Jane Jacobs

Jane Jacobs was an urbanist and activist best known for her influence on urban studies, sociology, and economics. Born on May 4, 1916, in Scranton, Pennsylvania, she wrote extensively on the impacts of modernist urban planning on communities. Her most famous work, 'The Death and Life of Great American Cities' (1961), criticized the urban renewal policies of the 1950s and advocated for more community-centric approaches to city planning. Jacobs emphasized the importance of local residents in shaping their neighborhoods and the need for vibrant, mixed-use urban areas. She passed away on April 25, 2006, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. The Death and Life of Great American Cities

    This book is a critique of 1950s urban planning policy, which it holds responsible for the decline of many city neighborhoods in the United States. The author argues that modernist urban planning rejects the city, because it rejects human beings living in a community characterized by layered complexity and seeming chaos. The book introduces groundbreaking ideas about how cities function, evolve and fail, providing a new perspective on the essentials of vibrant city life. The author also provides concrete examples of the unexpected consequences of urban renewal.

  2. 2. The Economy of Cities

    "The Economy of Cities" explores the concept of urbanization and its impact on economic development. The author argues that cities are the primary drivers of economic growth and innovation, challenging the traditional belief that rural agriculture is the foundation of economic development. The book delves into the history of city development, the role of cities in fostering innovation, and how urban economies evolve and adapt over time. It further discusses the importance of diversity and small-scale entrepreneurship in creating vibrant, sustainable cities.