Vital Little Plans

The Short Works of Jane Jacobs
Author: Jane Jacobs
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 0399589619
Category: Social Science
Page: 544
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A career-spanning selection of previously uncollected writings and talks by the legendary author and activist No one did more to change how we look at cities than Jane Jacobs, the visionary urbanist and economic thinker whose 1961 book The Death and Life of Great American Cities started a global conversation that remains profoundly relevant more than half a century later. Vital Little Plans is an essential companion to Death and Life and Jacobs’s other books on urbanism, economics, politics, and ethics. It offers readers a unique survey of her entire career in forty short pieces that have never been collected in a single volume, from charming and incisive urban vignettes from the 1930s to the raw materials of her two unfinished books of the 2000s, together with introductions and annotations by editors Samuel Zipp and Nathan Storring. Readers will find classics here, including Jacobs’s breakout article “Downtown Is for People,” as well as lesser-known gems like her speech at the inaugural Earth Day and a host of other rare or previously unavailable essays, articles, speeches, interviews, and lectures. Some pieces shed light on the development of her most famous insights, while others explore topics rarely dissected in her major works, from globalization to feminism to universal health care. With this book, published in Jacobs’s centenary year, contemporary readers—whether well versed in her ideas or new to her writing—are finally able to appreciate the full scope of her remarkable voice and vision. At a time when urban life is booming and people all over the world are moving to cities, the words of Jane Jacobs have never been more significant. Vital Little Plans weaves a lifetime of ideas from the most prominent urbanist of the twentieth century into a book that’s indispensable to life in the twenty-first. Praise for Vital Little Plans “Jacobs’s work . . . was a singularly accurate prediction of the future we live in.”—The New Republic “In Vital Little Plans, a new collection of the short writings and speeches of Jane Jacobs, one of the most influential thinkers on the built environment, editors Samuel Zipp and Nathan Storring have done readers a great service.”—The Huffington Post “A wonderful new anthology that captures [Jacobs’s] confident prose and her empathetic, patient eye for the way humans live and work together.”—The Globe and Mail “[A timely reminder] of the clarity and originality of [Jane Jacobs’s] thought.”—Toronto Star “[Vital Little Plans] comes to the foreground for [Jane Jacobs’s] centennial, and in a time when more of Jacobs’s prescient wisdom is needed.”—Metropolis “[Jacobs] changed the debate on urban planning. . . . As [Vital Little Plans] shows, she never stopped refining her observations about how cities thrived.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune “[Jane Jacobs] was one of three people I have met in a lifetime of meeting people who had an aura of sainthood about them. . . . The ability to radiate certainty without condescension, to be both very sure and very simple, is a potent one, and witnessing it in life explains a lot in history that might otherwise be inexplicable.”—Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker “Essential reading . . . [Jacobs's] observational genius, practical wisdom, and moral courage are on full display here.”—Matthew Desmond, New York Times bestselling author of Evicted

Vital Little Plans

The Short Works of Jane Jacobs
Author: Jane Jacobs
Publisher: Short Books
ISBN: 178072313X
Category: Architecture
Page: 544
View: 4836

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From the INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED author of the modern classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities No one did more to change how we look at cities than Jane Jacobs, the visionary urbanist and economic thinker whose 1961 book The Death and Life of Great American Cities started a global conversation that remains profoundly relevant more than half a century later. Vital Little Plans is an essential companion to Death and Life and Jacobs' other books on urbanism, economics, politics, and ethics. It offers readers a unique survey of her entire career in 40 short pieces that have never been collected in a single volume, from charming and incisive urban vignettes from the 1930s to the raw materials of her two unfinished books of the 2000s, together with introductions and annotations by editors Samuel Zipp and NathanStorring. Readers will find classics here, including Jacobs' breakout article 'Downtown Is for People', as well as lesser-known gems like her speech at the inaugural Earth Day and a host of other rare or previously unavailable essays, articles, speeches, interviews, and lectures. Some pieces shed light on the development of her most famous insights, while others explore topics rarely dissected in her major works, from globalization to feminism to universal health care. This book, published in Jacobs's centenary year, enables contemporary readers, whether well versed in her ideas or new to her writing, to finally appreciate the full scope of her remarkable voice and vision. At a time when urban life is booming and people all over the world are moving to cities, the words of Jane Jacobs have never been more significant. Vital Little Plans weaves a lifetime of ideas from the most prominent urbanist of the twentieth century into a book that is indispensable to life in the twenty-first.

Vital Little Plans

The Short Works of Jane Jacobs
Author: Jane Jacobs
Publisher: Random House Canada
ISBN: 9780345812001
Category:
Page: 544
View: 4330

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A new book by influential urbanist Jane Jacobs, released in Jacobs' centenary, and showing her evolution as a writer and thinker. Vital Little Plans will bring together for the first time a selection of essays, articles, speeches and interviews by the late Jane Jacobs. These works shed light on the development of the ideas she made famous in her best-known works, The Death and Life of Great American Cities and The Economy of Cities, while expanding upon familiar themes with new insights. Some works also explore topics rarely directly addressed in her major works, from skyscrapers to feminism to universal health care to gentrification. Readers will find classics like her breakout article "Downtown Is for People" and a host of previously unpublished or obscure articles, speeches, and lectures that follow her entire career, from her early journalistic investigations into the specialty industries of New York City and the neighbourhoods that harboured them, to her critiques of the urban renewal regime, to her iconoclastic takes on economics, separatism, regulation, and the environment. Most importantly, it will reveal Jacobs as she herself wished to be understood: as a writer who tried to observe human life as closely as she could. The book showcases the rhythm of Jacobs' career. "A City Naturalist" collects articles from her early years in New York, where she honed her distinctive style and her interest in the commercial and everyday life of cities. "City Building" critiques contemporary architecture, city planning and urban renewal. In "How New Work Begins," she explores the economic foundations of flourishing city life, and the environmental and political implications of city growth. "The Ecology of Cities" weaves ethics, government regulation and social justice into her system of thought, and gives her integrated approach a name: "the ecology of cities." In "The Unfinished Business of Jane Jacobs," she revisits ideas from throughout her career in the context of current challenges, and turns her gaze to the uncertain future of human life.

Eyes on the Street

The Life of Jane Jacobs
Author: Robert Kanigel
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0345803337
Category: City planners
Page: 512
View: 3316

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"Chronicles the life of a noted activist who wrote seven groundbreaking books, including her most famous, The Death and Life of Great American Cities; saved neighborhoods; stopped expressways; was arrested twice; and engaged at home and on the streets in thousands of debates -- all of which she won, "--NoveList.

Dark Age Ahead


Author: Jane Jacobs
Publisher: Vintage Canada
ISBN: 0307369633
Category: Social Science
Page: 256
View: 9720

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Visionary thinker Jane Jacobs uses her authoritative work on urban life and economies to show us how we can protect and strengthen our culture and communities. In Dark Age Ahead, Jane Jacobs identifies five pillars of our culture that we depend on but which are in serious decline: community and family; higher education; the effective practice of science; taxation and government; and self-policing by learned professions. The decay of these pillars, Jacobs contends, is behind such ills as environmental crisis, racism and the growing gulf between rich and poor; their continued degradation could lead us into a new Dark Age, a period of cultural collapse in which all that keeps a society alive and vibrant is forgotten. But this is a hopeful book as well as a warning. Jacobs draws on her vast frame of reference -- from fifteenth-century Chinese shipbuilding to zoning regulations in Brampton, Ontario -- and in highly readable, invigorating prose offers proposals that could arrest the cycles of decay and turn them into beneficent ones. Wise, worldly, full of real-life examples and accessible concepts, this book is an essential read for perilous times. From the Hardcover edition.

Genius of Common Sense

Jane Jacobs and the Story of The Death and Life of Great American Cities
Author: Glenna Lang,Marjory Wunsch
Publisher: David R. Godine Publisher
ISBN: 1567923844
Category: Juvenile Nonfiction
Page: 127
View: 5139

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Presents the life and accomplishments of Jane Jacobs, focusing on her groundbreaking book, "The Death and Life of Great American Cities," which changed the face of urban planning and sociology.

The Death and Life of Great American Cities


Author: Jane Jacobs
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 052543285X
Category: Social Science
Page: 480
View: 2545

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Thirty years after its publication, The Death and Life of Great American Cities was described by The New York Times as "perhaps the most influential single work in the history of town planning....[It] can also be seen in a much larger context. It is first of all a work of literature; the descriptions of street life as a kind of ballet and the bitingly satiric account of traditional planning theory can still be read for pleasure even by those who long ago absorbed and appropriated the book's arguments." Jane Jacobs, an editor and writer on architecture in New York City in the early sixties, argued that urban diversity and vitality were being destroyed by powerful architects and city planners. Rigorous, sane, and delightfully epigrammatic, Jacobs's small masterpiece is a blueprint for the humanistic management of cities. It is sensible, knowledgeable, readable, indispensable. The author has written a new foreword for this Modern Library edition.

Systems of Survival

A Dialogue on the Moral Foundations of Commerce and Politics
Author: Jane Jacobs
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0525432884
Category: Political Science
Page: 256
View: 4980

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With intelligence and clarity of observation, the author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities addresses the moral values that underpin working life. In Systems of Survival, Jane Jacobs identifies two distinct moral syndromes—one governing commerce, the other, politics—and explores what happens when these two syndromes collide. She looks at business fraud and criminal enterprise, government’s overextended subsidies to agriculture, and transit police who abuse the system the are supposed to enforce, and asks us to consider instances in which snobbery is a virtue and industry a vice. In this work of profound insight and elegance, Jacobs gives us a new way of seeing all our public transactions and encourages us towards the best use of our natural inclinations.

Manhattan Projects

The Rise and Fall of Urban Renewal in Cold War New York
Author: Samuel Zipp
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019975070X
Category: Social Science
Page: 488
View: 7927

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Moving beyond the usual good-versus-evil story that pits master-planner Robert Moses against the plucky neighborhood advocate Jane Jacobs, Samuel Zipp sheds new light on the rise and fall of New York's urban renewal in the decades after World War II. Focusing on four iconic "Manhattan projects"--the United Nations building, Stuyvesant Town, Lincoln Center, and the great swaths of public housing in East Harlem--Zipp unearths a host of forgotten stories and characters that flesh out the conventional history of urban renewal. He shows how boosters hoped to make Manhattan the capital of modernity and a symbol of American power, but even as the builders executed their plans, a chorus of critics revealed the dark side of those Cold War visions, attacking urban renewal for perpetuating deindustrialization, racial segregation, and class division; for uprooting thousands, and for implanting a new, alienating cityscape. Cold War-era urban renewal was not merely a failed planning ideal, Zipp concludes, but also a crucial phase in the transformation of New York into both a world city and one mired in urban crisis.

Jane Jacobs: The Last Interview

and Other Conversations
Author: Jane Jacobs
Publisher: Melville House
ISBN: 1612195350
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 128
View: 3885

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“Jane Jacobs is the kind of writer who produces in her readers such changed ways of looking at the world that she becomes an oracle, or final authority.” —The New York Sun Hailed by the New York Times Book Review as “perhaps the single most influential work in the history of town planning,” Jane Jacobs’s The Death and Life of Great American Cities was instantly recognized as a masterpiece upon its publication in 1961. In the decades that followed, Jacobs remained a brilliant and revered commentator on architecture, urban life, and economics until her death in 2006. These interviews capture Jacobs at her very best and are an essential reminder of why Jacobs was—and remains—unrivaled in her analyses and her ability to cut through cant and received wisdom. From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Nature of Economies


Author: Jane Jacobs
Publisher: Vintage Canada
ISBN: 0307367088
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 208
View: 4749

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Jane Jacobs has spent years changing the way we think about economic life in general. Now, in The Nature of Economies, Jacobs proposes a radical notion that has breath-taking common sense: economies are governed by the same rules as nature itself. With the simplicity of an extremely wise and seasoned thinker, Jane Jacobs shows us that by looking to nature, we can develop economies that are both efficient and ecologically friendly. The Nature of Economies is written in dialogue form: five intelligent friends discussing over coffee how economies work. The result is a wonderfully provocative, truly ground-breaking work by one of the great thinkers of our time. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Cities and the Wealth of Nations


Author: Jane Jacobs
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0525432876
Category: Social Science
Page: 272
View: 6569

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In this eye-opening work of economic theory, Jane Jacobs argues that it is cities—not nations—that are the drivers of wealth. Challenging centuries of economic orthodoxy, in Cities and the Wealth of Nations the beloved author contends that healthy cities are constantly evolving to replace imported goods with locally-produced alternatives, spurring a cycle of vibrant economic growth. Intelligently argued and drawing on examples from around the world and across the ages, here Jacobs radically changes the way we view our cities—and our entire economy.

The Question of Separatism

Quebec and the Struggle over Sovereignty
Author: Jane Jacobs
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0525432892
Category: Political Science
Page: 192
View: 8906

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Jane Jacobs, writing from her adoptive country, uses the problems facing an independence-seeking Quebec and Canada as a whole to examine the universal problem of sovereignty and autonomy that nations great and small have struggled with throughout history. Using Norway’s relatively peaceful divorce from Sweden as an example, Jacobs contends that Canada and Canadians—Quebecois and Anglophones alike—can learn important lessons from similar sovereignty questions of the past.

Key Thinkers on Cities


Author: Regan Koch,Alan Latham
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 1473987873
Category: Social Science
Page: 280
View: 5185

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Key Thinkers on Cities provides an engaging introduction to the dynamic intellectual field of urban studies. It profiles the work of 40 innovative thinkers who represent the broad reach of contemporary urban scholarship and whose ideas have shaped the way cities around the world are understood, researched, debated and acted upon. Providing a synoptic overview that spans a wide range of academic and professional disciplines, theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches, the entry for each key thinker comprises: A succinct introduction and overview Intellectual biography and research focus An explication of key ideas Contributions to urban studies The book offers a fresh look at well-known thinkers who have been foundational to urban scholarship, including Jane Jacobs, Henri Lefebvre, Manuel Castells and David Harvey. It also incorporates those who have helped to bring a concern for cities to more widespread audiences, such as Jan Gehl, Mike Davis and Enrique Peñalosa. Notably, the book also includes a range of thinkers who have more recently begun to shape the study of cities through engagements with art, architecture, computer modelling, ethnography, public health, post-colonial theory and more. With an introduction that provides a mapping of the current transdisciplinary field, and individual entries by those currently involved in cutting edge urban research in the Global North and South, this book promises to be an essential text for anyone interested in the study of cities and urban life. It will be of use to those in the fields of anthropology, economics, geography, sociology and urban planning.

The New Pioneers

How Entrepreneurs Are Defying the System to Rebuild the Cities and Towns of America
Author: J.P. Faber
Publisher: BenBella Books, Inc.
ISBN: 1944648313
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 256
View: 6864

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Imagine a world where there are no building codes, no licensing requirements, no permit fees, no inspectors—no rules or regulations, only common sense and the desire to build something better. This is the world that forged America, the land where the early pioneers and town developers thrived. But this type of open environment is long gone. It’s prohibitively expensive for young entrepreneurs to start a business today. In fact, it is almost impossible to build anything unless you are part of a larger organization that has the expertise and resources to navigate the system. Our municipal, state, and federal codes, from business permitting and OSHA compliance to occupational licenses and tax requirements, have blossomed out of control. Today’s innovators and builders must ignore the rules, go to places where the rules are not enforced, or figure out how to get around them. The New Pioneers is the story of Americans—millennials, immigrants, artists, and entrepreneurs—who are doing just that in cities across the nation, including Detroit, San Diego, New Orleans, Phoenix, and many more. Written by journalist J.P. Faber, The New Pioneers shows the entrepreneurs of today, especially those in urban areas, how they can work around obstacles to create wealth and revive our cities. Small business owners and individual builders have the power to fix what’s broken in society—if only they are allowed to do so. This book is an optimistic look at how we can rebuild our cities and jump-start more small businesses. It shows how we can make far better use of our resources, both human and physical. The New Pioneers paves a road to success in a crumbling world. It’s time for the little guy to have a fighting chance to get ahead once again.

Jane Jacobs

Urban Visionary
Author: Alice Sparberg Alexiou
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 0813537924
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 231
View: 4614

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Today, we take for granted the wisdom of renovating old factory buildings into malls or condos, of making once decaying waterfronts like Baltimore's and New York's into vibrant public spaces, of protecting historic buildings under landmark laws, or of building public housing on a human scale rather than as high-rises. In contemporary cities, it is now common for community groups to plant gardens in empty lots, and to buy abandoned apartment buildings from the city for a dollar and fix them up. But these and other urban planning policies and practices have not always been accepted. Before they became widespread practice, they were the visionary ideas of the writer and urban commentator Jane Jacobs. Best known in the United States for her path-breaking efforts in preserving the character of Greenwich Village, Jacobs is the author of the classic 1961 book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities. This book, which launched her career, is arguably one of the most influential works ever published in urban studies. Architectural critic Herbert Muschamp wrote in the New York Times that its publication was one of twentieth-century architecture's most traumatic events. Jacobs's ideas and work, Alice Sparberg Alexiou tells the remarkable story of a woman who without any formal training in planning became a prominent and effective spokesperson for sensible urban change. Besides writing the seminal book about contemporary cities, Jacobs organized successful community battles in New York against powerful interests. She resisted urban renewal in the West Village in the 1960s, helped defeat the Lower Manhattan Expressway, advocated the pleasures of street life that she called sidewalk ballet, and opposed the original Twin Towers plans. She was also active in the anti-Vietnam War movement, which eventually led her to move to Canada. There she continued both her writing and her grass-roots activism, including helping to prevent the construction of an expressway that would have cut through several neighborhoods in Toronto. Based on a rich array of interviews and primary source material, this book brings long-overdue attention to Jacobs's far-reaching influence as an original and prescient thinker. cities don't provide some insight into. In page after page, we discover that there is also much about cities today that we owe to the insights and work of Jane Jacobs.

Becoming Jane Jacobs


Author: Peter L. Laurence
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812247884
Category: Architecture
Page: 376
View: 1983

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Jane Jacobs is universally recognized as one of the key figures in American urbanism. The author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities, she uncovered the complex and intertwined physical and social fabric of the city and excoriated the urban renewal policies of the 1950s. As the legend goes, Jacobs, a housewife, single-handedly stood up to Robert Moses, New York City's powerful master builder, and other city planners who sought first to level her Greenwich Village neighborhood and then to drive a highway through it. Jacobs's most effective weapons in these David-versus-Goliath battles, and in writing her book, were her powers of observation and common sense. What is missing from such discussions and other myths about Jacobs, according to Peter L. Laurence, is a critical examination of how she arrived at her ideas about city life. Laurence shows that although Jacobs had only a high school diploma, she was nevertheless immersed in an elite intellectual community of architects and urbanists. Becoming Jane Jacobs is an intellectual biography that chronicles Jacobs's development, influences, and writing career, and provides a new foundation for understanding Death and Life and her subsequent books. Laurence explains how Jacobs's ideas developed over many decades and how she was influenced by members of the traditions she was critiquing, including Architectural Forum editor Douglas Haskell, shopping mall designer Victor Gruen, housing advocate Catherine Bauer, architect Louis Kahn, Philadelphia city planner Edmund Bacon, urban historian Lewis Mumford, and the British writers at The Architectural Review. Rather than discount the power of Jacobs's critique or contributions, Laurence asserts that Death and Life was not the spontaneous epiphany of an amateur activist but the product of a professional writer and experienced architectural critic with deep knowledge about the renewal and dynamics of American cities.

The Economy of Cities


Author: Jane Jacobs
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0525432868
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 288
View: 9506

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In this book, Jane Jacobs, building on the work of her debut, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, investigates the delicate way cities balance the interplay between the domestic production of goods and the ever-changing tide of imports. Using case studies of developing cities in the ancient, pre-agricultural world, and contemporary cities on the decline, like the financially irresponsible New York City of the mid-sixties, Jacobs identifies the main drivers of urban prosperity and growth, often via counterintuitive and revelatory lessons.

Within Walking Distance

Creating Livable Communities for All
Author: Philip Langdon
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 1610917715
Category:
Page: 280
View: 7476

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In Within Walking Distance, journalist and urban critic Philip Langdon looks at why and how Americans are shifting toward a more human-scale way of building and living. He shows how people are creating, improving, and caring for walkable communities. To draw the most important lessons, Langdon spent time in six communities that differ in size, history, wealth, diversity, and education, yet share crucial traits: compactness, a mix of uses and activities, and human scale. To improve conditions and opportunities for everyone, Langdon argues that places where the best of life is within walking distance ought to be at the core of our thinking. This book is for anyone who wants to understand what can be done to build, rebuild, or improve a community while retaining the things that make it distinctive.

The New Urban Crisis

How Our Cities Are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Class—and What We Can Do About It
Author: Richard Florida
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465097782
Category: Social Science
Page: 336
View: 1789

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In recent years, the young, educated, and affluent have surged back into cities, reversing decades of suburban flight and urban decline. And yet all is not well, Richard Florida argues in The New Urban Crisis. Florida, one of the first scholars to anticipate this back-to-the-city movement in his groundbreaking The Rise of the Creative Class, demonstrates how the same forces that power the growth of the world's superstar cities also generate their vexing challenges: gentrification, unaffordability, segregation, and inequality. Meanwhile, many more cities still stagnate, and middle-class neighborhoods everywhere are disappearing. Our winner-take-all cities are just one manifestation of a profound crisis in today's urbanized knowledge economy. A bracingly original work of research and analysis, The New Urban Crisis offers a compelling diagnosis of our economic ills and a bold prescription for more inclusive cities capable of ensuring growth and prosperity for all.