A little slow, but then again, who else addresses the real conditions of city living without a load of fantasy academic nonsense? Jacobs highlights the issues and processes that transform city districts into hostlie or livable areas - and it's not planners and estate agents that she's thanking! Nice to see some actual research make its way into a useful, readable book on urban living / planning.
A must read for those who think that the city is an unworkable mess and that sub-urban layouts are the best solution for the world populatioons. I think it makes a great argument for variety in life and the community spirit of living in close nit communities. Great easy read
A wonderful book, rightly regarded as a classic, that will challenge your perceptions of out urban space and how we use it.Although it relates specifically to America, the ideas do transfer to a UK context. Jacobs' challenges many ideas that were gaining traction mid century- and makes claims that ring true yet still seem controversial. for example, she asks planners to guard against the idea of building dedicated play parks, and instead ensure the streets are wide enough to accommodate children's play. She's on to something- children are far safer playing in full view of their communities rather than in the fenced-in, isolated 'park' that is so common place both in private and publich housing developments. Highly recommended to all with an interest in community, architecture and sociology.
Really good seminal text on how insensitive and 'top down' public policy can ruin cities, entrepreneurial activities and the quality of life that we all value in our cities. Jacobs' book has stood the test of time and still has valid lessons for cities and urban planning today.
I first encountered this book in the early 1980s when I was a geography student taking an Urban studies' course at Manchester University. I thought it was fantastic then and my own copy was very well thumbed. Somewhere in the course of several moves I have lost the book - but recently, with a geography student daughter of my own, I have been reminded of it and am so glad that I have tracked it down via Amazon - I have to admit that at the time I did not realise how influential Jane Jacobs was in her field. I hope it lives up to my recollections of it on rereading!
A great classic. A must read for anyone who wishes to understand how our cities operate and the small things that affect it. The issues described are not just applicable to America (by which the author means from the USA) but for any city now.
This is a breathtaking book, a keynote publication on urban geography and sociology. It is as fresh today as it was when it was written in 1961. Jacobs wrote this in a forthright, no-nonsense style taking a very liberal, perhaps neo-marxist stance in her critique of (mainly American) examples of poor urban planning, leading to the marginalisation and disenfranchisement of disaffected communities. She looks the arrogance and banality of urban planning and a strong theme of social justice (or injustice!) runs through the book. This book set the scene for important later texts such as Harvey 1973 Social Justice and the City. This is a must-read book.