Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Jane Jacobs, RIP

In memorium, Jane Jacobs in her own words:

"Being human is itself difficult, and therefore all kinds of settlements (except dream cities) have problems. Big cities have difficulties in abundance, because they have people in abundance. But vital cities are not helpless to combat even the most difficult problems."
"Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody."

"Vital cities have marvelous innate abilities for understanding, communicating, contriving, and inventing what is required to combat their difficulties... Lively, diverse, intense cities contain the seeds of their own regeneration, with energy enough to carry over for problems and needs outside themselves."

"In our American cities, we need all kinds of diversity."

"Intricate minglings of different uses in cities are not a form of chaos. On the contrary, they represent a complex and highly developed form of order."
Part I of The Death and Life of Great American Cities was one of the most powerful things I've ever read. It changed my life, and probably shaped who I am, where I live, and how I live. I just might have to pick it up and re-read it now.

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