The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs

  • Publisher Vintage

This book is part of Test Unit reading list, a summer school and events programme exploring art, design, architecture and the city. Taking place in Glasgow 3rd – 9th July 2016.

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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, Jane Jacobs’s tour de force is a blueprint for the humanistic management of cities. It remains sensible, knowledgeable, readable and indispensable.

More info at Vintage/Penguin.

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