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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- Author : Zachary David Cartaya
- Publisher : Unknown
- Release Date : 2011
- Genre : City planning
- Pages : 194
- ISBN : OCLC:747101231
This paper examines how planning ideology and practice in Cincinnati have changed over the last fifty years, and whether or not there are any remnants of Jane Jacobs' ideals reflected in current planning activities. Specifically, this paper examines changes in planning policy toward the four conditions for city diversity discussed in Part Two of The Death and Life of Great American Cities: mixed primary uses, short blocks, aged buildings, and concentration of people. At a macro level of analysis, Cincinnati's policies have changed significantly over time. However, when examined more closely, two things become apparent. First, some of the broad changes in thinking that have taken place had already occurred when Jacobs first published Death and Life in 1961. Second, in many respects, city policies toward mixed-uses, aged buildings, short blocks, and concentration still do not completely reflect Jacobs' ideals.
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.
SuperSummary, a modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, offers high-quality study guides for challenging works of literature. This 77-page guide for "The Death and Life of Great American Cities" by Jane Jacobs includes detailed chapter summaries and analysis covering 22 chapters, as well as several more in-depth sections of expert-written literary analysis. Featured content includes commentary on major characters, 25 important quotes, essay topics, and key themes like The Role of Community Activism in Urban Planning and Development and Major Urban Movements and their Shortcomings.
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.
This volume begins with the premise that the deepest respect is shown through honest critique. One of the greatest problems in understanding the influence of the author on cities and planning is that she has for much of the past five decades been "Saint Jane, the housewife" who upended urban renewal and gave us back our cities. Over time, she has become a saintly stick figure, a font of simple wisdom for urban health that allows many to recite her ideas and few to understand their complexity. The author has been the victim of her own success. This book gives this important thinker the respect she deserves, reminding planning professionals of the full range and complexity of her ideas and offering thoughtful critiques on the unintended consequences of her ideas on cities and planning today. It also looks at the international relevance – or lack thereof – of her work, with essays on urbanism in Abu Dhabi, Argentina, China, the Netherlands, and elsewhere.
In this book, Jane Jacobs, building on the work of her debut, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, investigates the delicate way cities balance the interplay between the domestic production of goods and the ever-changing tide of imports. Using case studies of developing cities in the ancient, pre-agricultural world, and contemporary cities on the decline, like the financially irresponsible New York City of the mid-sixties, Jacobs identifies the main drivers of urban prosperity and growth, often via counterintuitive and revelatory lessons.
Jane Jacobs's famous book The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961) has challenged the discipline of urban planning and led to a paradigm shift. Controversial in the 1960s, most of her ideas became generally accepted within a decade or so after publication, not only in North America but worldwide, as the articles in this volume demonstrate. Based on cross-disciplinary and transnational approaches, this book offers new insights into her complex and often contrarian way of thinking as well as analyses of her impact on urban planning theory and the consequences for planning practice. Now, more than 50 years after the initial publication, in a period of rapid globalisation and deregulated approaches in planning, new challenges arise. The contributions in this book argue that it is not possible simply to follow Jane Jacobs's ideas to the letter, but instead it is necessary to contextualize them, to look for relevant lessons for cities and planners, and critically to re-evaluate why and how some of her ideas might be updated. Bringing together an international team of scholars and writers, this volume develops conclusions based on new research as to how her work can be re-interpreted under different circumstances and utilized in the current debate about the proclaimed ’millennium of the city’, the 21st century.
Best known in the United States for her path-breaking efforts in preserving the character of Greenwich Village, Jane Jacobs is the author of the classic 1961 book, "The Death and Life of Great American Cities". This book tells how without any formal training in planning, Jacobs became a prominent spokesperson for sensible urban change.
As cities have gentrified, educated urbanites have come to prize what they regard as "authentic" urban life: aging buildings, art galleries, small boutiques, upscale food markets, neighborhood old-timers, funky ethnic restaurants, and old, family-owned shops. These signify a place's authenticity, in contrast to the bland standardization of the suburbs and exurbs. But as Sharon Zukin shows in Naked City, the rapid and pervasive demand for authenticity--evident in escalating real estate prices, expensive stores, and closely monitored urban streetscapes--has helped drive out the very people who first lent a neighborhood its authentic aura: immigrants, the working class, and artists. Zukin traces this economic and social evolution in six archetypal New York areas--Williamsburg, Harlem, the East Village, Union Square, Red Hook, and the city's community gardens--and travels to both the city's first IKEA store and the World Trade Center site. She shows that for followers of Jane Jacobs, this transformation is a perversion of what was supposed to happen. Indeed, Naked City is a sobering update of Jacobs' legendary 1961 book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Like Jacobs, Zukin looks at what gives neighborhoods a sense of place, but argues that over time, the emphasis on neighborhood distinctiveness has become a tool of economic elites to drive up real estate values and effectively force out the neighborhood "characters" that Jacobs so evocatively idealized.
Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) is history's most celebrated urban critic. In addition to her classic, Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jacobs authored another half dozen influential books on urban planning, economics, and design. She was also a tireless advocate of vibrant city neighborhoods. Ideas that Matter: The Worlds of Jane Jacobs offers students, enthusiasts, and critics unprecedented insights into the work of this seminal thinker. Originally published in 1997, and continually sought after ever since, this 2011 edition includes a new introduction by distinguished urban scholar Mary Rowe. The book is a unique combination of Jacobs' own writing (including previously unpublished speeches, letters, and articles), biography, and analysis by other scholars. Arranged by topic, it sheds light both on the development of Jacobs' theories and her life. A chapter on Death and Life of American Cities reveals a debate between the author and her publisher about changing the book's title. A section on Europe includes letters home from Frankfurt, Paris, London, Venice, and other cities that shaped her sensibilities. And a chapter titled "Ideas" offers analysis from ten contributors who examine Jacobs' thoughts on issues from population growth to urban infill, self-employment to the wealth of nations. What results is a captivating scrapbook, offering a distinctive understanding of Jacobs' most important ideas.
Three decades ago, urban America was troubled by escalating crime rates and a fleeing middle class, but conditions in many cities were enviable then compared to now. Some are so damaged that to restore them to their 1970 condition seems an insurmountable task, and true revitalization may seem unimaginable to those who control their fate. Yet, all is not lost. Cities in Full explores the great potential of the American city and outlines essential elements necessary for its revitalization. Steve Belmont embraces Jane Jacobs' much acclaimed prescription for urban vitality-high densities, mixed land uses, small blocks, and variously aged buildings. This book examines neighborhoods that adhere to precepts and those that do not and compares the results. He examines the destructive forces of decentralization and shows how and why they must be turned into forces of renewal. The author outlines an agenda for recentralizing commerce, housing, and transportation infrastructure and discusses how recentralization is affected by poor social and economic conditions. The author analyzes the deficiencies of current low-income housing policy and offers a strategy more favorable to cities and their metropolitan areas. Belmont exposes neighborhood political forces that sometimes thwart a city's best interests and offers an ambitious blueprint for renewal that includes creating middle and upper income housing at moderate and high densities; revitalizing neighborhood commercial streets with an urban spirit; building new centralized infrastructure; and transforming the public realm to attract the middle class. Exhaustively researched and well illustrated, this book is an invaluable resource for planners dedicated to reviving American cities.
Presents the life and accomplishments of Jane Jacobs, focusing on her groundbreaking book, "The Death and Life of Great American Cities," which changed the face of urban planning and sociology.
In this eye-opening work of economic theory, Jane Jacobs argues that it is cities—not nations—that are the drivers of wealth. Challenging centuries of economic orthodoxy, in Cities and the Wealth of Nations the beloved author contends that healthy cities are constantly evolving to replace imported goods with locally-produced alternatives, spurring a cycle of vibrant economic growth. Intelligently argued and drawing on examples from around the world and across the ages, here Jacobs radically changes the way we view our cities—and our entire economy.