The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs
The Death and Life of Great American Cities, by Jane Jacobs, is a greatly influential book on the subject of urban planning in the 20th century. First published in 1961, the book is a critique of modernist planning policies claimed by Jacobs to be destroying many existing inner-city communities. Reserving her most vitriolic criticism for the "rationalist" planners (specifically Robert Moses) of the 1950s and 1960s, Jacobs argued that modernist urban planning rejects the city, because it rejects human beings living in a community characterized by layered complexity and seeming chaos. The modernist planners used deductive reasoning to find principles by which to plan cities. Among these policies the most violent was urban renewal; the most prevalent was and is the separation of uses (i.e. residential, industrial, commercial).
The 61st greatest nonfiction book of all time
This book is on the following lists:
- - 39th on The 100 Best Non-Fiction Books of the Century (National Review)
- - The 50 Best Books of the Century (Intercollegiate Studies Institute)