A Sci-Fi Novel About an Urban Planners and a War Over Gentrification
Christine Ro introduces The Municipalists, a new novel written by Seth Fried and published by Penguin Books. The appeal of this novel to the Planetizen audience should be apparent in Ro's lede:
“Density and dispersal. It’s a war we fight with our own lives everyday.” If there’s a thesis underpinning The Municipalists, the debut novel by Seth Fried, it’s this thought, offered early on by the protagonist, Henry. He’s the kind of guy you don’t hear much from in fiction: a somber, straitlaced urban planner who’s fond of cataloguing the many ways that cities outperform rural areas in terms of health outcomes, education, the environment, et cetera.
Ro interviewed Fried to provide more background and insight into the themes of the book. Fried, for instance, says he would have loved to just give everyone a copy of Jane Jacobs's Death and Life in the American City, but Jacobs didn't write enough jokes.