The Death and Life of Great American Cities (Pelican)

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9780140206814: The Death and Life of Great American Cities (Pelican)

The Modern Library prides itself as ''The modern Library of the world's Best Books''. Since 1917 its paperback series has featured treasured classics, major translations of great works, and rediscoveries of keen literary and historical merit. Featuring introductions by leading writers, stunning translations, scholarly endnotes and reading group guides. Production values emphasize superior quality and readability. Competitive prices, coupled with exciting cover design make these an ideal gift to be cherished by the avid reader.

Thirty years after its publication, The Death and Life of Great American Cities was described by The New York Times as "perhaps the most influential single work in the history of town planning....[It] can also be seen in a much larger context. It is first of all a work of literature; the descriptions of street life as a kind of ballet and the bitingly satiric account of traditional planning theory can still be read for pleasure even by those who long ago absorbed and appropriated the book's arguments." Jane Jacobs, an editor and writer on architecture in New York City in the early sixties, argued that urban diversity and vitality were being destroyed by powerful architects and city planners. Rigorous, sane, and delightfully epigrammatic, Jacobs's small masterpiece is a blueprint for the humanistic management of cities. It is sensible, knowledgeable, readable, indispensable. The author has written a new foreword for this Modern Library edition

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Product Description:

Jane Jacobs sets out to produce an attack on current city-planning and rebuilding in America and to introduce new principles by which these should be governed. Throughout the post-war period, planners temperamentally unsympathetic to cities have been let loose on the urban environment. Inspired by the ideals of the Garden City or Le Corbusier's Radiant City, they have dreamt up ambitious projects based on self-contained neighbourhoods, super-blocks, rigid "scientific" plans and endless acres of grass. Yet they seldom stop to look at what actually works on the ground. The real vitality of cities, argues Jacobs, lies in their diversity, architectural variety, teeming street life and human scale. It is only when we appreciate such fundamental realities that we can hope to create cities that are safe, interesting and economically viable, as well as places that people want to live in.

Review:

"The most refreshing, provacative, stimulating and exciting study of this [great problem] which I have seen. It fairly crackles with bright honesty and common sense" (Harrison Salisbury New York Times)

"One of the most remarkable books ever written about the city... a primary work. The research apparatus is not pretentious it is the eye and the heart but it has given us a magnificent study of what gives life and spirit to the city" (William H. Whyte, author of The Organization Man)

"Perhaps the most influential single work in the history of town planning... Jacobs has a powerful sense of narrative, a lively wit, a talent for surprise and the ability to touch the emotions as well as the mind" ( New York Times Book Review)

"An immensely provocative and rewarding book... It challenges comfortable assumptions...but it does so in a manner that is neither rancorous nor contentions" (Jonathan Yardley Washington Post)

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Jacobs, Jane
Published by Penguin Books Ltd (1972)
ISBN 10: 0140206817 ISBN 13: 9780140206814
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