The Nature of Economies by Jane Jacobs (2000) [author 1916-2006]
The book jacket flap praises this book as a modern urban classic. The book “is written in the form of a Platonic dialogue” which I hate.
“The conversation over coffee among five contemporary New Yorkers. . . discuss[es]: Does economic life obey the same rules as those governing the system in nature? For example, can the way fields and forests maximize their intakes and uses of sunlight teach us something about how economics expend wealth and jobs and can do this in environmental beneficial ways?”
Wikipedia has a good article on her writings and activism.
The book is difficult to read despite what reviewers say. The drifty conversation model makes it difficult to follow a theme. The multiple personalities that express various points of view are difficult to grasp as entire characters. A novel would build some backstory so the points of view would have something on which to anchor their views.