Online conference speaker

Edward Glaeser

The Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University

Ed Glaeser combines the warmth of a humanist and the rigor of an economist to deliver deep insights into city life and America's urban landscape. He studies the effects that cities have on innovation, society, and the environment. His rigorously researched conclusions frequently challenge commonly-held assumptions about urban and rural areas. Ed's views find powerful expression in his book Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier.

Triumph of the City is a Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year in 2011.

Triumph of the City is a strong argument for the extraordinary benefits of cities and city life. Cities are commonly perceived as more dangerous than rural communities, worse for the environment, and even worse for the mental and social health of the people who live in them. Ed offers hard evidence that none of this is true: cities are greener, healthier environments than suburban or rural environments.

In particular, Ed argues that the city is a powerful laboratory for innovation because of the way physical proximity and face-to-face communication facilities the flow and growth of ideas. And in today's economy, where transportation and production costs keep falling, ideas are any industry's most valuable resource. So if we want to move forward, economically and technologically, we're going to need policies that treat cities well and wise city management. Those two forces will shape everything from the rebirth of the Rust Belt to the growth of developing economies. Good policies mean healthy cities — and cities are the key to making it through this world’s economic and environmental crises.

Ed Glaeser has taught at Harvard University since 1992. Today, he is the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor at the Department of Economics. For 10 years, he was Director of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government and as Director of the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston, both at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. He has written essays for The New Republic.