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Jane Jacobs 1916-2006

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Jane Jacobs, the influential writer of The Death and Life of Great American Cities died this morning in Toronto.

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Jane Jacobs, the influential writer of The Death and Life of Great American Cities died this morning in Toronto.

Jane Jacobs was a giant among intellectuals when it comes to thinking and doing something about urban planning and living within an urban envirnoment Her seminal work, The Death and Life of American Cities, stands as a testament in letting cities live as a series of small communities as they always have throughout history and never let the planners to destory the past in pursuit in some utopian vision of urban planning that has given us today far too many cities with dead and dying city cores. It was through her efforts that she help stopped development in areas like New York's Soho and Chinatown districts and Toronto's Annex area. She provided the inspiration that helps community activists today preserve neighbourhoods and keeps city living at a human scale. Many owe her a debt of gratitude that they can live in vibrant neighbourhoods today in the cities.

She will be missed.

The Toronto Star article about her life.

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Her page on Wikipedia link. There's many links to articles and such about her at the bottom of the page.

Short New York Times article link. I'm sure there will be a larger article in the Times tomorrow.

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Even living until age 89, we lost her too soon. She was still very active.

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I'm sorry to hear she died. Her writing and long-standing service to New York and Toronto will surely be missed.

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It's unfortunate that most cities in the USA are still ignoring the advice put forth by this woman. We continue to build ever expanding car oriented suburban cities. Even more disturbing is the trend these days to turn urban cores into "entertainment districts" that are full of high priced condos, expensive sports venues, and chain restaurants. I am not so sure these are much better.

Every city planner and politician should be required to read Jane Jacob's books.

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It's unfortunate that most cities in the USA are still ignoring the advice put forth by this woman. We continue to build ever expanding car oriented suburban cities. Even more disturbing is the trend these days to turn urban cores into "entertainment districts" that are full of high priced condos, expensive sports venues, and chain restaurants. I am not so sure these are much better.

Every city planner and politician should be required to read Jane Jacob's books.

The Death and Life of Great American Cities rises to the level of literature. It was required reading in my architecture education - she even won the medal of architecture given by my school each year to an architect, landscape architect or urban planner. Agreed, it should definitely be requisite reading for planners and politicians but also, and perhaps most importantly, real estate developers.

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It's unfortunate that most cities in the USA are still ignoring the advice put forth by this woman. We continue to build ever expanding car oriented suburban cities. Even more disturbing is the trend these days to turn urban cores into "entertainment districts" that are full of high priced condos, expensive sports venues, and chain restaurants. I am not so sure these are much better.

Every city planner and politician should be required to read Jane Jacob's books.

Yeah, seriously, I don't get it. Everyone now knows the ills of they suburban way, yet cities and towns refuse to re-write zoning laws (or just friggen get rid of them as they are completely...) and continue to encourage suburban development, especially commercial suburban for tax base purposes. What gives? Do the city planners out there not have planning degrees?

And your comment about city centers becoming overpriced entertainment districts, while in a way I beleive this is way better than suburban development, I do not like the trend that are cities are to become wealthy enclaves. I have this fear that all the downtown condos being developed aren't going to lead to better mass transit like we are all hoping, but rather just continue to support our car culture via parking garages instead of driveways. I hope this won't be the case, but I'm a pessimist.

Anyway, RIP Jane Jacobs, "eyes on the street" I'll never forget it.

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It's unfortunate that most cities in the USA are still ignoring the advice put forth by this woman. We continue to build ever expanding car oriented suburban cities.

This is true, and the scary part is that even with the progress of redeveloping urban areas, the suburban development will still take up the vast majority of growth over the next 50 years.

Even more disturbing is the trend these days to turn urban cores into "entertainment districts" that are full of high priced condos, expensive sports venues, and chain restaurants. I am not so sure these are much better.

Perhaps not, but I think that it is better than having the urban wastelands that existed for everal decades in most cities (and still exists in many).

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The Death and Life of Great American Cities rises to the level of literature. It was required reading in my architecture education - she even won the medal of architecture given by my school each year to an architect, landscape architect or urban planner. Agreed, it should definitely be requisite reading for planners and politicians but also, and perhaps most importantly, real estate developers.

May I ask what architecture school? I have a lot of respect for institutions that honor Jane Jacobs and include her books in their curriculum.

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May I ask what architecture school? I have a lot of respect for institutions that honor Jane Jacobs and include her books in their curriculum.

University of Virginia. She was awarded the Thomas Jefferson Medal of Architecture in 1996, the award's 30th year. Other winners include Mies Van der Rohe, Aalto, Breur, Sert, Pei, Tange, Mumford, Huxtable, Venturi, Maki, Gehry, Glenn Murcutt, Williams & Tsien, Ban, Zumthor, Turrell, former NY mayor Lindsay, NY Senator Moynihan, etc. - pretty good company.

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