The Death and Life of Great American Cities

Front Cover
Vintage Books, 1961 - Architecture - 458 pages
9 Reviews
A direct and fundamentally optimistic indictment of the short-sightedness and intellectual arrogance that has characterized much of urban planning in this century, The Death and Life of Great American Cities has, since its first publication in 1961, become the standard against which all endeavors in that field are measured. In prose of outstanding immediacy, Jane Jacobs writes about what makes streets safe or unsafe; about what constitutes a neighborhood, and what function it serves within the larger organism of the city; about why some neighborhoods remain impoverished while others regenerate themselves. She writes about the salutary role of funeral parlors and tenement windows, the dangers of too much development money and too little diversity. Compassionate, bracingly indignant, and always keenly detailed, Jane Jacobs's monumental work provides an essential framework for assessing the vitality of all cities.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - gypsysmom - LibraryThing

It took me a long time to read this book but at no time did I feel like stopping. It's just that I had to take my time to digest all the important messages Jacobs gave in the book and then think about ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - AlexEpstein - LibraryThing

Written in 1961, this awesome book pretty much explains why the big city projects of the 50's and 60's didn't work, why tearing down grand old buildings and decaying low-density neighborhoods can be ... Read full review

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About the author (1961)

Jane Jacobs was the legendary author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities, a work that has never gone out of print and that has transformed the disciplines of urban planning and city architecture. Her other major works include The Economy of Cities, Systems of Survival, The Nature of Economies and Dark Age Ahead. She died in 2006.

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