Book Launch: Order without Design
Join us on Tuesday, December 11 at 5:30pm for the launch of Alain Bertaud’s new book from MIT Press, Order without Design: How Markets Shape Cities. In it, Bertaud argues that operational urban planning can be improved by the application of the tools of urban economics to the design of regulations and infrastructure. Drawing on five decades of urban planning experience in forty cities around the world, Bertaud links cities' productivity to the size of their labor markets; argues that the design of infrastructure and markets can complement each other; examines the spatial distribution of land prices and densities; stresses the importance of mobility and affordability; and critiques the land use regulations in a number of cities that aim at redesigning existing cities instead of just trying to alleviate clear negative externalities. Bertaud concludes by describing the new role that joint teams of urban planners and economists could play to improve the way cities are managed.
Professor William Easterly, Co-Director of NYU’s Development Research Institute, will provide an opening commentary on the book. Bertaud will then sit down for a discussion of the book with Weiping Wu, Professor of Urban Planning and Director of the M.S. in Urban Planning program at Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, before fielding questions from the audience. Books will be available for sale and signature.
Praise for the Book
“Bertaud has a unique ability to enliven analysis with stories of success and failure in city development that range over a long period and a wide geography. The result is a cautionary tale best summed up by his comment that planners should be 'nonvisionary but competent'—focused ruthlessly on data.”
Dame Kate Barker - author of Housing: Where's the Plan?
“Compelling and thought-provoking, Order without Design is a must-read for anyone interested in urban and regional planning. Informed by decades of observation and practice in cities worldwide, it is a timely call for economists and planners to forge collaborations in meeting the needs and challenges of our cities, manage urban expansion or shrinkage, sustain access and mobility, and regulate land development and built form, to name but a few.”
Weiping Wu - Professor of Urban Planning, Columbia University; author of The Chinese City
“Alain Bertaud challenges the norm in developing new cities; master plan it, build it, thereafter the jobs and people will come! Bertaud encourages those of us in the fields of urban planning and urban economics to move forward together to better understand the dynamics of city structure and building form, in order to develop livable and sustainable cities for the future. He arms us with an understanding of easily digestible formulae and graphs that span the topics of planning, mobility, and affordability that will undoubtedly influence a new generation to break out of their siloes and integrate across horizontals.”
Michael Koh - Fellow, Centre for Liveable Cities, Singapore
“Alain Bertaud is one of the world's great urbanists. He straddles the world of urban economics and urban planning—and draws forth the best of both fields. This book is a fascinating tour-de-force of clear thinking and real-world experience. Like Alain, it is wise, witty, and deeply insightful. Anyone who cares about cities throughout the world should read this book and grapple with Alain's incisive intellect.”
Edward Glaeser - Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics, Harvard University; author of Triumph of the City