By Dirk Schubert

Jane Jacobs's recognized ebook The dying and lifetime of nice American towns (1961) has challenged the self-discipline of city making plans and resulted in a paradigm shift. arguable within the Nineteen Sixties, such a lot of her principles turned mostly approved inside of a decade or so after booklet, not just in North the United States yet all over the world, because the articles during this quantity reveal. in line with cross-disciplinary and transnational methods, this booklet deals new insights into her advanced and infrequently contrarian state of mind in addition to analyses of her impression on city making plans conception and the results for making plans perform. Now, greater than 50 years after the preliminary book, in a interval of speedy globalisation and deregulated techniques in making plans, new demanding situations come up. The contributions during this e-book argue that it's not attainable just to stick with Jane Jacobs's rules to the letter, yet in its place it can be crucial to contextualize them, to appear for proper classes for towns and planners, and severely to reconsider why and the way a few of her principles should be up-to-date. Bringing jointly a world staff of students and writers, this quantity develops conclusions in keeping with new examine as to how her paintings should be re-interpreted below varied conditions and used in the present debate in regards to the proclaimed ’millennium of the city’, the twenty first century.

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Additional info for Contemporary Perspectives on Jane Jacobs: Reassessing the Impacts of an Urban Visionary

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Jane Jacobs and the Self-Organizing City 23 Jane often said to me that she realized she had been writing the same book, over and over, through her writing career. There are consistent threads in her work, but that requires reading it all, again and over time, to piece it together, something few people have done. I tease my American friends and colleagues that they seem to have not read a book after 1961 (the year The Death and Life of Great American Cities was published). Some earnest readers have read the two books on economics that followed: The Economy of Cities and Cities and the Wealth of Nations.

Do it based on Jane’s thinking of self-organization” was what he instructed. I hadn’t a clue what he was talking about, and set off to read Death and Life again, which I had only skimmed as an undergraduate 20 years before. Self-organization is one of those things that once you start watching for, you see all the time. Jane was an early observer to write about what is now a common term celebrated in the life sciences, organizational development, computer software design, social network analysis, theoretical physics and quantum mechanics, public health, social work and community development, and theology even!

To a practitioner like me, a practical way to see the Jacobs “way” was in New Orleans following the collapse of the levee protection system that flooded New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Dispatched there by a US grant-maker called blue moon fund, my initial several months were spent listening to the locals: what were their priorities, aspirations, needs? Deluged not only by floodwaters but also “experts” of every persuasion telling them what they must do, New Orleanians gradually coalesced at the most granular level.

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