The Death And Life Of Great American Cities

2168 WordsNov 7, 20149 Pages
The Death and Life of Great American Cities----The conditions for city diversity Jane Jacobs An illustrated report Background The death and life of great American cities was published in 1961. It was like an earthquake when it first appeared in the field of urban planning. At that time, the main stream of planning circle in America critiqued the book that it brought nothing but troubles to the field of urban planning. However, as time went by, the contents of the book have been increasingly accepted by a majority of scholars of urban planning. The book’s author, Jane Jacobs, was an American-Canadian journalist, writer and activist, whose husband was an architect. She had no degree in urban planning, but during the time of reporting the…show more content…
Introduction Criticizing contemporary urban policies that ignored the needs of most city-dwellers and destroyed the nature of cities, Jane Jacobs (1961) wrote four parts in this book, which respectively are ”the peculiar nature of cities”, “the conditions for city diversity”, “forces of decline and regeneration” and “different tactics”. Among four parts, the part of “the conditions for city diversity” has the most far-reaching influence, and it is also the most important thought in the book. Thus this report is mainly concerning the illustration of this part. I will give not only the demonstration of what Jane Jacobs says about, but also my opinion on this chapter with examples. Four dispensable conditions to generate city diversity 1 Mixed primary uses “The district, and indeed as many of its internal parts as possible, must serve more than one primary function; preferably more than two” 2 Short blocks “ Most blocks must be short; that is, streets and opportunities to turn corners must be frequent.” 3 Diverse buildings varying in condition and age “The district must mingle buildings that vary in age and condition, including a good proportion of old ones so that they vary in the economic yield they must produce. This mingling must be fairly close-grained." 4 A dense concentration of people “ There must be a sufficiently dense concentration of people, for whatever purposes they may be
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