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The Urban State of Mind: Meditations on the City [Kindle Edition]

Aaron M. Renn
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $5.99

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Book Description

In a 21st century that is ever more globalized, complex, inter-connected, and brutally competitive, cities and regions must go beyond conventional wisdom solutions to find sustainable success demographically, economically, environmentally, and fiscally. They need an edge in the marketplace. This collection of 30 provocative essays examines, and often challenges conventional wisdom thinking on, a host of critical urban policy areas ranging from brain drain to buying local to green industry to global urban soft power to innovation. They have been carefully curated from the first seven years of the Urbanophile, an acclaimed and opinion leading web site on cities, along with original material. This collection will help you chart a unique and authentic path to future success for the place you live.


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you care about cities and like to be challenged ... December 26, 2013
Aaron Renn has been blogging about cities for many years, creating one of the most stimulating forums out there on the subject. He's gathered a loyal following, ranging from academics, policy wonks, public administrators, elected officials and just plain people who live in and love cities. His blog entries -- essays, really -- are thoughtful, well-written and packed with his own personal perspectives. They can also be controversial, because Mr. Renn is willing to take risks. He puts his ideas out there and invites -- no, sometimes he provokes -- discussion. And when the results come in from his readership, well, the discussion can be heated. But always educational. Mr. Renn's blog is surely one of the most civil and congenial out there. Mr. Renn is the embodiment of an almost lost species of American -- the intelligent, passionate amateur (in the sense of Jefferson or Franklin) -- a guy who's highly educated in one area but has a passion for another, which he pursues without the baggage of a formal education in his field of avocation. So he's educated himself as he's gone along, and coupled that with his personal experience as a city-dweller with rural roots. He shares his discoveries and learnings as he goes along, together with his own hypotheses.He's finally collected some of his best essays into a book. Read it cover-to-cover, or pick it up, read one, put it down and read another. You won't always agree, but you will end up realizing you do, in fact, have an opinion, because Mr. Renn will get you thinking. I highly recommend this book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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I like this book; but not necessarily for the typical reasons. One of the faults of blogging, particularly for social issues, is that the opinion or essay often is not tempered by history. By reaching back several years and selecting the best essays, particularly for their relevance to today, we read a type of history. Aaron Renn's exercise of reprinting his best essays helps readers and writers alike put opinions in perspective and sharpen them. While there are many good essays in this book, the importance of it is that it shows the difference between impulsive opinion and essays that can stand the test of time. The latter are always worth our time... even twice.
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With a hint of Economic Geography, Aaron writes about the different ways urbanism can solve today's problems. By mainly focussing on America, he gives insights into the urban realm. This book is not only great for today's mayors and urban planners but even for the newbees who do not know much about urbanism. It's a great introduction to city living and I highly recommend it.
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