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A Classic in the study of cities,
This review is from: The Death and Life of Great American Cities (Paperback)One of the most insightful and thought provoking books I have ever read. Jane Jacobs' classic work on the functioning of cities, though published in 1961, offers a fresh look at our cities and how we choose to live.
Ms. Jacobs' insights grow out of two factors which combine make this an outstanding book. First, she approaches cities as living beings. True, cities are made of bricks and mortar but over time buildings, streets and neighborhoods change in response to the people who live and work in them. Secondly, she bases her conclusions on empirical experience. The author doesn't sit in some ivory tower, theorize how people should live and then expect people's actions to fit those theories. Rather, she observes daily life and from there draws her conclusions.
Time has proven this work to be a classic. Many of her observations went against the prevailing wisdom of the era when the book was published. But now, at the dawn of the 21st century, the Robert Taylor Homes face the wrecking ball and cities everywhere are heeding the wisdom in this book as they rethink their approaches toward urban development.