Wh at do the ancient city of Babylon and the present-day metropolis of Tokyo have in common? What factors undermine the surge of the biggest cities in the world ? explaining the evolution and turnover in the world hierarchy of big cities? The author challenges the traditional theories on urban growth with a novel approach, rather than focusing on new technologies, innovations and advanced industries, he proposes a new geographical theory based on three different factors: agriculture, army and money. On the scale of the planet and through all periods of history, the biggest cities of the world have always been inhabited by a large impoverished majority and a small wealthy minority. This keen observation provides the basis for a precise analysis of population movements that is enriched by a worldwide and historical database. This study tackles the issue of the geopolitical situation of territories and their global networks, the economic production of cities, the military powers of empires, agricultural policies and supplying of food in great communities. This work sheds a light on the critical factors that put big cities at the center of the world big imbalances.
François Moriconi-Ebrard : François Moriconi-Ebrard, is a former geography professor at the university and is now a researcher at the CNRS. He created the worldwide database Géopolis. He wrote two books and several articles on the question of the world urbanization. In 1998, he obtained the CNRS bronze medal of research.