The Death And Life Of Great American Cities

1137 Words Sep 19th, 2016 5 Pages
In Jane Jacobs’ “The Death and Life of Great American Cities,” she pays special attention to sidewalks and sidewalk safety. As the title says, she spent her time writing about urban cities filled with strangers. Jacobs, knowing that there are more strangers than acquaintances in the vast cities, specified three qualities that must be present in a safe space. First, there must be distinct boundary between public and private space. Second, there must be “eyes on the street.” Finally, the sidewalk must be used continuously to ensure the streets are occupied (Jacobs 35). Although the qualities Jacobs describes are beneficial, there are many flaws that come with it. Jacobs mentions that a boundary should exist that clearly divides the public and the private space (35). Before examining what Jacobs wanted to convey, one must first understand what is public space and what is private space. In the noisy city, structures such as the streets and parks are open to everyone and, therefore, is seen as a public space. Rules are set to keep the space safe, however, one must also keep in mind that the rules are created in a democratic way so that no person takes total control of the area (Miep). The city also holds sections where people can live. In this case, that section is exclusively private to the person who owns it. Unlike the public are, a private space has a set of rules that the owner creates (Miep). With that knowledge reinforced, Jacobs argument of creating clear…
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