A report on Jane Jacobs

Jacobs as chair of a Greenwich Village civic group at a 1961 press conference
Cover of The Death and Life of Great American Cities
Jacobs fought to prevent Washington Square Park, pictured, from being demolished for a highway
Jacobs lived at 69 Albany Avenue (white porch) in Toronto's Annex for 35 years
Jacobs with Ecotrust foreman Spencer Beebe in Portland, Oregon, 2004
A "Jane's Walk" group pauses at Fort York National Historic Site in Toronto

American-Canadian journalist, author, theorist, and activist who influenced urban studies, sociology, and economics.

- Jane Jacobs
Jacobs as chair of a Greenwich Village civic group at a 1961 press conference

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Hardcover edition

The Death and Life of Great American Cities

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Hardcover edition

The Death and Life of Great American Cities is a 1961 book by writer and activist Jane Jacobs.

Robert Moses with a model of his proposed Battery Bridge

Robert Moses

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American public official who mainly worked in the New York metropolitan area.

American public official who mainly worked in the New York metropolitan area.

Robert Moses with a model of his proposed Battery Bridge
Part of the Triborough Bridge (left) with Astoria Park and its pool in the center
The headquarters of the United Nations in New York City, viewed from the East River. The Secretariat Building is on the left and the General Assembly building is the low structure to the right of the tower. This set of buildings straddles the FDR Drive, another of Moses's creations.
View of the 1964–1965 New York World's Fair as seen from the observation towers of the New York State pavilion. The Fair's symbol, the Unisphere, is the central image.
A 1964 Parks Department map showing numerous Robert Moses projects, including several highways that went unbuilt or were only partially completed.
The crypt of Robert Moses
Depiction of Moses at Fordham University, Lincoln Center

One of his most vocal critics during this time was the urban activist Jane Jacobs, whose book The Death and Life of Great American Cities was instrumental in turning opinion against Moses's plans; the city government rejected the expressway in 1964.

Monumental Axis, Brasília designed by Oscar Niemeyer and Lúcio Costa

Urban design

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About the process of designing and shaping the physical features of cities, and regional spaces, it is also about social design and other larger scale issues.

About the process of designing and shaping the physical features of cities, and regional spaces, it is also about social design and other larger scale issues.

Monumental Axis, Brasília designed by Oscar Niemeyer and Lúcio Costa
Model of Dubai Sports City in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Ebenezer Howard's influential 1902 diagram, illustrating urban growth through garden city "off-shoots"
Jane Jacobs, urban design activist and author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities.
Jakriborg, in Sweden, started in the late 1990s as a new urbanist eco-friendly new town near Malmö
L'Enfant's plan for Washington DC
Gehl Architects' project for Brighton New Road employing shared space
Protest banner during the Climate Change Camp 2007 at Heathrow Airport in London.
Boulevard Haussmann, Paris (Georges-Eugène Haussmann)
Vienna Ring Road, Vienna, (Georges-Eugène Haussmann)
Circus, Bath completed in 1768
Brasília (Oscar Niemeyer, Lúcio Costa)
Palace of Assembly (Chandigarh) (1952–1961) (Le Corbusier)
Headquarters of the United Nations
FDR Drive designed by Robert Moses
Market Street, Celebration, Florida
New urbanist Sankt Eriksområdet quarter in Stockholm, Sweden, built in the 1990s
Poundbury, Dorset
BedZED, Hackfield, London
BedZED, Hackfield, London
Arcosanti, Arizona

Important writers on urban design theory include Christopher Alexander, Peter Calthorpe, Gordon Cullen, Andres Duany, Jane Jacobs, Jan Gehl, Allan B. Jacobs, Kevin Lynch, Aldo Rossi, Colin Rowe, Robert Venturi, William H. Whyte, Camillo Sitte, Bill Hillier (Space syntax), and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk.

SoHo, Manhattan

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Neighborhood in Lower Manhattan in New York City.

Neighborhood in Lower Manhattan in New York City.

Niblo's Garden, seen here around 1887, was an entertainment venue on Broadway near Prince Street from 1823 to 1895
The E. V. Haughwout Building at Broadway and Broome Street was built in 1856–57, and has a cast-iron facade by Daniel D. Badger
Cast-iron architecture on Broome Street
SoHo also contains former industrial buildings in other architectural styles, and is also dotted with smaller structures like this Federal style house built in 1819–20.
428 Broadway (428-432) was built in 1888–89 and was designed by Samuel A. Warner in the Queen Anne style
Cast-iron buildings at 453–467 Broome Street between Mercer and Greene Streets
Chelsea Career & Technical Education High School, located just outside SoHo

Nevertheless, through the efforts of Jane Jacobs, Tony D'Apolito, Margot Gayle, and other local, civic, and cultural leaders, as well as SoHo artist residents themselves, the project was derailed.

Partizánske in Slovakia – an example of a typical planned European industrial city founded in 1938 together with a shoemaking factory in which practically all adult inhabitants of the city were employed.

Urban planning

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Technical and political process that is focused on the development and design of land use and the built environment, including air, water, and the infrastructure passing into and out of urban areas, such as transportation, communications, and distribution networks and their accessibility.

Technical and political process that is focused on the development and design of land use and the built environment, including air, water, and the infrastructure passing into and out of urban areas, such as transportation, communications, and distribution networks and their accessibility.

Partizánske in Slovakia – an example of a typical planned European industrial city founded in 1938 together with a shoemaking factory in which practically all adult inhabitants of the city were employed.
1852 city plan of Pori by G.T. von Chiewitz
Berlin - Siegessäule. August 1963. Spacious and organized city planning in Germany was official government policy dating back to Nazi rule.
Street Hierarchy and Accessibility

Similarly, in the early 21st century, Jane Jacob's writings on legal and political perspectives to emphasize the interests of residents, businesses and communities effectively influenced urban planners to take into broader consideration of resident experiences and needs while planning.

Aerial shot from 1973 of the Holland Tunnel Rotary serving eastbound tube of tunnel; a fifth exit was added in 2004

Interstate 78 in New York

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Part of the Interstate Highway System that runs from Union Township, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, to New York City.

Part of the Interstate Highway System that runs from Union Township, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, to New York City.

Aerial shot from 1973 of the Holland Tunnel Rotary serving eastbound tube of tunnel; a fifth exit was added in 2004
Model for the LOMEX as designed by Paul Rudolph
Chrystie Street transit hub
A 1964 highway map with the proposed Bushwick Expressway highlighted in red
The median of Conduit Avenue (pictured) would have been used for the Bushwick Expressway.

Members of the affected communities, led by community activist Jane Jacobs, formed groups to protest against LOMEX.

Seaside, Florida

New Urbanism

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Urban design movement which promotes environmentally friendly habits by creating walkable neighbourhoods containing a wide range of housing and job types.

Urban design movement which promotes environmentally friendly habits by creating walkable neighbourhoods containing a wide range of housing and job types.

Seaside, Florida
Market Street, Celebration, Florida
New Broad Street, Baldwin Park, Florida
Beach Drive, St. Petersburg, Florida
Celebration, Florida Post Office, designed by architect Michael Graves
A park in Celebration, Florida
Great King St, New Town, Edinburgh
A Mediterranean Revival house in Celebration, Florida
A Key West style house in Baldwin Park, Florida
New urbanist Sankt Eriksområdet quarter in Stockholm, Sweden, built in the 1990s. (More photos)
Traffic along Lornie Road, Singapore.
New Urbanism

The Death and Life of Great American Cities, written by Jane Jacobs in the early 1960s, called for planners to reconsider the single-use housing projects, large car-dependent thoroughfares, and segregated commercial centers that had become the "norm".

Greenwich Village

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Neighborhood on the west side of Lower Manhattan in New York City, bounded by 14th Street to the north, Broadway to the east, Houston Street to the south, and the Hudson River to the west.

Neighborhood on the west side of Lower Manhattan in New York City, bounded by 14th Street to the north, Broadway to the east, Houston Street to the south, and the Hudson River to the west.

MacDougal Street in Greenwich Village
453–461 Sixth Avenue in the Historic District
The intersection of West 4th and West 12th Streets
Street signs at intersection of West 10th and West 4th Streets
Map of old Greenwich Village. A section of Bernard Ratzer's map of New York and its suburbs, made ca. 1766 for Henry Moore, royal governor of New York, when Greenwich was more than 2 miles (3 km) from the city.
Gay Street at the corner of Waverly Place; the street's name refers to a colonial family, not the LGBT character of Greenwich Village
Whitney Museum of American Art's original location, at 8–12 West 8th Street, between Fifth Avenue and MacDougal Street; currently home to the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture.
The Cherry Lane Theatre is located in Greenwich Village.
The annual Greenwich Village Halloween Parade is the world's largest Halloween parade.
The Stonewall Inn, a designated U.S. National Historic Landmark and National Monument, as the site of the June 1969 Stonewall riots and the cradle of the modern gay rights movement.
Blue Note Jazz Club
The Washington Square Arch, an unofficial icon of Greenwich Village and nearby New York University
396-397 West Street at West 10th Street is a former hotel which dates from 1904, and is part of the Weehawken Street Historic District
Washington Mews in Greenwich Village; an NYU building can be seen in the background
Christopher Park, part of the Stonewall National Monument
NYPD 6th Precinct
West Village Post Office
Jefferson Market Library, once a courthouse, now serves as a branch of the New York Public Library.
Robert De Niro
Robert Downey Jr.
Hank Greenberg
Emma Stone
90 Bedford Street, used for establishing shot in Friends

The Greenwich Village of the 1950s and 1960s was at the center of Jane Jacobs's book The Death and Life of Great American Cities, which defended it and similar communities, while criticizing common urban renewal policies of the time.

Melbourne Docklands urban renewal project, a transformation of a large disused docks area into a new residential and commercial precinct for 25,000 people

Urban renewal

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Program of land redevelopment often used to address urban decay in cities.

Program of land redevelopment often used to address urban decay in cities.

Melbourne Docklands urban renewal project, a transformation of a large disused docks area into a new residential and commercial precinct for 25,000 people
1999 photograph looking northeast on Chicago's Cabrini–Green housing project, one of many urban renewal efforts
A project named Puerto Madero in Buenos Aires, transformed a large disused dock into a new luxury residential and commercial district.
A project named Xinyi Special District in Taipei, transformed large disused industrial sites into a new commercial district.
Part of Charles Booth's colour-coded poverty map, showing Westminster in 1889 – a pioneering social study of poverty that shocked the population.
"A Cellar dwelling in Nichol Street", illustration for "More Revelations of Bethnal Green", published in The Builder, vol. XXI, no. 1082 (31 October 1863)
Aerial view of downtown Fairbanks, Alaska in the early 1960s, showing the area cleared in Alaska's first urban renewal project.

In 1961, Jane Jacobs published The Death and Life of Great American Cities, one of the first—and strongest—critiques of contemporary large-scale urban renewal.

1943 City of Toronto Planning Board plan to criss-cross Toronto and suburbs with highways.

Cancelled expressways in Toronto

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The cancelled expressways in Toronto were a planned series of expressways in Toronto, Ontario, Canada that were only partially built or cancelled due to public opposition.

The cancelled expressways in Toronto were a planned series of expressways in Toronto, Ontario, Canada that were only partially built or cancelled due to public opposition.

1943 City of Toronto Planning Board plan to criss-cross Toronto and suburbs with highways.
Metro Toronto 1954 plan. With some changes, this resembles the currently built network.
The Globe and Mail announces the cancellation of the Spadina Expressway, effectively the end of expressway construction in Toronto.
Metro plan of expressway system.
Part of Don Valley Parkway / Bloor off-ramp as it crosses Bayview Avenue in the Don Valley. Looking north along Bayview.
Eglinton Avenue West meets Black Creek Drive in York. This was intended to have been the eastern terminus of the Richview Expressway.
Support pillars from the disassembled Lake Shore portion of the expressway are all that remain of the plan, repurposed by a local artist after the segment was demolished.

A new resident to The Annex, Jane Jacobs, had been instrumental in blocking the Lower Manhattan Expressway in New York City before moving to Canada in 1969.