I really enjoyed reading both chapters and how they goalong with what Dr. Faria talked about during our first class. It was interestingto learn about how cities thrive because of the meaningful human interactions.Since the early centuries cities have been imperative on the knowledge exchangebetween civilizations and urban proximity facilitated this task by reducing thecomplex communication course. In chapter1, Gleaser emphasized the importance of face-to face interactions and how it “leadsto more trust, generosity, and cooperation than any other type of interaction”(page 35).
He introduced significant examples that ranged from the fiftycentury B.C. to the twentieth first century. We often assume that technologyminimize face-to-face interactions, but according to Glaser it is actually the opposite.He argues that the improvements in information technology can lead to moreface-to face contact which leads to better connections between people, creatingmore opportunity for trade and commerce (page 38). Improvement in technology isbeneficial in several areas as it facilitates in telecommunications,transportation, globalization and commerce. In chapter 2, Glaeser explored why some citied decay.
Heused examples like Detroit to illustrate the downfalls and successes of cities.Some attributes that created urban prosperity and made cities successful were “specializedskills, small enterprises and strong connection with the outside world” (page42). He emphasized that the decline of some cities was due to the mistake ofconfusing the city, “which is really a mass of connected humanity, withstructures” (page 43)”.
Detroit thrives were due to the auto industry andFordism. He also describes how the automobiles had a great impact in theeconomy and enabled Americans to live in distant suburbs not having to rely somuch on public transportation. Detroit decline was caused by auto industrycompetitions, urban decline, failure to fight crimes and police brutality whichcaused race riots. The riots did a huge damage to the African American communityand increased the crime rates in parts of the city. As we take a look throughoutAmerican history racism we start to understand why so many African-Americanwere in favor of rioting in the 1960’s. Gleaser lists some of the lists whysome African Americans were inclined to riot: “they’d been brutalized by apolice force full of whites recruited from the south; they had been systematicallyexcluded from white jobs in the auto industry for decades, and the jobs theydid typically either paid lower wages or offered worse working conditions”.
Theriots were manly unemployed African Americans.The main focus of these two chapter is that cities are madeof people and the importance of urbanization. When people are doing well thecities then to flourish.