The Death and Life of Great American Cities

The Death and Life of Great American Cities

Book - 1993
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Penetrating analysis of the functions and organization of city neighborhoods, the forces of deterioration and regeneration, and the necessary planning innovations.
Publisher: New York : Modern Library, 1993.
Edition: Modern Library edition
ISBN: 9780679600473
Characteristics: xxiv, 598 pages ;,20 cm.


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Jul 28, 2019

"The scenes that illustrate this book are all about us. For illustrations, please look closely at real cities. While you are looking, you might as well also listen, linger and think about what you see."-Jane Jacobs
Contra the other commentators, I think this seminal 1961 book is still relevant, insightful, and provocative, especially given the rampant gentrification we see in many our cities. She also deals, albeit not as fully as one may want, with race, inequity, and poverty, which is probably even more relevant in 2019. Anyone concerned about cities and what cities means should read this. Also pick up "Wrestling with Moses," which is about her clash with the tyrannical city planner Robert Moses.

Jul 22, 2019


Jul 21, 2018

The first part contains some very acute analysis, but is now showing its age badly. One has to wonder if Ms Jacob’s vision of city centres packed with a mixture of small tradesmen, tourists and home-owners is gone for ever, however desirable it may be. On that basis I did not pursue the remainder of the book on recommendations for achieving her preferred state.

Aug 03, 2017

I reread this book after a many year interval to see how it would hold up to changed circumstances and increased scrutiny. It doesn't hod up very well, I'm afraid. Far too long. Mostly common sense, but not necessarily true, and not testable. Contradictory and tautological. And today's street users are focused on their gadgets, not other users, so the premise is false.

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