Thirteen writers consider the groundbreaking work of Jane Jacobs, whose critiques of urban renewal in America resonate today more than ever.
Author of the hugely influential Death and Life of Great American Cities, the urbanist writer and activist Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) never received a college degree nor any formal training in urban planning, but her eight books and her fierce grassroots campaigns against exploitative real estate development have earned her a permanent place in the history of urban studies. In this anthology, 13 writers reflect on Jacobs' pioneering research, reassessing it in the context of contemporary urban and political realities. Following an appraisal of her life, the book includes essays addressing such topics as her emphasis on cities of relationships rather than cities of things; diversity, market value and gentrification; Jacobs as a political thinker; concepts of urban change; economic unpredictability and the wealth of cities; the importance of small movements; urbanism and digital technology; what Jacobs can tell us about the future of cities; and much more. Together, the contributors explore urgent questions about how we build communities and cities, and how we can live together in them.