Thirty years after its publication, The Death and Life of Great American Cities was described by The New York Times as "perhaps the most influential single work in the history of town planning....[It] can also be seen in a much larger context. It is first of all a work of literature; the descriptions of street life as a kind of ballet and the bitingly satiric account of traditional planning theory can still be read for pleasure even by those who long ago absorbed and appropriated the book's arguments." Jane Jacobs, an editor and writer on architecture in New York City in the early sixties, argued that urban diversity and vitality were being destroyed by powerful architects and city planners. Rigorous, sane, and delightfully epigrammatic, Jacobs's small masterpiece is a blueprint for the humanistic management of cities. It is sensible, knowledgeable, readable, indispensable. The author has written a new foreword for this Modern Library edition.
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Despite having no formal training in urban planning, Jane Jacobs deftly explores the strengths and weaknesses of policy arguments put forward by American urban planners in the era after World War II. They believed that the efficient movement of cars was of more value in the development of US cities than the everyday lives of the people living there. By carefully examining their relevance in her 1961 book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jacobs dismantles these arguments by highlighting their shortsightedness. She evaluates the information to hand and comes to a very different conclusion, that urban planners ruin great cities, because they don't understand that it is a city's social interaction that makes it great. Proposals and policies that are drawn from planning theory do not consider the social dynamics of city life. They are in thrall to futuristic fantasies of a modern way of living that bears no relation to reality, or to the desires of real people living in real spaces. Professionals lobby for separation and standardization, splitting commercial, residential, industrial, and cultural spaces. But a truly visionary approach to urban planning should incorporate spaces with mixed uses, together with short, walkable blocks, large concentrations of people, and a mix of new and old buildings. This creates true urban vitality.
Despite having no formal training in urban planning, Jane Jacobs deftly explores the strengths and weaknesses of policy arguments put forward by American urban planners in the era after World War II. They believed that the efficient movement of cars was of more value in the development of US cities than the everyday lives of the people living there. By carefully examining their relevance in her 1961 book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jacobs dismantles these arguments by highlighting their shortsightedness. She evaluates the information to hand and comes to a very different conclusion, that urban planners ruin great cities, because they don’t understand that it is a city’s social interaction that makes it great. Proposals and policies that are drawn from planning theory do not consider the social dynamics of city life. They are in thrall to futuristic fantasies of a modern way of living that bears no relation to reality, or to the desires of real people living in real spaces. Professionals lobby for separation and standardization, splitting commercial, residential, industrial, and cultural spaces. But a truly visionary approach to urban planning should incorporate spaces with mixed uses, together with short, walkable blocks, large concentrations of people, and a mix of new and old buildings. This creates true urban vitality.
Examines the life and accomplishments of Jane Jacobs, and focuses on her book, "The Death and Life of Great American Cities," in which she assessed American cities during the urban renewal movement and criticized the replacement structures and urban planners.
In the wake of the Great Recession, American cities from Philadelphia to San Diego saw an upsurge in hyperlocal placemaking—small-scale interventions aimed at encouraging greater equity and community engagement in growth and renewal. But the projects that were the most successful at achieving these lofty ambitions weren’t usually established by politicians, urban planners, or real estate developers; they were initiated by community activists, artists, and neighbors. In order to figure out why, The City Creative mounts a comprehensive study of placemaking in urban America, tracing its intellectual history and contrasting it with the efforts of people making positive change in their communities today. Spanning the 1950s to the post-recession 2010s, The City Creative highlights the roles of such prominent individuals and organizations as Jane Jacobs, Christopher Alexander, Richard Sennett, Project for Public Spaces, and the National Endowment for the Arts in the development of urban placemaking, both in the abstract and on the ground. But that’s only half the story. Bringing the narrative to the present, Michael H. Carriere and David Schalliol also detail placemaking interventions at more than 200 sites in more than 40 cities, combining archival research, interviews, participant observation, and Schalliol’s powerful documentary photography. Carriere and Schalliol find that while these formal and informal placemaking interventions can bridge local community development and regional economic plans, more often than not, they push the boundaries of mainstream placemaking. Rather than simply stressing sociability or market-driven economic development, these initiatives offer an alternative model of community-led progress with the potential to redistribute valuable resources while producing tangible and intangible benefits for their communities. The City Creative provides a kaleidoscopic overview of how these initiatives grow, and sometimes collapse, illustrating
- Author : Diane Ravitch
- Publisher : Hachette UK
- Release Date : 2016-06-28
- Genre : Education
- Pages : 400
- ISBN : 9780465097999
An urgent case for protecting public education, from one of America's best-known education experts In this landmark book, Diane Ravitch - former assistant secretary of education and a leader in the drive to create a national curriculum - examines her career in education reform and repudiates positions that she once staunchly advocated. Drawing on over forty years of research and experience, Ravitch critiques today's most popular ideas for restructuring schools, including privatization, the Common Core, standardized testing, the replacement of teachers by technology, charter schools, and vouchers. She shows conclusively why the business model is not an appropriate way to improve schools. Using examples from major cities like New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Denver, and San Diego, Ravitch makes the case that public education today is in peril and includes clear prescriptions for improving America's schools. The Death and Life of the Great American School System is more than just an analysis of the state of play of the American education system. It is a must-read for any stakeholder in the future of American schooling.
The first major biography of the irrepressible woman who changed the way we view and live in cities, and whose influence can still be felt in any discussion of urban planning to this day. Eyes on the Street is a revelation of the phenomenal woman who raised three children, wrote seven groundbreaking books, saved neighborhoods, stopped expressways, was arrested twice, and engaged at home and on the streets in thousands of debates--all of which she won. Here is the child who challenged her third-grade teacher; the high school poet; the journalist who honed her writing skills at Iron Age, Architectural Forum, Fortune, and other outlets, while amassing the knowledge she would draw upon to write her most famous book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Here, too, is the activist who helped lead an ultimately successful protest against Robert Moses's proposed expressway through her beloved Greenwich Village; and who, in order to keep her sons out of the Vietnam War, moved to Canada, where she became as well known and admired as she was in the United States.
The City is the best, funniest, saddest, and most thought-provoking compilation ever assembled on the urban scene. James A. Clapp has arranged more than three thousand quotations—epigrams, epithets, verses, proverbs, scriptural references, witticisms, lyrics, literary references, and historical observations—on urban life from antiquity until the present. These quotes are drawn from the written and spoken words of more than one thousand writers throughout history. This volume, with contributions from speakers, poets, song writers, politicians philosophers, scientists, religious leaders, historians, social scientists, humorists, architects, journalists, and travelers from and to many lands is designed to be used by writers, speechmakers, students, and scholars on cities and urban life. Clapp's text is striking for its sharp contrasts of urban and rural life and the urbanization process in different historical times and geographical areas. This second edition includes four hundred new entries, updated birth dates and occupations of quoted authors, and an expanded and updated introduction and preface. Clapp also added new introduction pages for each section containing pictures and unique quotations. The indexes have also been expanded to include more subjects and cities. The scope of this book is international, including entries on most major and many minor cities of the world. It is noteworthy for its pleasures as well as its insights.
Updated to reflect the most current thinking on urban studies, this new edition of "The Blackwell City Reader" brings together a wide range of essential readings relating to the analysis and experience of cities across the globe. Selections are carefully gathered from a variety of academic disciplines ranging from architecture, sociology, and literature to cultural studies, philosophy, and even psychoanalysis to provide the most diverse perspectives and in-depth coverage of the field. The new edition incorporates major developments in the study of materialities and mobilities, two areas at the heart of many contemporary debates; it also features enhanced coverage on non-Western cities that reflect recent growth trends, especially in Asia, China, and India, making it the most international reader of its kind. "The Blackwell City Reader, Second Edition" combines established and novel readings from a wide range of theoretical perspectives and geographical locales to provide an indispensable source for the most up-to-date thinking on cities of today and tomorrow.
"This book is an attack on current city planning and rebuilding." From this first sentence of the seminal 1961 bookThe Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jane Jacobs gave voice to those who believed the bulldozing, postwar policies of urban renewal were a dangerous threat to city life. She spent the next forty-five years challenging citizens to stand up for vibrant, mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods such as New York's Greenwich Village. Jane Jacobs's death in 2006 occasioned the beginnings of a critical re-evaluation of her achievements. With major new development plans—for sites from the East River to the West Side and from Lower Manhattan to Queens—either under consideration or in progress, it seems the perfect time to assess the relevance of her ideas for contemporary urban life. Block by Block is a far-ranging collection of essays about Jane Jacobs from an impressive group of writers and cultural critics including Marshall Berman, Malcolm Gladwell, Adam Gopnik, Paul Goldberger, Tama Janowitz, Ben Katchor, Phillip Lopate, Luc Sante, Bill "Reverend Billy" Talen, Colson Whitehead, and Tom Wolfe. This impressive lineupof contributors discusses the contemporary relevance of Jacobs's ideas about large-scale redevelopment, gentrification,and activism. While their viewpoints on these issues may differ, they continue the important debate begun by Jacobsabout the challenges facing New York and other great cities everywhere.
Giving Ground is prompted by two phenomena whose paradoxical convergence is currently altering our experience and conception of urban relations and city planning. On the one hand, forces of globalisation push towards conditions of homogenisation and deterritorialisation, while, on the other, a surging politics of identity barricades various groups behind particular claims and ignites violent persecutions. The covert relations between these phenomena is the focus of the essays in this volume. Giving Ground seeks to address a number of broad questions: What is the role and limit of urban space in the expression of group and individual rights and desires? Do democratic social relations require spatial propinquity? What, if any, are the characteristics of democratic urban space? What role does the individuality of cities play in the production of political culture? Contributors: Ariella Azoulay, Etienne Balibar, Lauren Berlant, Joan Copjec, Mark Cousins, Mike Davis, Samuel Delaney, Rosalind Deutsche, Thomas Elsaesser, Dean MacCannell, Michael Sorkin.