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Described by the New York Times as “America’s uber-geographer,” Joel Kotkin is an internationally-recognized authority on global, economic, political and social trends. His new book, THE HUMAN CITY: Urbanism for the Rest of Us, to be published by Agate in April, 2016.

Mr. Kotkin is the Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University in Orange, California and Executive Director of the Houston-based Center for Opportunity Urbanism ( He is Executive Editor of the widely read website and writes the weekly “New Geographer” column for He serves on the editorial board of the Orange County Register and writes a weekly column for that paper, and is a regular contributor to the Daily Beast and Real Clear Politics.

He is the author of seven previously published books, including the widely praised THE NEW CLASS CONFLICT (Telos Press), which describes the changing dynamics of class in America.

Other past books include THE NEXT HUNDRED MILLION: America in 2050, published by The Penguin Press. The book explores how the nation will evolve in the next four decades. THE CITY: A GLOBAL HISTORY and TRIBES: How Race, Religion and Identity Are Reshaping the Global Economy, were also published in numerous languages including Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, German and Arabic.

Mr. Kotkin has published reports on topics ranging from the future of class in global cities to the places with the best opportunities for minorities. His 2013 report, “Post- familialism: Humanity’s Future,” an examination of the world’s future demography, was published by the Civil Service College of Singapore and Chapman University and has been widely commented on not only in the United States, but in Israel, Brazil, Canada and other countries.

Over the past decade, Mr. Kotkin has completed studies focusing on several major cities, including a worldwide study focusing on the future of London, Mumbai and Mexico City, and studies of New York, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Houston, San Bernardino and St. Louis, among others. In 2010 he completed an international study on “the new world order” for the Legatum Institute in London, UK that traced trans-national ethnic networks, particularly in East Asia. He also has worked in smaller communities, including a report -working with Praxis Strategy Group - on the rise of the Great Plains for Texas Tech University.

Currently Kotkin is coordinating major studies on Texas urbanism, the future of localism and the re-industrialization of the American heartland for the Center for Opportunity Urbanism. As director of the Center for Demographics and Policy at Chapman, he was the lead author of a major study on housing, and is currently involved in a project about the future of Orange County, CA.

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Watch Joel in this feature on the role of central planning in Los Angeles. View large version.

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"Greenurbia is the suburbs of the future. The suburbs of the 1950s were bedroom communities for people who commuted into the city. Today, there’s much more employment in the suburbs, and the big change is the number of people working full-time or part-time at home. Having people commute from one computer screen to another doesn’t make sense."

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Praise for The Next Hundred Million

Kotkin has a striking ability to envision how global forces will shape daily family life, and his conclusions can be thought-provoking as well as counterintuitive. It's amazing there isn't more public discussion about the enormous changes ahead, and reassuring to have this talented thinker on the case. — Jennifer Ludden, NPR national desk correspondent

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