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.
the death and life of great american cities
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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. From the Hardcover edition.
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.
"Fifty years after the publication of, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jane Jacobs is perhaps the most widely read urbanist ever. Her ideas contributed to the wholesale transformation of contemporary planning. This book reminds us of the full range and complexity of her work and offers thoughtful critiques on the consequences of her ideas for cities and planning today"--Back cover.