The Death and Life of Great American Cities

Front Cover
Vintage Books, 1961 - Architecture - 458 pages
68 Reviews
A direct and fundamentally optimistic indictment of the short-sightedness and intellectual arrogance that has characterized much of urban planning in this century, The Death and Life of Great American Cities has, since its first publication in 1961, become the standard against which all endeavors in that field are measured. In prose of outstanding immediacy, Jane Jacobs writes about what makes streets safe or unsafe; about what constitutes a neighborhood, and what function it serves within the larger organism of the city; about why some neighborhoods remain impoverished while others regenerate themselves. She writes about the salutary role of funeral parlors and tenement windows, the dangers of too much development money and too little diversity. Compassionate, bracingly indignant, and always keenly detailed, Jane Jacobs's monumental work provides an essential framework for assessing the vitality of all cities.

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Review: The Death and Life of Great American Cities

User Review  - Tamara - Goodreads

Finally finished! I think Jacobs has retained a reputation for a certain cosy New-Urbanist kitchiness, and that's sadly unfair. The first few chapters, with their endless gushing lyricization of the ... Read full review

Review: The Death and Life of Great American Cities (50th Anniversary Edition)

User Review  - Jake Berlin - Goodreads

jacobs's ideas are so ingrained into modern thinking about cities that it's easy to take them for granted, but this is an incredible book -- in its clarity of thought, organization of argument, and language. Read full review

About the author (1961)

Jane Jacobs was the legendary author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities, a work that has never gone out of print and that has transformed the disciplines of urban planning and city architecture. Her other major works include The Economy of Cities, Systems of Survival, The Nature of Economies and Dark Age Ahead. She died in 2006.

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