A toast to the cities

A toast to the cities


The Canadian author was in the City once again to launch his book Welcome to Urban ReJeb Brugmann  volution: How Cities Are Changing The World in collaboration with Janaagraha. “I have done business over here, and used to come here on a monthly basis for three years to conduct workshops,” the author tells Metrolife. “South India has been my school. It was over here that I understood the urbanisation of society.”

Urban Revolution takes readers on a street-level tour of the different cities of the world. The author admits to have contradicted Thomas Friedman’s theory of the world being flat.
“When I came here I noticed how unique this place is. The growth of the industries in any place is due to its uniqueness,” he says. Recollecting the time he came to Bangalore with his family, he says, “As I looked outside my flat in Koramangala, I saw an open land with a new settlement of migrants. There were about 20 shanties.”

Being a migrant himself, Jeb felt an immediate connect with these people and took an interview of theirs. “I discovered that any migrant to a City will only want to leverage the core economic advantages of that city. That’s what the game is all about.”

As a practitioner and strategist, who has been devising solutions to help local communities access the benefits of globalisation for the past 25 years, what did he think of Slumdog Millionaire? He smiles, “I have dedicated two chapters of my book to Dharavi. It’s such a strong industrial economy. There are so many MNCs that expanded from there. A slum-free plan will surely destroy those advantages.”   Said Ramesh Ramanathan from Janaagraha while introducing Jeb, “The eloquence with which you write is indicative of your passion for cities.” Post this, Jeb spoke at length on the book and the different cities that he has written about it in his book. “You will soon be the largest urban nation,” he said referring to India. The presentation was followed by a question and answer session.  

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