The Death and Life of Great American Cities


The Death and Life of Great American Cities
The Death and Life of Great American Cities
by Authors: Jane Jacobs
Released: 01 December, 1992
ISBN: 067974195X

Sales Rank: 2751

List price: $15.95
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The Death and Life of Great American Cities > Customer Review #1:
Should be Required Reading for Every Graduate of Urban Planning!

We all know what a difference lies between the ethereal and ideal world of EDUCATION and the hot asphalt of THE CITY STREETS right? Well, Ms. Jacobs really amplifies that ground zero viewpoint with wit, sardonic humor and daring insightfulness....As an Associate Planner for a city in Los Angeles County, I thought I saw and heard just about everything, including the moralists, hyper-semaritans, the beastly authoritarians and mind-numbing bureaucratic processes that alienate and disconnect home owners from that hopeful, comfortable sensation of "I own it" contentment. Jacobs makes an impressive argument regarding the seemingly impossible planning that is so badly needed but nearly non-existent in todays city management and community developmental thinking. If I had to sum up my impression of Jacobs book- its loaded with lampooning, lambasting and bullyragging, and after the smoke clears, Id simply describe the read as....damn "its a cruel cruel world."

The Death and Life of Great American Cities > Customer Review #2:

Great, but not for everyone

I loved (what I read of) this book. I live in Boston, I care about politics, policy, and societal issues in general. My wife used to work for a zoning commission, so I was familiar with some of the ethos of city planners and the pseudo-morality of zoning. This book affirmed the beliefs I already held about the ills of city planning, and the joy of laissez-faire market city growth. In short, Jacobs champions the will of cities to diversify and decide for itself (i.e. - through the free market) what kind of shops, buildings, and housing should be together and where. If you happen to agree with some of this, you will love this book. If you dont, you may be compelled and (hopefully) convinced by her writing. lt;br /gt; lt;br /gt;But as my title indicates, this is not for everyone. It is as dry as it is witty (but you have to look for the wit). Although it was published in 1961, its principles are still in place, but you may find yourself lost in the 1950s and 60s examples of the cities we currently occupy. It is not necessarily a textbook, but so scholarly that if you do not have a professional or academic association with city planning, you might, like I did, decide that while you enjoy what youve read of the book, its not of dire importance that you finish it.

The Death and Life of Great American Cities > Customer Review #3:
All you need to know about what makes a viable, renewable neighborhood and city

Jane Jacobs writes well and the book is full of a-ha! moments. Chapter 2 is brilliant. If your city or neighborhood is threatened by developers who dont share your values, or you want to plan a development that will remind people of San Francisco or Paris, then this book is for you.

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