Summary Of Death And Life Of Great American Cities By Jane Jacobs

Superior Essays
In Jane Jacobs’ book The Death and Life of Great American Cities , the author mainly focuses on the following three arguments: first, a city should have its complex structures. Planners should not create new structures by breaking the connections between the existing structures. Second, a city must contain diversity. Different districts should show various functions to become vital. Third, like human, city also grows and have its characteristics. Those patterns can not be manipulated by people. In Chapter 4, Jacobs argues that sidewalks are better places for children to learn and play than that of parks, because sidewalks can both protect children and “teach” them to do right things: because pedestrians frequently walk on sidewalks, the …show more content…
Diversity is natural to cities” (Jacobs 143), which is her main argument. In Chapter 10, Jacobs emphasizes that both new and aged buildings can provide diversity to a city. For new buildings, although they appears better than old buildings, there are still many inadequacy: only high-yield enterprise owners can new buildings’ cost such as rentals. However, there are high-yield, middle-yield, low-yield, and even no-yield enterprises In contrast, old buildings provide a good soil for beginning or small enterprises. Many people have wrong ideas and claims that old area means failure, but the fact is not like that. Moreover, old buildings can cultivate primary diversity mixtures, and that can show a city’s past. Combined with new buildings, which shows the city’s current development, visitors can see a vital city contains both old and new buildings. Jacobs justifies her argument by mentioning that because there exists economic necessity, old buildings should be reserved to support different levels of …show more content…
Her effort and passion in urban study significantly impacts the traditional ideas of urban planning. She accuses that traditional urban planning theories in that era (1950s) are catastrophic and can bring many negative impacts to a city. In the previous three paragraphs, the ideas that planners should leave sidewalks to children and should preserve old buildings are novelty and favorable ideas to me, because that focuses on a city’s soft power. A city’s humanistic spirit is critical. However, the slumming and unslumming theory is doubtful to me. In my view, slumming can ultimately being eliminated, because once planners and the government use scientific and effective methods, poverty should not spread, but eradicated.
In Alexander Garvin’s What Makes a Great City, the author uses long lengths to describe public realm. He argues that great public realm is one where “everyone who was there because it had something for everybody” (Garvin 57). What’s more, the public realm does not take care of itself; people must take care of it in order to keep their vitality. Also, Garvin believes that a city is never “finished” unless it is abandoned. The city will continue to change and adapt to meet the ever changing needs of the people who live within

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