John King says that his book, Cityscape: San Francisco and its Buildings, is a very local look at the built environment of the city, but that he uses the buildings as a lens for looking at how cities are shaped.
Adam Rogers of WIRED interviewed King:
"The kind of person who wants a city like San Francisco and that kind of life is very different than the person who wants a Los Angeles kind of life," says King. "Not to say one is better or worse, but it's just different. And its fascinating that more and more, as you see generations of this goes on, it reinforces and even creates the character. So that a place like San Francisco becomes more progressive, because that type of person is heading there."
Rogers responds, "And those people over generations are the ones who then determine either through they say to a zoning committee, or what kind of architecture they themselves do, or what they ask for from their city, what buildings get built."