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Cities Matter
Cities Matter

Cities Matter

A Montrealer's Ode to Jane Jacobs


Baraka Nonfiction


180 Pages, 5 x 8

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $22.95 (US $22.95)

Publication Date: October 2022

ISBN 9781771863049

Rights: WOR X CA

Baraka Books (Oct 2022)

Not Yet Published. Estimated release date: October 2022


People ask themselves why cities exist? Can't there be other ways of organizing life on earth? Given the climate crisis and environmental concerns, how can we justify living in cramped quarters? Cities Matter answers those questions. Though Jane Jacobs is known mainly as an urbanist, Ramsay shows how important an economist she was, particularly with regards to cities and their economic relationships to nations and international trade. He has corralled much of Jane Jacobs' writings on economics, in a palatable and concise format. He also explains classical economic geography, such as central location theory, and Alfred Marshall's economies of agglomeration. Borrowing from Jane Jacobs' approach, he proposes real-life exercises for regular people wishing to compare suburban and urban living conditions, real estate investments, or transport-cost analysis for businesses. The Covid-19 pandemic has prompted some to predict the demise of cities. Will everybody continue to work from home and abandon city centres? Will the bucolic periphery take over from bustling and messy cities? Ramsay responds with a resounding NO, and posits that Jane Jacobs would too.

Author Biography

Charles-Albert Ramsay is a Montreal economist, popularizer, and teacher with a Master's in Economics from the Université de Sherbrooke. As a journalist for Les Affaires and the TVA business news channel, he has reported on new business projects in cities throughout Canada and internationally. A specialist in innovation and urban economics, he has taught economics at Dawson College and Kiuna Institution in Quebec.