Wednesday, April 26, 2006


I love cities…so did she, but with a critical eye that bucked every trend in ‘contemporary urban theory’ vs. humanizing city life. She lost – just look at downtown Akron/most of Clevo/6th Ave. in NYC/the current state of runaway building in Hoboken. But long before Richard Florida ‘discovered’ the Creative Class, she advocated an idealized/realizable urban life that emphasized neighborhoods/people-scale architecture/24-hour mixed use streetlife.

[Jane Jacobs, OC , O.Ont (May 4, 1916 – April 25, 2006) was an American-born Canadian writer and activist. She is best known for The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961), a powerful critique of the urban renewal policies of the 1950s in the United States. The book has been credited with reaching beyond planning issues to influence the spirit of the times. "Jacobs came down firmly on the side of spontaneous inventiveness of individuals, as against abstract plans imposed by governments and corporations," wrote Canadian critic Robert Fulford. "She was an unlikely intellectual warrior, a theorist who opposed most theories, a teacher with no teaching job and no university degree, a writer who wrote well but infrequently."]


also visit my pal Lisa Chamberlain's blog on NYC: Polis


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