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The Emerging City was written at a time when the great transformation from urban to suburban lifestyle was under way. It is a tribute to Scott Greer that his work understood the new contours of the city, and also well appreciated that far from spelling the end of urban life, the new developments in communication and transportation only served to change the social and political structure of modern societies. Greer established the principle that in urban affairs, public policy follows the market. The task of this fine work was to chart just how this flow took place.
A careful researcher and writer, Scott Greer herein poses the largest questions of urban existence: What needs for fellowship and freedom are bedrock? What is gained and what is lost as urbanization unfolds? Can one speak of certain urban arrangements as good or bad for humans? The Emerging City attempts a theory of society within which the changing city could be interpreted at the social, political, and symbolic levels. The modern city is no longer an autonomous unit, but very much a part of, often at the center of, national and even international developments. As Janet Abu-Lughod points out in her sharp introduction most of the themes that are now in common usage owe their beginnings to Scott Greer.