50 Years of Death and Life
“Intricate minglings of different uses in cities are not a form of chaos. On the contrary, they represent a complex and highly developed form of order.” —Jane Jacobs
Jane Jacobs’ seminal work, The Death and Life of Great American Cities turns fifty years old this year. Originally published in 1961 by a writer and “housewife” with no formal training living in Greenwich Village, the book is both a celebration of the great potential within cities, and a lamentation for the often destructive and counter-productive ways in which they are often built. The title was deliberate. Jacobs was interested in both the death of cities and the life of cities: she was after not only what harmed cities, but also those things that made them great, that lifted certain cities above others and made some urban spaces so vital and full of life.
—50 Years of The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Visit the site to learn more about Jacobs, her philosophies, her influential book, and her place in the history of urban planning.