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Jane Jacobs (1916–2006)

Author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities

13+ Works 6,965 Members 81 Reviews 20 Favorited

About the Author

Jane Jacobs lives in Toronto. (Publisher Provided) Author and community activist Jane Jacobs was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania on May 4, 1916. She spent two years at Columbia University in the School of General Studies. She was interrogated by the U.S. government over her loyality to the country show more on March 25, 1952 and was arrested during a demonstration against the Vietnam War on April 10, 1968. She also helped defeat a plan, proposed by the New York City park commissioner Robert Moses, to build an expressway through Washington Square in the early 1960s. She moved to Toronto in 1969 partially because of her objection to the Vietnam War. She became a Canadian citizen in 1974. Her most influential book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, is a critique of 1950's urban renewal policies which, according to her, destroyed communities and created isolated, unnatural urban spaces. She received numerous honors including a lifetime achievement award from the National Building Foundation in 2000 and was appointed to the Order of Canada in 1996. In 1997, the Jane Jacobs prize was created by the City of Toronto at the Jane Jacobs: Ideas That Matter conference. She died on April 25, 2006 at the age of 89. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Works by Jane Jacobs

Associated Works

The Innocents Abroad (1869) — Introduction, some editions — 3,797 copies
American Earth: Environmental Writing Since Thoreau (2008) — Contributor — 413 copies
Writing New York: A Literary Anthology (1998) — Contributor — 274 copies
A Schoolteacher in Old Alaska: The Story of Hannah Breece (1997) — Editor, some editions — 253 copies
Readings in Planning Theory (1996) — Contributor, some editions — 85 copies
The Exploding Metropolis (1958) — Contributor — 80 copies
Toronto: Considering Self-government (2000) — Contributor — 8 copies
An Operational Guide For Micro Enterprise Projects (1969) — Foreword — 3 copies

Tagged

America (27) American history (27) architecture (173) cities (317) city (33) city planning (114) civilization (26) community (25) culture (62) design (22) economics (330) ethics (23) geography (39) goodreads (25) history (158) Jane Jacobs (39) New York (32) New York City (36) non-fiction (359) own (28) philosophy (41) planning (90) politics (110) public policy (24) read (42) social science (36) society (31) sociology (285) to-read (341) unread (28) urban (95) urban design (36) urban history (35) urban planning (321) urban policy (22) urban renewal (43) urban studies (149) urbanism (133) USA (54) wishlist (24)

Common Knowledge

Legal name
Jacobs, Jane (Butzner)
Birthdate
1916-05-04
Date of death
2006-04-25
Gender
female
Nationality
USA (birth)
Canada
Birthplace
Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA
Place of death
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Cause of death
stroke
Places of residence
New York, New York, USA
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA
Education
Columbia University
Occupations
journalist
activist
author
Relationships
Breece, Hannah (great-aunt)
Awards and honors
Vincent Scully Award (2000)
Short biography
Jane Jacobs, a journalist and writer, successfully led grassroots opposition to a massive urban renewal project in the 1950s and 1960s that would have destroyed several residential neighborhoods in lower Manhattan. She endured scorn from establishment figures because of her lack of formal training as an urban planner, and moved to Canada in 1968. There she continued her work and writing on urbanism, economies and social issues. Her most influential book was The Death and Life of Great American Cities, published in 1961.

Members

Reviews

Very informative, but got repetitive after a while. One can only use the adjective 'lively' so many times before it gets old...
 
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andyinabox | 37 other reviews | Jan 17, 2024 |
Deserving of its reputation as one of the most important books ever written in the field of American City Planning. It is a fascinating book, and I will never look at cities the same after reading it.

Jane Jacobs does a remarkable job of breaking down an incredible complex topic, making easily digestible, providing examples of good and bad, and building off of the idea in order to introduce her next idea.

She is not a planner, or engineer, or academic. Just a concerned citizen, who has a really good eye for understanding the complex processes of cities, and how they function. She also has a pretty compelling way with words, I really enjoyed some of her prose at times, and her extended metaphors could really have a lot of teeth.… (more)
 
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Andjhostet | 37 other reviews | Jul 4, 2023 |
Jacobs is an interesting writer, and clearly very well-read. Also a fascinating person. This book contains some interesting ideas. She leans heavily on Guns, Germs, and Steel, by Jared Diamond. Dark Age Ahead, however, is not a very "focused" book. Kind of rambling. Well written rambling.
 
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bloftin2 | 16 other reviews | May 4, 2023 |
This is my first, and still favorite, Jacobs book. The dialogue form helps wrap the ideas in a useful context.
 
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mykl-s | 6 other reviews | Jan 18, 2023 |

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Statistics

Works
13
Also by
9
Members
6,965
Popularity
#3,513
Rating
4.0
Reviews
81
ISBNs
101
Languages
12
Favorited
20

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