Death & Life of Great Cities

Jane Jacobs

Thirty years after its publication, The Death and Life of Great American Cities was described by The New York Times as “perhaps the most influential single work in the history of town planning….[It] can also be seen in a much larger context. It is first of all a work of literature; the descriptions of street life as a kind of ballet and the bitingly satiric account of traditional planning theory can still be read for pleasure even by those who long ago absorbed and appropriated the book’s arguments.”

Jane Jacobs, an editor and writer on architecture in New York City in the early sixties, argued that urban diversity and vitality were being destroyed by powerful architects and city planners. Rigorous, sane, and delightfully epigrammatic, Jacobs’s small masterpiece is a blueprint for the humanistic management of cities. It is sensible, knowledgeable, readable, indispensable.

Jane100 is a year-long celebration until May 2017 of the life and legacy of Jane Jacobs, the inspiring urban theorist, author and citizen activist who made Toronto her home.

Jane’s Walks number 1300 walks (2015 data) in 189 cities across 6 continents and will continue to grow as it is about ordinary people sharing what they know about their community.

She said “every perspective is important to building a vibrant and healthy city.” It’s a community based approach to city building!

created by robertson mcclure