The death and life of great American cities

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Random House, 1961 - Political Science - 458 pages
104 Reviews
This book is an attack on current methods of city planning and re-building. It is also an explanation of new principles and an argument for different methods from those now in use. It is the first real alternative to conventional city planning that we have had in this century. Its author, herself a city dweller and an editor ofArchitectural Forum, is direct and practical in her approach. What, she asks, makes cities work? Why are some neighborhoods full of things to do and see and why are others dull? Why does the crime rate soar in our public housing developments and why are some of our older neighborhoods, despite their evident pov-erty, so much more safe, stable and congenial? Why do some neighborhoods attract interested and responsible populations and why do others degenerate? Why are Boston's North End and the eastern and western extremes of Greenwich Village good neighborhoods and why do orthodox city planners consider them slums? What alternatives are there to current city planning and rebuilding? Conventional city planning holds that cities decline because they are blighted by too many people, by mixtures of commercial, industrial and residential uses, by old buildings and narrow streets and by small landholders who stand in the way of large-scale development. Such neighborhoods, they insist, breed apathy and crime, discourage investment and contaminate the areas around them. The response of con-ventional city planning is to tear them down, scatter their inhabitants, lay out super-blocks, and rebuild the area accord-ing to an integrated plan, with the result, as often as not, that the crime rate rises still higher, the new neighborhood is more lifeless than the old one, and the surrounding areas deteriorate even more, until the life of the whole city is threatened. But Mrs. Jacobs observes that in any number of cases these very conditions--mixed uses, dense population, old buildings, small blocks, decentralized ownership--create the very opposite of slums, neighborhoods that regenerate themselves spontaneously, that are full of variety and diversity, that attract large numbers of casual visitors and responsible new residents, that encourage investment and revitalize the areas around them. Boston's North End (condemned as a slum by or-thodox planners) is such a neighborhood, and so is Greenwich Village. Rittenhouse Square and Telegraph Hill are others. Nearly every large city can produce still other examples. Why then do some city neighborhoods die and why do others flourish? And what can city planners do to avoid the death and encourage the life of our great American cities? The solutions proposed by Mrs. Jacobs in this book represent a sharp break with conventional thinking on the subject and they carry with them the ring of simple truth which marks this book as an inevitable classic of social thought. This edition is set from the first American edition of 1961 and commemorates the seventy-fifth anniversary of Random House.

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One of the most influential books, let alone architecture books in the last century.

Review: The Death and Life of Great American Cities

User Review  - Katherine Relf-canas - Goodreads

I'd like to read further about Jane Jacobs because I think her contributions to a very male-dominated field, urban planning, in the 50s and 60s place her as a standout broad bucking the trends. I'm ... Read full review

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Contents

Introduction
3
Part One the peculiar nature of cities
27
safety
29
Copyright

24 other sections not shown

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The Death and Life of Great American Cities
The Death and Life of Great American Cities Foreword to the Modem Library Edition. by Jane Jacobs. When I began work on this book in 1958, I expected merely ...
www.walksf.org/ essays/ janejacobs.html

The Death and Life of Great American Cities
The Death and Life of Great American Cities by JANE JACOBS. O ne of the most memorable carticatures by Max Beerbohm shows George Bernard Shaw's view of the ...
www.nytimes.com/ books/ 97/ 08/ 17/ reviews/ jacobs.html

Discovering Urbanism: Book: The Death and Life of Great American ...
The Death and Life of Great American Cities is considered a social and literary classic, and it launched Jacobs into near messianic status among those who ...
discoveringurbanism.blogspot.com/ 2007/ 11/ book-death-and-life-of-great-american.html

Jacobs, Jane The death and life of great American cities
*Jacobs, Jane The death and life of great American cities. New York, Vintage Books 1961. "A classic critique of planning" "a paradigm shifter"; ...
www.tcaup.umich.edu/ urp/ urpsummerreading07.pdf

Notes on Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities
Notes on Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities.
davidpritchard.org/ sustrans/ Jac61/

The Death and Life of Great American Cities - wikisummaries, free ...
The Death and Life of Great American Cities. From wikisummaries, free book ... Jump to: navigation, search. The Death and Life of Great American Cities ...
wikisummaries.org/ The_Death_and_Life_of_Great_American_Cities

Jane Jacobs - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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 ...
en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Jane_Jacobs

Jane Jacob's "The Death and Life of Great American Cities ...
In “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” she endeavors to apply such methods of inquiry to the modern American city. Just as Locke argued that the ...
serendip.brynmawr.edu/ exchange/ node/ 260

JSTOR: The Death and Life of Great American Cities
The Death and Life of Great American Cities. JANE JACOBS. New York: Random House, 1961. 458 pp., index. $5.95. Reviewed by PAUL KUTSCHE, The Colorado ...
links.jstor.org/ sici?sici=0002-7294(196208)2%3A64%3A4%3C907%3ATDALOG%3E2.0.CO%3B2-F

The death and life of great American cities. By Jane Jacobs ...
344. NATIONAL. CIVIC. REVIEW. [June. shape our cities and provide recreation. and natural breathing space. Professor Gottman,. a. geographer from ...
doi.wiley.com/ 10.1002/ ncr.4100510614

About the author (1961)

Jane Jacobs is the author of several books, including the classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities, which redefined urban studies and economic policy, and the bestselling Systems of Survival. She lives and works in Toronto.


From the Trade Paperback edition.