Cities are experiencing a renaissance today, because we've begun to understand how they really work -- and how to make them work better for people. This book is a lively, readable account of two revealing figures in the history of that renaissance: the urban economist Jane Jacobs and the architect Christopher Alexander. Their key insights have shaped several generations of scholars, professionals, and activists. However, as the book argues, this renaissance is still immature, and more must be done to achieve its promise -- especially in an age of rapid, often sprawling urbanization. The author is a noted scholar on both Jacobs and Alexander, and a participant in the development of the "New Urban Agenda," a historic United Nations agreement emphasizing the pivotal role of cities and towns in meeting the challenges of the future. As the book documents, Jacobs and Alexander played key roles in formulating the conceptual insights behind the New Urban Agenda, and they continue to offer us crucial implementation lessons for the years ahead. This book is ideal for students, professionals, government officials, activists, and anyone who is interested in the future of cities.