Edward Glaeser

  • Aired:  02/14/11
  •  | Views: 63,611

Edward Glaeser says cities play to mankind's ability to learn from each other face to face. (5:56)

>> Jon: WELCOME BACK.

TONIGHT MY GUEST AN ECONOMICS

PROFESSOR AT HARVARD

UNIVERSITY.

HIS NEW BOOK IS CALLED TRIUMPH

OF THE CITY.

HOW OUR GREATEST INVENTION

MAKES US RICHER, SMARTER,

GREENER, HEALTHIER AND

HAPPIER.

PLEASE WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM,

EDWARD GRAZEEN.

( APPLAUSE )

WELCOME.

>> THANK YOU, SIR.

>> Jon: THE BOOK IS TRIUMPH OF

THE CITY.

I AM AN ENORMOUS FAN OF

CITIES.

I ENJOY THE FOOD, THE

CAMARADERIE, BUT HOW IS IT

HEALTHIER IN THE CITY?

HEALTHIER, GREENER,

ECONOMICALLY BETTER.

HOW DO ALL THESE THINGS COME

TO PASS?

>> WELL IT'S HEALTHIER AMONG

YOUNG PEOPLE BECAUSE THERE ARE

LESS MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS

BECAUSE TAKING A SUBWAY IS

JUST A LOT LESS DANGEROUS THAN

DRIVING DRUNK.

THERE ARE A LOT FEWER SUICIDES

IN NEW YORK.

THE ABSENCE OF GUNS AND

PROBABLY THE SOCIAL

CONNECTIONS THAT WORK IN CITY.

>> Jon: DID YOU SAY THE

ABSENCE OF GUNS.

>> YEAH.

>> Jon: IN NEW YORK CITY?

>> AMONG KEY SUICIDE PRONE

POPULATIONS.

>> Jon: I SEE WHAT YOU'RE

SAYING.

>> NOT AMONG EVERYONE.

>> Jon: I UNDERSTAND.

>> BUT CITIES ARE JUST AMAZING

THINGS BECAUSE THEY PLAY TO

MANKIND'S GREATEST ASSET WHICH

IS OUR ABILITY TO LEARN FROM

EACH OTHER FACE TO FACE.

WE COME OUT OF THE WOMB WITH

THIS GREAT TALENT OF BEING

ABLE TO SOP UP STUFF.

THAT'S WHAT MAKES CITIES SO

SPECIAL AND SO POWERFUL.

>> Jon: LET ME EXPLAIN

SOMETHING TO YOU.

I RECENTLY HAD TWO PEOPLE COME

OUT OF A WOMB IN MY HOUSE.

AND I WILL TELL YOU, I WAS THE

ONE DOING THE SOPPING.

THEY SEEMED, IF I MAY,

SOPLESS.

>> INDEED.

>> Jon: BUT IS THE IDEA THAT

THE PROXIMITY IS WHAT FEEDS

THE ENERGY AND DOES IT ONLY

WORK FOR YOUNG PEOPLE?

>> NO IT DOESN'T ONLY WORK FOR

YOUNG PEOPLE BUT CITIES HAVE

PARTICULAR ASSETS LIKE THE

ABILITY TO MEET OTHER SINGLE

YOUNG PEOPLE THAT YOUNG PEOPLE

PARTICULARLY VALUE.

IT WORKS FOR EVERYONE.

IT'S JUST A SUPER CHARGING OF

THIS BASIC HUMAN ABILITY.

IN NEW TECHNOLOGIES LIKE

FACEBOOK ARE REMARKABLY MAKING

CITIES MORE NOT LESS

IMPORTANT.

LOOK AT EGYPT AND CAIRO,

RIGHT?

IT'S CALLED A FACEBOOK

REVOLUTION BUT IT'S ONLY

HAPPENING IN CITIES.

IT'S NOT LIKE YOU CAN BLOCK

MUBARAK FROM YOUR FACEBOOK

PAGE AND THAT CAUSES A

TOPPLING OF THE GOVERNMENT.

YOU HAVE TO BE THERE IN THE

CITY MAKING SOMETHING HAPPEN.

>> Jon: LET ME SAY THIS.

IT SEEMS LIKE YOU'RE UPSET AT

ME.

I FEEL LIKE I HAVEN'T DONE

ANYTHING.

>> NO, YOU HAVEN'T.

>> Jon: THE THING ABOUT CITIES

IS THAT THOUGH WHAT ABOUT

DISEASE?

BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, IT SEEMS

LIKE THE CLOSER THE PROXIMITY,

BED BUGS, BUBONIC PLAGUE,

THESE ARE... THESE ARE THE

THINGS THAT SEEM TO MAKE

CITIES... YOU WRITE THAT THE

PEOPLE DIE LATER IN CITIES,

THAT PEOPLE ACTUALLY LIVE

LONGER IN CITIES.

THAT SEEMS STUNNING TO ME.

>> IT'S AMAZING ACHIEVEMENT.

A BOY BEING BORN IN NEW YORK

110 YEARS AGO COULD EXPECT TO

LIVE SEVEN YEARS LESS THAN A

BOY BORN SOMEWHERE ELSE IN

AMERICA.

NOW LIFE EXPECT TAES IS TWO

YEARS LONGER IN NEW YORK.

>> Jon: WHAT HAS CAUSED THAT?

JUST PROXIMITY TO HOSPITALS?

>> NO, NO.

LIFESTYLE, WALKING AND GETTING

CLEAN WATER.

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING CITY

GOVERNMENTS DO IS THEY

ACTUALLY MAKE SURE YOU CAN

DRINK THE WATER AND NOT DIE.

THAT'S A CRITICAL THING THAT

CITIES NEED TO DO.

THIS REQUIRES HUGE INVESTMENT.

A AQUADUCT.

THE START OF THE 20th CENTURY

CITY GOVERNMENTS WERE SPENDING

MORE ON WATER THAN THE FEDERAL

GOVERNMENT SPENT ON ANYTHING

EXCEPT FOR THE ARMY AND THE

POST OFFICE.

MASSIVE INVESTMENT IN THIS

STUFF TO MAKE CITIES HEALTHY.

>> Jon: YOU KNOW A LOT ABOUT

CITIES.

FOR SUBURBS IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN,

YOU KNOW, EMBEDDED IN I THINK

THE AMERICAN PHILOSOPHY THAT

THE IDEA IS YOU COME TO A CITY

AS AN IMPOVERISHED IMMIGRANT.

YOU WORK VERY HARD SO THAT

YOUR CHILDREN CAN MOVE TO NEW

JERSEY.

AND LIVE A SUB URBAN LIFESTYLE

WHERE PEOPLE DON'T TALK TO

OTHER PEOPLE AND THE TV

REPLACES THESE FACE-TO-FACE

ENCOUNTERS THAT YOU'RE TALKING

ABOUT.

ISN'T THAT THE DREAM?

>> THAT'S THE MAJOR REASON I

WROTE THIS BOOK IS I REALLY

HOPED WE COULD MOVE BEYOND

THINKING THAT THE ONLY

AMERICAN DREAM IS A WHITE

PICKET FENCE IN THE SUBURBS.

IF THE REST WAS AMERICA WAS AS

PRODUCTIVE AS THE NEW YORK

METROPOLITAN AREA OUR G.D.P.

PER CAPITA WOULD GO UP 43%.

THESE ARE THE PLACES FOR

COMPETITION, INNOVATION,

CHANGE HAPPENS.

THESE ARE GREAT PLACES FOR

AMERICA.

WE DON'T NEED ANTI-URBAN

POLICY.

>> Jon: DO WE HAVE ANTI-URBAN

POLICY.

>> SURE WE DO.

>> Jon: LIKE WHAT?

>> THE HOME MORTGAGE INTEREST.

WE MAKE A NETISH OUT OF HOME

OWNERSHIP IN THIS COUNTRY.

PEOPLE IN NEW YORK TEND TO

RENT FOR GOOD REASONS.

HAVING A LOT OF OWNERS UNDER

ONE ROOF IS A NIGHTMARE.

>> Jon: ABSOLUTELY.

>> YOU SUBSIDIZE HOME

OWNERSHIP.

YOU PUSH GUYS OUT INTO

SUBURBS.

WE HAVE A TRANSPORTATION

POLICY, RIGHT?

WE INVESTED HEAVILY IN

HIGHWAYS.

WE'RE STILL THROWING MONEY AT

SUBURBS... AT HIGHWAYS IN LOW

DENSITY AREAS.

THE STIMULUS BILL GAVE

TRANSPORTATION MONEY IN A 2

FOR 1 RATIO IN THE LEAST....

>> Jon: SUBURBS ARE DRAGGING

US DOWN.

THE CITIES MIGHT BE THE REAL

AMERICA WHERE PEOPLE... IS

THAT WHAT YOU'RE SAYING

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )

AND YOU'RE SUGGESTING IN YOUR

BOOK THAT WE ARM OURSELVES AND

ATTACK THESE SUBURBS, RIGHT?

CAN I TELL YOU SOMETHING?

IF YOU LIVE IN A CITY OR

PLANNING ON LIVING IN A CITY,

IF YOU'VE EVER LIVED IN A CITY

THIS IS A GREAT BOOK TO READ

TO GIVE YOURSELF A NICE

FEELING OF WHAT YOU'RE

ACCOMPLISHING.

A TREMENDOUS BOOK.

I REALLY APPRECIATE YOU COMING

HERE.

>> THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR

HAVING ME HERE

Loading...