"History is filled with stories of cities subject to sieges, plagues, massacres, sackings, fires, floods, and earthquakes. Cities suffered from atomic and conventional bombings, rebellions and barricaded revolutionaries. They have been burned to the ground, buried in volcanic ash, and even irradiated. Almost all conceivable man-made and natural attacks have been leveled at cities, for as long as they’ve been around.

And yet, each city that has been thus afflicted is still around. They’ve not just bounced back, they’ve grown to be stronger than before. Both in size and number. There are over 1680 cities with more than 300,000 inhabitants. There are over 40 cities (conurbations) with more than 10 million inhabitants each. The largest is about to be home to over 40 million residents. There are tens of thousands of cities of a size that a few centuries ago would have been only hundreds. Few, very few, cities have “failed”. The formation of a ghost town is so uncommon that they are objects of fascination. Ancient cities are likely to still exist as modern cities. The exceptions make the rule."