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Extreme Cities: The Peril and Promise of Urban Life in the Age of Climate Change
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Verso Books 2017
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Description
A cutting exploration of how cities drive climate change while being on the frontlines of the coming climate crisis
How will climate change affect our lives? Where will its impacts be most deeply felt? Are we doing enough to protect ourselves from the coming chaos? In Extreme Cities, Ashley Dawson argues that cities are ground zero for climate change, contributing the lion's share of carbon to the atmosphere, while also lying on the frontlines of rising sea levels. Today, the majority of the world's megacities are located in coastal zones, yet few of them are adequately prepared for the floods that will increasingly menace their shores. Instead, most continue to develop luxury waterfront condos for the elite and industrial facilities for corporations. These not only intensify carbon emissions, but also place coastal residents at greater risk when water levels rise.
In Extreme Cities, Dawson offers an alarming portrait of the future of our cities, describing the efforts of Staten Island, New York, and Shishmareff, Alaska residents to relocate; Holland's models for defending against the seas; and the development of New York City before and after Hurricane Sandy. Our best hope lies not with fortified sea walls, he argues. Rather, it lies with urban movements already fighting to remake our cities in a more just and equitable way.
As much a harrowing study as a call to arms Extreme Cities is a necessary read for anyone concerned with the threat of global warming, and of the cities of the world.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
10/17/2017
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781784780371
ASIN:
B01BJRAU98
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Ashley Dawson. (2017). Extreme Cities: The Peril and Promise of Urban Life in the Age of Climate Change. Verso Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Ashley Dawson. 2017. Extreme Cities: The Peril and Promise of Urban Life in the Age of Climate Change. Verso Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Ashley Dawson, Extreme Cities: The Peril and Promise of Urban Life in the Age of Climate Change. Verso Books, 2017.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Ashley Dawson. Extreme Cities: The Peril and Promise of Urban Life in the Age of Climate Change. Verso Books, 2017. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
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Date Updated:
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title
Extreme Cities
fullDescription
A cutting exploration of how cities drive climate change while being on the frontlines of the coming climate crisis
How will climate change affect our lives? Where will its impacts be most deeply felt? Are we doing enough to protect ourselves from the coming chaos? In Extreme Cities, Ashley Dawson argues that cities are ground zero for climate change, contributing the lion's share of carbon to the atmosphere, while also lying on the frontlines of rising sea levels. Today, the majority of the world's megacities are located in coastal zones, yet few of them are adequately prepared for the floods that will increasingly menace their shores. Instead, most continue to develop luxury waterfront condos for the elite and industrial facilities for corporations. These not only intensify carbon emissions, but also place coastal residents at greater risk when water levels rise.
In Extreme Cities, Dawson offers an alarming portrait of the future of our cities, describing the efforts of Staten Island, New York, and Shishmareff, Alaska residents to relocate; Holland's models for defending against the seas; and the development of New York City before and after Hurricane Sandy. Our best hope lies not with fortified sea walls, he argues. Rather, it lies with urban movements already fighting to remake our cities in a more just and equitable way.
As much a harrowing study as a call to arms Extreme Cities is a necessary read for anyone concerned with the threat of global warming, and of the cities of the world.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Top 10)
      • content: "Books on climate change are a dime a dozen now, but few, if any, truly reckon with the potential scale of the disasters that await. Dawson reveals the inadequacies of current plans to deal with the problems that cities around the world will face. Forget such buzzwords as 'green cities,' 'resilience,' and 'sustainable development'--the age of 'disaster communism' is here."
        --Publishers Weekly ("Best Books 2017"
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from August 28, 2017
        Dawson (Extinction: A Radical History), a professor of English at CUNY, takes aim at the empty rhetoric of “green cities” in this forcefully argued and eye-opening polemic. The book’s locales are marked by “stark economic inequality”—the growing gap between those who can afford to insulate themselves from the consequences of climate change and those who cannot. Using New York City as his primary case study, Dawson argues that cities are both on the front lines of climate change and contribute disproportionately to it. Much-touted “fixes” to urban congestion and fragility, such as waterfront development and privately developed affordable-housing projects, serve only to reinforce social and economic inequalities while causing waves of what he dubs “environmental blowback.” Moreover, rising sea levels will likely also necessitate a retreat from coastal cities. For Dawson, countering the threat of climate change must involve dismantling the system of global capitalism that has pushed civilization to the brink of “climate chaos.” The book’s synthesis of reportage, urban history, and climate science can result in the oversimplification of certain issues, but Dawson doesn’t shy away from tough conclusions and makes clear that real climate justice must build “on anti-imperialist, antiracist, and feminist movements.” Dawson makes a convincing case that, unless urban dwellers and civic leaders engage in a fundamental reconceptualization of the city and whom it serves, the future of urban life is dim.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        August 15, 2017
        A book that conveys much more of the peril than the promise of today's urban life in the age of climate change.After Donald Trump made the ill-advised decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement, much has been made of the city as a bulwark against climate change, but Dawson (English/CUNY; Extinction: A Radical History, 2016, etc.) explains why today's cities may be too simple an antidote to our future problems. While experts often note that the per capita carbon emissions of city-dwellers are lower than in rural areas, the author points out that not only do cities supply a disproportionate contribution to the planet's overall carbon budget, but within cities like New York, just a few luxury high rises account for the bulk of that contribution. This leads inevitably to what Dawson calls "climate apartheid," a future in which "wealthy elites" profit from environmental crises while those already struggling face disaster. Using examples of imperiled cities around the world, but returning repeatedly to New York in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the author documents the failures of city planners, governments, urban recovery efforts, and even local first responders when faced with environmental challenges. While based in solid research, the conclusions Dawson draws are often so hypercritical and contentious that they might become unconvincing. The book is a call for a revolutionary shift, not just regarding the structure and function of cities, but also requiring a massive overhaul of economic, governmental, and social structures around the world. Dawson argues that our current capitalistic societies must be dismantled in order to make way for a more equitable future in which environmental conditions become increasingly unstable. A tough read that will mostly appeal to critics of neoliberalism, but also a substantive contribution to the growing dialogue about our response--or lack thereof--to climate change.

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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A cutting exploration of how cities drive climate change while being on the frontlines of the coming climate crisis
How will climate change affect our lives? Where will its impacts be most deeply felt? Are we doing enough to protect ourselves from the coming chaos? In Extreme Cities, Ashley Dawson argues that cities are ground zero for climate change, contributing the lion's share of carbon to the atmosphere, while also lying on the frontlines of rising sea levels. Today, the majority of the world's megacities are located in coastal zones, yet few of them are adequately prepared for the floods that will increasingly menace their shores. Instead, most continue to develop luxury waterfront condos for the elite and industrial facilities for corporations. These not only intensify carbon emissions, but also place coastal residents at greater risk when water levels rise.
In Extreme Cities, Dawson offers an alarming portrait of the future of our cities,...
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