The Savior of the Great American City
May 4, 2016 7:56 AM   Subscribe

If New York City were Middle Earth, Sauron would doubtless be portrayed by Robert Moses, destroying neighborhood after neighborhood in his own endless quest for greater power and a lifeless personal vision of the city that had no thoughts of its inhabitants. But when he set his eyes on leveling SoHo and Little Italy for a ten-lane expressway across Lower Manhattan, he ran up against an unlikely Frodo. Jane Jacobs would have been 100 years old today.
posted by Navelgazer (9 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Awesome. You can extend her legacy with Jane's Walk - citizen-led walks in neighborhoods around the world.
posted by Miko at 8:04 AM on May 4, 2016 [2 favorites]

posted by bl1nk at 8:06 AM on May 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

Today's Google doodle features Jacobs. I particularly like how the urban neighborhood behind her sports a diverse array of building types. Jacobs argued that vibrant neighborhoods needed different types of buildings and from different eras (a mix of old and new). This made a neighborhood interesting and encouraged people to get outside and walk around.
posted by mcmile at 8:17 AM on May 4, 2016 [5 favorites]

Jacobs said Chelsea in NYC would never be a cohesive neighborhood cause the avenues are too far apart and think about that every time I have to hike down one of those long-ass streets.
posted by The Whelk at 8:51 AM on May 4, 2016 [3 favorites]

Fellow mefite zompist has a nice primer on Jacobs' ideas here. (It was what inspired me to start reading her work way back when, though I actually found it when I was googling civ strategy tips and not via metafilter.)
posted by Wretch729 at 9:11 AM on May 4, 2016 [3 favorites]

She saved my city from becoming another Detroit.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 9:12 AM on May 4, 2016 [3 favorites]

Also her last book, Dark Times Ahead is really, really sobering, like in a "continued existence of civilization" way.
posted by The Whelk at 9:26 AM on May 4, 2016 [3 favorites]

I gotta say, if you grew up in Arizona before 1990, that Doodle may look oddly familiar.
posted by darksasami at 1:01 PM on May 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

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