addition to the canon of international urban studies.
VERDICT An excellent primer for high school students, undergraduates, and interested nonspecialist readers who want to expand their perspectives about urban issues both within and beyond the United States.

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