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Introduction Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) was a true citizen of the world. Her activism stemmed from her battles to save indigenous neighbourhoods from expressways devoted to the automobile. Jacobs began her civic activism at Washington Square Park, New York, where she played a major role in keeping traffic out of the park, and she remained engaged in public issues for the rest of her life. The seemingly simple notions about healthy, vibrant cities outlined in her book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961) – mixed use, short blocks, dense population, and building variety in purpose, design and ideally, era – represented a major rethinking of modern planning, and proposed radically new principles for rebuilding cities. At a time when common wisdom called for bulldozing slums and opening up city spaces, Jacobs‟s prescription was for more diversity, density and dynamism. She advocated for the free and spontaneous growth of cities, challenged the tenets of modernist planning and argued for high-density neighbourhoods and multiple-use buildings. She asserted the wisdom of empirical observation and community involvement. In effect, Jacobs‟s prescription was to crowd people and activities together in a vibrant, untidy, urban jumble. She put faith in the chaos of urban life: cities were at their best when the „ballet of the sidewalks‟ was evident.1 Death and Life, while not the only book to challenge post-war orthodox city planning, was the one that struck a chord. It challenged conventional thinking in urban planning as Rachel Carson‟s Silent Spring (1962) did for the environmental movement, and Betty Friedan‟s The
Jane Jacobs, Project for Public Spaces, (PPS) available from http://www.pps.org/info/placemakingtools/placemakers/jjacobs, accessed 19 Feb 2010.
Feminine Mystique (1963) did for the women‟s movement. These books, written by relatively unknown women of similar age at a similar time, were journalistic investigations that successfully identified flaws in American politics, policy and culture in the post-war period. Dismissed as amateurs, these women brought fresh perspectives that challenged the conventional wisdom dominated by academia, questioning prevailing theories and societal behaviour. They wrote books that were accessible, not abstract or scholarly. More importantly, these works inspired people to act.2 This essay will explore where activism intersects with architecture in the work of Jane Jacobs: her insistence that architecture and planners employ vitality in city life. It will focus on the master planning of cities in the 1960s with particular emphasis on Jacobs‟s battle with legendary New York City planner Robert Moses (1888-1981), over urban renewal in Greenwich Village, New York. It will explore the development of the urban design movement and evaluate the impact and legacy of Jacobs‟s urban design principles in the planning of cities today. Finally, it will explore Jacobs‟s legacy in Canada‟s largest city, Toronto, and her activist efforts to make it creatively diverse. Her critics have maintained that her real concern was Democratic Party politics and a selfish NIMBYism (not in my backyard). They argue that there are still working-class people living in the houses Robert Moses built. Stuyvesant Town, posits Paul Goldberger, works just fine, despite Jacobs‟s misgivings about high-rises in open spaces.3 Lewis Mumford, architectural critic for the New Yorker magazine, reviewed Death and Life in 1962 under the sardonic title,
P. Goldberger, Uncommon Sense, Arts, (Autumn, 2006), available at http://www.theamericanscholar.org, accessed, 20 Feb 2010.
P. Goldberger, Jane-Washing, Metropolis Magazine, (July, 2006) available at http://www.metropolismag.com/cda/pring_friendly.php?artid=2144, accessed 30 Jan 2010.
„“Mother” Jacobs Home Remedies for Urban Cancer.‟ He accused her of bulldozing the last century of innovation in urban planning without any pretense of a critical evaluation.4 Joel Schwartz, in Robert Moses and the Modern City (2007), ridiculed the myth of „Saint Jane and the Dragon‟ and argued that she merely gave an eloquent voice to Greenwich Village chauvinism.5 Nicolai Ouroussoff wrote in the New York Times (2006), that Jacobs had little understanding of Los Angeles, few ideas about how to control suburban sprawl, and not much sympathy for urban forms that did not grow out of a dense, squat 19th century model.6 Despite, or because of the criticism, for the rest of her life, Jacobs became increasingly involved in urban activism. New Yorkers are unaware of the vital role Jacobs played as a promoter of respectful, social urban renewal in her adopted city, Toronto. Torontonians and Canadians embraced Jane Jacobs. In opposition to the Vietnam War, Jacobs and her family immigrated to Toronto in 1968. She effectively helped to block the construction of the proposed Spadina Expressway, which would have cut through Toronto‟s Chinatown, Annex and Forest Hill neighbourhoods in the heart of the city. Toronto‟s now fashionable St. Lawrence neighbourhood, a pioneering, mixed-income housing project, was built in the 1970s with the enthusiastic support of Jacobs.7 Who was Jane Jacobs?
L. Mumford, Mother Jacobs Home Remedies for Urban Cancer, New Yorker, December 1, 1962, available from http://archives.newyorker.com?i-1962-12-01#foliio-CV1, accessed 30 Jan 2010.
J.Schwartz, Robert Moses and the modern city: the transformation of New York, New York, 2007, p. 15.
N. Ouroussoff, “Outgrowing Jane Jacobs and her New York”, New York Times, April 30, 2006, available from http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/30weekinreview/30jacobs.html?_r=1&oref=slogan, accessed 21 Feb 2010.
J. Barber, Was Jane Jacobs a saint?, Globe and Mail, Aug 29, 2009, available at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/was-jane-jacobs-a-saint/article126933, accessed 3 Dec 2009.
Born Jane Butzner in Scranton, Pennsylvania in 1916, Jacobs moved to New York in 1934 to pursue her career as a writer. She worked as a stenographer and freelance writer during her first decade there, often writing about working districts in the city. Married in 1944 to Robert Hyde Jacobs, an architect who specialized in hospital design, she had three children. In 1952, Jacobs became associate editor of Architectural Forum, despite having no experience as an architect, nor any formal university education. Her architect husband, Bob, taught her how to read technical drawings, and for the next eight years, Jacobs wrote on a wide range of subjects – from hospitals and medical centre projects to urban renewal plans for American cities. She arrived at Architectural Forum at a crucial time for America‟s big cities. Hundreds of thousands of Americans were leaving cities for the suburbs in the 1950s. Concern for the future of cities prompted planners, architects and intellectuals to rethink human settlement, to make it more orderly and efficient.8 Jacob‟s research for her job at Architectural Forum allowed her to travel. She observed, with growing misgivings, the mechanisms of urban renewal and city planning in cities like Philadelphia, Boston, and New York. By visiting cities, walking the streets and talking to residents, she learned how the row houses, small apartment houses, tenements, stores and local businesses, were intricately linked in complex interdependence. She saw first-hand how the delicate urban fabric worked to stabilize neighbourhoods. Urban renewal, by clearing out the fine-grained street life of the city for wide-open plazas and drab housing towers, destabilized cities. Her scepticism was confirmed for good one day in 1955, when Reverend William Kirk, a figure in East Harlem‟s settlement house movement, showed her the massive clearance and redevelopment that was taking place there. East Harlem was torn apart by one
A. Flint, Wrestling with Moses, How Jane Jacobs Took On New York’s Master Builder and Transformed the American City, New York, 2009, pp. 22-24.
public housing project after another, wiping out tens of thousands of homes and businesses. For Jacobs, it was an epiphany. She became increasingly critical of conventional planning theory and practice, and of the urban renewal projects of the day, noting that they were rarely as safe, diverse, or economically vibrant as the neighbourhoods that they replaced. Her thesis was supported and enlarged by her deep, eclectic reading and her observations of the physical developments that she saw around her.9 She gave a speech at Harvard in 1956, where she told the leaders of planning and urban design that they were destroying everything that was vital about the cities. In 1958, Jacobs, in an article for Fortune Magazine on the same theme, called „Downtown Is for the People‟ laid out her critique; downtown redevelopment efforts across America were completely misguided, and showed no understanding of how people actually behaved in cities. ‘Downtown Is for the People‟ officially established Jacobs as a critic of contemporary planning. She cited several examples of what she saw as destructive and dysfunctional in urban renewal, commenting on downtown redevelopment schemes in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, New Orleans, Nashville, and San Francisco. While Jacobs was writing „Downtown Is for the People‟, Robert Moses was busy with plans to build a roadway through Washington Square Park, in Greenwich Village, the place where Jacobs and her family lived and played. For Jacobs, the battle would move beyond the realm of print and onto the streets.10
D. Martin, Jane Jacobs, Urban Activist, Is Dead at 89, in The New York Times, 25 April, 2006, available from
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/25/books/25cnd-jacob.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print, accessed, 21 Feb 2010.
Flint, op. cit., pp. 13-28
Wrestling with Moses Robert Moses, a powerful New York City official, had begun his long reign decades earlier, in the 1920‟s. In addition to running several state offices concerned with parks and roads, he held the positions, often simultaneously, of Commissioner of Parks, City Construction Coordinator, and Slum Clearance Chairman. By the 1950s, when Moses planned a highway through Washington Square, he was already the most influential figure shaping America‟s urban renewal policies. As the first big highway builder, he created the vision and then the template for the nation. He helped craft the funding and authorizing legislation in Washington for urban renewal and highways nationwide.11 He was a brilliant drafter of legislation and used that skill to set up the public authorities; autonomous organizations that created public works; with the ability to raise their own financing. Through these agencies, separated from government checks and balances and from representation of the people, he was able to conceive most of his projects and create them. Unchallenged by public or political pressures, the vast revenue spin-offs of projects like toll bridges were in his control.12 Urban renewal became a favourite of mayors across America because of the federal funds that came with it, especially if coupled with a highway project. Moses was the acknowledged leader in urban-transportation planning combined with urban renewal. An assortment of post-war national policies, including the 1956 Interstate Highway act, purposely encouraged a car industry and culture. Moses, the principal spokesperson for the U.S. Conference of Mayors, urged that interstates go right through cities and not around them. Other cities hired
R. Brandes Gratz, The Battle for Gotham, New York in the Shadow of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs, New York, 2010, pp. 121-142.
P., Goldberger, Robert Moses, Master Builder, is Dead at 92, in The New York Times, July 30, 1981, available from http://nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/bday1218.html, accessed 30 Jan 2010.
him to design freeway networks in the 1940s and 50s, New Orleans, Portland, San Francisco, San Diego, Baltimore and others had Moses‟s help or influence, although few were built and many had proposed Moses-designed highways defeated.13 But Moses‟s roads went through cities not around them. He improved transportation for the automobile while undermining other forms of transportation. Robert Caro, in his 1974 book on Robert Moses, points out that, even before the war, the realization emerged that more roads breed more traffic, building more roads would not solve traffic congestion, and the coordination of mass-transit with highways was the only solution. Moses designed roads in a way that transit could not be added later. He passed up the opportunity to buy adjacent land for future transit.14 New York City, in 1964, had 700 miles of highways, almost double that of Los Angeles. In recent years, the Moses‟s legacy has been reconsidered. A retrospective approach to Moses, presented by Nicolai Ouroussoff, architectural critic of the New York Times, suggests that the pendulum of opinion „has swung so far in favour of Ms. Jacobs that it has distorted the public‟s understanding of urban planning...Ms. Jacobs, at her best, was fighting to preserve the more delicate bonds that tie us to community. A city, to survive and flourish, needs both perspectives‟.15 Moses‟s methods and failures overshadow the argument that he was, in the end, a legitimate reformer. His approach to urban planning is seen by many today as the model of how not to build a city. The Moses vision of New York was one of soaring towers, highways, beaches,
Brandes-Gratz, op. cit., pp. 125-130.
R. Caro, The Power Broker, Robert Moses & the Fall of New York, New York, 1975, pp. 15, 500-515, Jane Jacobs is not mentioned once in the pages of this book even though he has acknowledged her influence.
Ouroussoff, op. cit., note 7.
and parks, not one of neighbourhoods and brownstones. He thrust great ribbons of concrete across an older, largely settled urban landscape; changing the landscape with rows of redbrick apartment towers, asphalt playgrounds and sports stadiums. Since his death in 1981, New York City has begun an organic regeneration, a turnaround that many believe began with the small, local citizen-led efforts reflecting the urban philosophy of Jacobs. Ironically, New York City today remains unusually dense, despite Moses.16 The Battle of Washington Square Park Jane Jacobs‟s activism started in Washington Square Park, New York City, in 1956. Robert Moses, chair of Mayor Robert Wagner‟s Committee on Slum Clearance, planned to extend Fifth Avenue with a roadway through Washington Square Park.17 The extended Fifth Avenue would speed the flow of traffic funnelling into a new proposed highway, the Lower Manhattan Expressway, a high-speed east-west highway for travel between the Hudson and East Rivers. As an urban historian, Jane Jacobs appreciated Greenwich Village‟s historic grittiness, its evolution from cemetery, gallows and duelling ground, to a setting for Victorian promenades and classic Beaux Arts monumentality. Her house at 555 Hudson Street was in the middle of the Village, and the park was an important part of her family‟s daily life. She joined her neighbours, two homemakers, Shirley Hayes and Edith Lyons, and others, on a committee to kill Moses‟s plan. Called the Joint Emergency Committee to Close Washington Square to Traffic, Jacobs was the strategist and liaison officer to the community and the media. Their
Flint, op. cit., p. 191.
H. Ballon and K. T Jackson, eds., Robert Moses and the Modern City, The Transformation of New York, New York, 2007, pp. 72-3 and pp. 94-108, p. 124.
strategy was simple: no negotiation and no acceptance of a slightly less harmful roadway. Washington Square was a park, and a park was no place for highways.18 Tactics in the Battle By 1957, Jacobs urged a three-pronged approach to the battle: continue organizing on a grass roots level, put pressure on local politicians and gain media attention. She brought politicians to the cause by trading the emergency committee‟s sizable voting bloc in exchange for support. A journalist herself, she understood the power of the media, and she watched Moses freeze out media outlets who criticized his plans, and reward publications like the New York Times, who quoted him at length. She sought out smaller media outlets like the Village Voice, an alternative city newspaper established in 1955, which emphasized arts and culture. It was also dedicated to hard-charged reporting and criticism, and covered neighbourhood issues of ordinary citizens. The Voice dedicated its pages to the fight, with inside information provided by Jacobs and consequently gained stature through the fight. Because of the coverage from the Voice, other media were drawn into the battle.19 Jacobs persuaded officials and the media to see the battle through the eyes of children by deploying kids, including her own. They provided photo opportunities as they put up posters and asked for signatures on petitions. Prominent New Yorkers weighed in on the subject. Eleanor Roosevelt, an early skeptic of Moses‟s plans, wrote in her „My Day‟ column in the New York Post about the controversy. Lewis Mumford‟s suggestion that the Washington Square roadway was to serve real estate developers, had resonance in the fight. On June 25,
Flint, op cit.,, pp. 80-85.
H. Ballon and K. T. Jackson, eds., Robert Moses and The Modern City, The Transformation of New York, New York, 2007, pp. 72-3, 94-108, 124- 126.
1958, responding to the residents‟ opposition, the city agreed to close Washington Square Park to traffic on a temporary basis.20 The Outcome The final blow to Moses‟s vision came when, in the fall of 1958, the committee made a critical appeal to Carmine De Sapio, a resident of the Village, New York‟s Secretary of State and local Democratic Party leader. He threw his support behind the emergency committee. This was the end to Moses‟s roadway plan, no housing towers and no free flow of traffic. Moses, addressing the Board of Estimate said „There is nobody against this, nobody, nobody, nobody but a bunch of, a bunch of mothers.‟21 The traffic chaos predicted by Moses never materialized: cars found alternate routes and people found alternate means of transportation.22 Washington Square Park became the outdoor headquarters for the liberal left, the anti-war movement, and continued to be the place where cultural icons like Bob Dylan gathered. It also became, for Jacobs, a perfect example of an unplanned and organic public space. The Washington Square Park battle informed Jacobs‟s critique of contemporary planning. A „bunch of mothers‟ had outmanoeuvred Robert Moses at the height of his influence. 23 The Legacy of The Battle of Washington Square Park. The battle produced a powerful critique of the doctrines of urban renewal that Moses had tried to implement for 20 years and generated a powerful criticism of the ideal of expertise on
Flint, op, cit., pp. 80-83.
J. H. Kunstler, Interview with Jane Jacobs, Metropolis, March 2001 available from www.kunstler.com/mags_jacobs1.htm, accessed 20 Feb, 2010
Ballon and Jackson, op, cit., p. 127. Jacobs, op. cit., p. 105.
which he based his whole career. The Washington Square model was to prove remarkably effective and highly reproducible both in New York and nationwide, in stopping highways cutting a swath through inner city neighbourhoods.24 In Boston, San Francisco and Toronto „freeway revolts‟ were led by residents. Just as importantly, Jacobs demonstrated that by standing up for the individual relationships that define life in inner cities, she gave a generation the authority to challenge the patronizing and uniformly male planners of cities.25 Jacobs continued to clash with Robert Moses for the next 10 years. While Moses was busy shaping projects in New York and other cities, Jacobs inspired resistance to them. Using her tenacious and street-savvy neighbourhood tactics, she opposed his urban renewal plans for Greenwich Village in 1961, a battle she won. In 1968, she was the leading opposition to the Lower Manhattan Expressway. In the process of paying attention to how things worked, she framed vehement opposition to Moses‟s vision. She also helped give voice to a strong civic sentiment.26 In September 1961, just as the city of New York backed down on the West Village urban renewal plan, Jacobs‟s book The Death and Life of Great American Cities, was published. It would change the course of urban planning across the country and around the world. The Urban Design Movement By the early 20th century, urban design movements had developed along several models. The Garden City of Ebenezer Howard, developed by Henry Wright, Lewis Mumford and others, continues to influence „neo-traditional‟ design. The Formalists, like Camillo Sitte, treated
Ballon and Jackson, op. cit., p 108–127. Flint, op. cit. pp 80-85. D. Martin, op. cit., note 10, and Brandes Grantz, op. cit., 22.
urban spaces as arrangements of building masses, street spaces and facades. The „City Beautiful‟ movement, rooted in Renaissance and Baroque urbanism, saw the city as marked by striking public monuments within a network of formal streets and spaces. The „Parks Movement‟ of Frederick Law Olmsted and George Kessler looked at ways of introducing and integrating natural systems into cities on a metropolitan scale. A fourth model, introduced by Tony Garnier, and followed by Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius, used new techniques of construction and transportation, focusing on efficiency and function, and providing access to light, air and space. Each model hypothesized a different relation between spaces and people.27 Jacobs argued that virtually all sophisticated city designers combined the „Garden City‟ (Howard) and the „Radiant City‟ (Le Corbusier) with the „City Beautiful‟ (Daniel Burnham) in various permutations, into a Radiant Garden City Beautiful, in which a City Beautiful cultural centre is one among a series of adjoining Radiant City, and Radian Garden City housing, shopping and campus centres. In the process, cities served as sacrificial victims, unstudied and under-respected.28 In the 1960s, ideas critical of CIAM29type master planning would develop into the mainstream rejection of modernism of the late 1970s. The effects of the Housing Acts of 1947 and 1954, and the Interstate Highways Act of 1956 had become apparent. Large slum clearance had taken place, working class housing had been razed to the ground, expressways of unprecedented dimensions were constructed through the cities, suburbs grew rapidly with facilities tied to the technology of the automobile, and urban renewal land was used for
History of Urban Design, Brochure for Master of Urban Design Degree , University of California, Berkley, available from http://arch.ced.berkeley.edu/programs/undergraduate/abdegree, accessed 15 April 2010.
Jacobs, op. cit., pp. 23-5. CIAM: Congres International d‟Architecture Moderne.
upper-middle-class housing and institutional purposes (hospitals, universities, cultural centres). By the 1960s, the theoretical basis of modern urbanism had become grounds for the critical focus of Jane Jacobs. Impact and Legacy of Jacobs’s urban design principles. From the first sentence of Death and Life, „This book is an attack on current city planning and rebuilding,‟ Jacobs launched her battle cry.30 With her astute observations, Jacobs had identified the basic elements of a successful neighbourhood: a street or district must serve several primary functions; blocks should be short to make the pedestrian feel comfortable; buildings must vary in age, condition, and use and population must be dense. She struck to the deepest cord of the planning and architectural establishment, who believed that the city was a physical more than a social problem and that tidying it up was the answer.31 Jacobs criticized rational theory and deductive reasoning: the belief for example, that high-rise towers in open space would solve urban and social ills. Instead, Jacobs believed small-scale buildings and lively streetscapes would. She applied notions of sociology and biology to why cities work the way they do. Her common sense approach advocated that the close study of how people use neighbourhoods and streets ensured healthy vital cities.32 Perhaps the most radical aspect of Death and Life was Jacobs‟s suggestion that not only were planners doing their work badly, but that is was pointless for them to do their work at all.33
Jacobs, op. cit., p. 1. Jacobs, Ibid., p. 108. Jacobs, ibid., pp. 25-37. Flint, op. cit., pp.125-8
The criticism that Death and Life was a study of an atypical neighbourhood, Greenwich Village, misunderstood the fact that her analysis refers to the „great American city‟ as a type of community. She consistently referred to great cities like Boston, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. What Jacobs showed was that planning was not able to do much except upset the natural equilibrium of the neighbourhood-rich, pedestrian-oriented, balanced city. She recognized the underlying social order in the life of a city and contended our ignorance and limited observations prevented our appreciation.34 What Jacobs taught was not that every place should look like Greenwich Village, but that we need to understand what makes cities work organically and to nurture them as natural systems. Her advice to municipal and federal governments and city planners was; do smaller things; do less; preserve, do not destroy; let individuals do things; favour pedestrians and residents over trucks; build shops, factories, and entertainment in residential areas, not apart from them.35 Although many elected officials and developers still favour top-down approach to urban planning, most planners and architects have absorbed Jacobs‟s principles. Death and Life has become a standard text at colleges and universities, architecture and planning schools. „Smart growth‟ and „new urbanism‟ movements, whose philosophy of returning to pedestrian-oriented cities, mixed use, and preservation, claim Jacobs as their inspiration, although Jacobs didn‟t have much patience with them, finding them hopelessly suburban, and not meeting the needs of the poor and working class.36
H. M. Choldin, Review of Death and Life of Great American Cities, by Jane Jacobs, in The American Journal of Sociology, vol. 84, no. 2. (Sept, 1978) pp. 457.463
Jacobs, op. cit., p. 16.
Flint, opt. cit., 185, and P. Dreier, Jane Jacobs‟ Radical Legacy, National Housing Institute, Shelterforce Online, Issue # 146, (Summer 2006), available from http://www.nhi.org/online/issues/146/janejacobslegacy.html, accessed 19 April 2010.
Beginning in the 1980s, cities all over America began dismantling inner-city expressways – Boston, Portland, Milwaukee, Denver, Baltimore and Buffalo. In New York, neighbourhood groups have clamoured for the demolition of the Bruckner and Sheridan expressways, two Moses roadways, replaced by parks, sidewalks, affordable housing and eco-friendly business. In San Francisco, a trolley line replaced the Embarcadero viaduct. Transportation planning in the United States slowly came to Jacobs‟s view that building new highways invites more traffic that quickly filled lanes. Light–rail systems are being expanded in places like Dallas, Phoenix, Minneapolis, and Denver. London, England, has imposed a tariff on private cars entering the city, and New York is looking at a similar plan. Perhaps Jacobs‟s greatest legacy is that the inspiration of her activism helped slow and eventually end the massive urban renewal of aging neighbourhoods. Citizens‟ groups rose up; people adopted the idea of preserving and rehabilitating old buildings. In 1965, New York City passed the Landmarks Preservation Law, and in 1966 the National Historic Preservation Act which created the National Register of Historic Landmarks. When asked why she had included no photographs in the polemic Death and Life Jacobs advised those looking for illustrations should look closely at real cities, and while there, listen, linger and think about what you see.37 Toronto, 1968 Jacobs has influenced many planners and architects in cities and countries around the world. Her influence is felt deeply in her adopted city, Toronto. She made a sustained, active and varied contribution to Toronto‟s urbanity as an activist and as a leader. On her arrival in Toronto in 1968, she joined the fight to stop the Spadina Expressway, which would have run straight through her neighbourhood. Like Robert Moses, Toronto‟s planners and politicians
Goldberger, op. cit., note 2.
were committed to the project, but Jacobs‟s reputation preceded her; city officials knew this woman was capable of stopping a highway. In June 1971, after four years of almost nonstop demonstration by the community, the expressway plans disappeared. Jacobs also worked to build things. She joined the long-term fight against replacing low-rise buildings with high-rise apartment blocks. In the 1970s, her influence was crucial in the development of the St. Lawrence neighbourhood, built on derelict lands near the waterfront: a high-density, mixed-use, medium-rise, moderately priced neighbourhood with short blocks, and small, safe, accessible parks. The St. Lawrence neighbourhood is a major success in urban planning and is a model for urban communities across America. Today it is a popular downtown residential area, with lively street cafes. Jacobs argued, lectured, and consulted for 35 years in Toronto. She believed that Toronto withstood the great debilitating experiment of planners, with their remedies for slums and congestion, because the Canadian federal urban renewal agency came into being later and was shut down sooner than the U.S. agency it imitated. Additionally, Toronto did not create the racial ghettos of other cities, nor did it have a federally funded highway construction programme. Jacobs‟s contended that, while provincial and local government planners in Toronto, responsible for highways, were no more enlightened than their U.S. counterparts, opposition in Toronto was speedier and less difficult for citizens than if federal governments were involved.38 In 1970, Jacobs advocated for „Harbour City‟, a planned new development for 60,000 people to be built on reclaimed land in Lake Ontario, its neighbourhoods connected by canals and lagoons. In keeping with Jacobs‟s principles, the plan provided for a mix of housing types
J. Jacobs, foreword to J. Sewell, The Shape of the City, Toronto, 1993, pp. 13-17.
and tenures, allowing access to occupants of all economic means. Sadly, it was never built. In 1996, she argued against the amalgamating of central Toronto with its suburbs. In 2003, she supported mayoral candidate David Miller, and helped to stop a commuter bridge to a small island airport, located near downtown Toronto, arguing that neighbourhood residents would suffer from noise, traffic and pollution. Jacobs‟s presence in Toronto had a profound influence on city planning and community activism. She has helped keep it vibrant, liveable, workable and creatively diverse. Canadian politicians, planners and advocates give her credit for creating a more humane city.39 Conclusion Jane Jacobs showed us that citizens quickly recognize the importance of neighbourhoods in their lives, and are willing to fight for them. What happens to our cities is of utmost importance, not only to the people who live there, but to those who work and visit them. Jane Jacobs did not have the solution for the problems of the complex urban environment of the 21st century. She would acknowledge that Greenwich Village was not a utopia for all city neighbourhoods. She would instead encourage new generations to become active in issues involving their own neighbourhoods and to keep their „eyes on the street.‟40
M. Osbaldeston, Unbuilt Toronto, A History Of The City That Might Have Been, Toronto, 2008, pp. 53-58. J. Jacobs, op. cit., p. 12.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Ballon, H., & Jackson, T. K., eds., Robert Moses and the modern city: the transformation of New York, New York, 2007. Brandes Gratz, R., The Battle for Gotham, New York in the Shadow of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs, New York, 2010. Caro, R., The Power Broker: Robert Moses & the fall of New York, New York, 1975. Choldin, H. M., Review of Death and Life of Great American Cities, by Jane Jacobs, in The American Journal of Sociology, vol. 84, no. 2., Sept, 1978, pp. 457-463 Flint, A., Wrestling with Moses, How Jane Jacobs Took on New York’s Master Builder and Transformed the American City, New York, 2009. Mumford, L., „The attack on Washington Square‟, „Lewis Mumford, City Planning Expert and Author Urges Washington Square Park Closed to Traffic,‟ press release issued by the Joint Emergency Committee to Close Washington Square to Traffic, March 1958, Hayes Papers, box 5, folder 1, in Flint, A., Wrestling with Moses, New York, 2009. Mumford, L., Highway and the City, New York, 1958. Jacobs, J., The Death and Life of Great American Cities, New York, 1961. J. Jacobs, foreword to J. Sewell, The Shape of the City, Toronto, 1993. Mumford, E., Defining Urban Design, CIAM Architects and the Formation of a Discipline, 1937-69, China, 2009. Osbaldeston, M., Unbuilt Toronto, A History Of The City That Might Have Been, Toronto, 2008.
Schwartz J., The New York Approach: Robert Moses, Urban Liberals, and Re-development of the Inner City, New York, 1993. Barber, J., Was Jane Jacobs a saint? Globe and Mail, April 29, 2009, available from http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/was-jane-jacobs-a-saint/article126933, accessed 3 Dec 2009. Dreier, P., Jane Jacobs’ Radical Legacy, National Housing Institute, Shelterforce Online, Issue # 146, (Summer 2006), available from http://www.nhi.org/online/issues/146/janejacobslegacy.html: accessed 19 April 2010. Ehrenhalt, A., The Legacy of Jane Jacobs, Urban planning and Design, April, 2006, available from http://governing.typepad.com/13thfloor/2006/04/_so_much_has_be.html, accessed 21 Feb 2010. Goldberg, P., Uncommon Sense, Arts, Autumn 2006, available from http://www.theamericanscholar.org, accessed 30 Jan 2010. Goldberger, P., Robert Moses, Master Builder, is Dead at 92, in The New York Times, (July 30, 1981), available from http://nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/bday1218.html, accessed 30 Jan 2010. Goldberg, P., Jane-washing: The danger of Jacobs‟ legacy lies with developers who co-opt her ideas to justify their megaprojects, Metropolis Magazine, June 19, 2006, available from http://www.metropolismag.com/story/20060619/jane-washing, accessed 30 Jan 2010. History of Urban Design, Brochure for Master of Urban Design Degree , University of California, Berkley, available from http://arch.ced.berkeley.edu/programs/undergraduate/abdegree, accessed 15 April 2010.
Jacobs, J., Project for Public Spaces, (PPS) available from http://www.pps.org/info/placemakingtools/placemakers/jjacobs: accessed 19 Feb 2010. Kunstler, J, H., Interview with Jane Jacobs, Metropolis, Mar 2001, available from www.kunstler.com/mags_jacobs1.htm, accessed 21 Feb 2010. Martin, D., Jane Jacobs, Urban Activist, Is Dead at 89, in The New York Times, (April 25, 2006), available from http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/25/books/25cndjacob.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print, accessed 30 Jan 2010. Mumford, L., Mother Jacobs „Home Remedies‟, New Yorker, Dec. 1, 1962, available from http://archives,newyorker.com/?i=1962-12-01#folio=CV1, accessed 30 Jan 2010. Ouroussoff N., “Outgrowing Jane Jacobs and her New York”, New York Times, April 30, 2006, available from http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/30weekinreview/30jacobs.html?_r=1&oref=slogan, accessed 21 Feb 2010. Rodwin, L., Neighbors are Needed, The New York Times, (1837-Current file: 5 Nov 1961), ProQuest Historical Newspapers, The New York Times (1851-2003), pg. BR10, available from http://faculty.washington.edu/krumme/350/urbanecongeo.html, accessed, 20 April 2010.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?