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Jane Jacobs

People with an interest in urban development and urban life remember Jane Jacobs, who died yesterday:

On the City Record and Boston News-Letter, Charles Swift says he first came across Jacobs's work while researching the death of the West End:

... The work of Jane Jacobs led me to explore the organic nature of urban neighborhoods created out of a diversity of people, uses, and building styles. In part, her observations about the function of neighborhoods help explain why large scale housing projects often fail - neighborhoods placed on cleared land can only hope to emulate a way of life that takes years to evolve. It was the wholesale destruction of neighborhoods and the blind faith in professional planning Jacobs fought against, lending an eloquent voice which rose above the sounds of wrecking balls. ...

Sharon Machlis writes on Planning Livable Communities:

... Most of those who fight to save close-knit neighborhoods from big-box retailers, who work for pedestrian-friendly streetscapes, who battle for walkable communties, have been inspired by Jacobs' groundbreaking work.

Chris Cagle on Left Center Left: If every public official had to read Jacobs, our civic space would be nicer and function better.

Zakcq remembers her contributions to urban life:

... I don't think Jacobs' contributions to the American/Canadian city can be understated. In her epic battles with New York City planning czar Robert Moses, she showed what could be accomplished by the mobilization of regular people against the interests of totalitarian city political machines. The Death and Life forecasted the rise of urbanism 20 years before it happened and in many ways spawned many of the major theories of planning around today. You can't understand New Urbanism or Smart Growth with out understanding Jacobs. ...

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