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International Cities: Information & Statistics: Encyclopedias
& Reference Sources

This guide focuses on resources that provide difficult-to-find data and other information about individual cities outside the United States, including some comparative sources. I have excluded country-level data and information resources.

Encyclopedias/Reference Sources with Information about International Cities

Capital Cities around the World: An Encyclopedia of Geography, History, and Culture. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO. 2013.
(Olin Reference G 140 .C93 2013 +)
Essays provide substantially equal treatment for the 202 capital cities of 198 countries (a few have dual capitals). Especially interesting for the background on capitals of smaller countries. Each essay has five sections--a brief introductory paragraph, historical overview, major landmarks, culture and society, and a short bibliography.


Cities of the Middle East and North Africa. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO. 2006.
(Olin Reference HT 147.5 .C574 2006 +)
Articles about the history and culture of the 100 most important cities in the Middle East and North Africa. Useful bibliographies.


Encyclopedia of Urban Cultures: Cities and Cultures around the World. 4 vols. Danbury, CT: Grolier, 2002.
(Olin Reference HT 108.5 .E53 2002 +)
Thematic essays on cities (e.g., "Urban Geography," "Migration and Cities") are followed by individual, detailed articles about 240 cities worldwide.


Encyclopedia of Urban Studies. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2010. 2 vols.
(online; also in print: Olin Reference HT 108.5 .E65 2010 +)
Intended as an introduction to important topics in urban studies, this encyclopedia includes entries on some individual cities because of their historical importance, their importance within the literature of urban studies, or their connections with other articles in this encyclopedia.


Green Cities: An A-to-Z Guide. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2011.
(online; also in print: Fine Arts Stacks HT 241 .G735 2011
Sections on climate change, energy, transport and air quality, water, and waste management for each city profiled. Among the 148 entries, there are 27 entries on individual international cities.


Historic Cities of the Islamic World. Edited by C. Edmund Bosworth. Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2007.
(Olin Reference HT 147.5 .H57 2007 +)
Articles have been taken from the second edition of the Encyclopaedia of Islam, completed in 2004, but in many cases expanded and rewritten. All have been updated to include fresh historical information, with note of contemporary social developments and population statistics.


Literary Cultures of Latin America: A Comparative History. Volume II. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.
(Olin Reference PQ 7081 .A1 L525 2004 + v.2)
Volume II, Part 3, The Cultural Centers of Latin America, includes detailed essays on 20 Latin American cities as artistic and cultural centers (e.g., Havana, Mexico City, Bogotá, Belém, Buenos Aires, São Paulo, etc.). Lengthy bibliographies.


Urban Indicators for Managing Cities: Cities Data Base. [Manila]: Asian Development Bank, 2001.
(Kroch Asia Reference HT 147.A2 U725 2001 +)
Background essays on Asian cities with statistical data from 1998. Accompanying CD-ROM shelved in the Kroch Asia stacks contains this content as well. No newer version of this publication is currently available.

Other Asian Development Bank publications have information and data on the infrastructure of specific Asian cities. See for example the Data Book of Southeast Asian Water Utilities 2005, Part III: Water Utilities and Area Profiles for city-by-city data. You can search the ADB publications page for other titles. CUL is a depository for ADB publications.


Search the names of cities in Sage Knowledge (formerly Sage Reference Online). Sage Knowledge contains a variety of reference books (Green Cities, Encyclopedia of Consumption and Waste, Encyclopedia of Homelessness, Encyclopedia of Activism and Social Justice, etc.) that have detailed information on individual cities.

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Michael Engle
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