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How Cities Work

It is always exciting to visit a new city and discover its hidden secrets – no matter how old you are. But as city dwellers and travelers, the majority of us will only see the more traditional landmarks and learn the most basic of a city’s history.

As adults we seem to just accept urban sprawl, skyscrapers, that our waste water simply drains away, as does the sewerage, that industries open, expand and close, that trains and buses can get us to work and that government bodies arrange for and run all of this for us. Of course we all have some knowledge about infrastructure and things like growing population, but our acceptance of how our cities work is often passed on to our children – to just accept and not question.


It is just too easy to take our children out for a morning bike ride alongside a river and not explain to them why the bike path has been made along that river, how it was made and who made it. It is also just as easy to take your children into the big city and jump in an elevator in a skyscraper and ride to the top floor without explaining to them the reason the skyscrapers there, and why there is this big city that houses numerous skyscrapers.

How do the windows on these skyscrapers get cleaned?

Why do some trains run underground?

What is underneath a fire hydrant?

How does the water get to our house to come out of the tap?


From the sewers to the skyscrapers – younger readers and armchair explorers will discover the secret workings of the city with the newest release from Lonely Planet Kids: How Cities Work.

Illustrated by James Gulliver Hancock (, How Cities Work has been created in consultation with Jill Sterrett, lecturer within the Department of Urban Planning at the University of

Lift the perforated flaps of this brilliant book to see inside buildings, and unfold the oversized gatefold pages to find out what’s going on above your head and under your feet – plus other surprising spaces.


Lonely Planet Kids: How Cities Work reveals the city as you’ve never seen it before and will have young readers observing their surroundings and questioning the reason things happen instead of simply accepting them.

A truly beautiful book that will pose and answer questions for enquiring minds of all ages, Lonely Planet Kids: How Cities Work is recommended for kids aged 5+ and sells for a RRP AU$24.99 / NZ$26.99

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by Carol Sheridan