Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Jane Jacobs (1916-2006)

An Urban Legend

Her first book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, published in 1961, became a bible for neighbourhood organizers and what she termed the “foot people”.

It made the case against the utopian planning culture of the times — residential high-rise development, expressways through city hearts, slum clearances, and desolate downtowns.

She believed that residential and commercial activity should be in the same place, that the safest neighbourhoods teem with life, short winding streets are better than long straight ones, low-rise housing is better than impersonal towers, that a neighbourhood is where people talk to one another. She liked the small-scale.

Toronto Star

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