Jane Jacobs at 100 – CityLab

Jane Jacobs
TORONTO, ON: Jane Jacobs outside her home on Spadina Road just north of Bloor Street. Photo taken by Frank Lennon/Toronto Star Dec. 21, 1968. Toronto’s in good shape, says author Jane Jacobs, but “We’ve got to be thinking about how we make sure it stays that way.” Just being Canadian gives it some advantage, she says, but she fears amalgamation will bring some of the problems of cities like New York.” (Frank Lennon/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Today marks 100 years since the birth of Jane Jacobs. Her peerless first book,The Death and Life of Great American Cities, was published in 1961, at the height of a mistaken faith in the ‘modern’ city envisioned by utopian planners. But while Death and Life undermined that faith, it did not end it. The Jacobs centennial is an appropriate time to revisit her observations to glean lessons for going forward.


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