Jane Jacobs: Badass

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Jane Jacobs: Badass Jane Jacobs was the arguably the most influential architect of her time. Jacobs was an architect with a purpose. Her contributions to society, many and varied, were all motivated by her love for urbanism, community and the combination of the two. I believe her success can be very much attributed to her deep passion for her community. Her passion and enthusiasm drove all of her work. Not only was she an architect, but also a journalist, author, activist, wife and mother. Because of her many roles in her community, she had a special drive to preserve her neighborhood, fueling her batter with Robert Moses in 1961.
Jane Jacob’s Path To Greenwich Village Jane Jacobs grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania in the early 20s. She was
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Jacobs adored how cities worked. She loved the street life. Her philosophy surrounded the value of ‘eyes on the street’. She believed a city was more safe and vibrant if there were active pedestrians. She valued small mom and pop stores and being able to look out her window and see her community. Jacobs took on the role of advocating for these values when they were being threatened, specifically by Robert Moses. Moses, known as New York’s “Master Builder” was determined to build an expressway through Upper, Mid and Lower Manhattan, displacing half a million people. He believed “A city without traffic is a ghost town.” His proposed Lower Manhattan Expressway would span from Chinatown to Greenwich Village, Jane Jacob’s beloved neighborhood. She fiercely opposed this expressway, and Moses’s ideal of city planning. She viewed his beliefs of city planning as erroneous and detrimental to cities because small businesses are ruined and families are uprooted. A banker, like Moses, considered certain areas to be a slum, however, according to Jacobs, those areas could be thriving neighborhoods. Planners were also more concerned with automobiles. They saw cars as both a cause of city decay and a needed commodity. Jacobs saw cars only as a symptom of city problems, not the source. Jacobs takes all of her belief and writes and extremely influential book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities. The book was intended to introduce new principals in city planning. It claims rebuilding is unsuccessful, and has not eliminated slums, or stopped the decay of neighborhoods as it has promised. Jacobs declares not only city planners responsible, but also theorists and educators. Part 1 examines city problems, using sidewalks and parks as metaphors. She deduces the factors that result in vital neighborhoods. These neighborhoods have streets, sidewalks and parks that are safe, that provide for contact between people, and that

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