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Jane Jacobs, Urban Activist, Is Dead at 89

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#1 Sam Stone

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 12:34 PM

April 25, 2006
Jane Jacobs, Urban Activist, Is Dead at 89

TORONTO, April 25 (Reuters) - Jane Jacobs, the social activist and renowned urban development critic, died on Tuesday at age 89.

Jacobs, an American-born Canadian, is best known for her book "The Death and Life of Great American Cities", which, since its publication in 1961, has become a standard text on urban issues.

Jacobs, who was born in Scranton, Pa., advocated density and mixed use in communities, staunchly opposed large highways and warned of urban sprawl.

She moved to Canada from the United States in the late 1960s, concerned about her two sons being drafted to serve in the Vietnam War.

"Jane Jacobs will be remembered as one of the great urban thinkers of our time," Toronto Mayor David Miller said in a statement. "Her contributions and insights have forever changed the way North American cities are developed."

On May 9, 1996, Jacobs was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.

"Her seminal writings and thought-provoking commentaries on urban development have had a tremendous effect on city dwellers, planners and architects," her citation on the Order of Canada Web site states. "By stimulating discussion, change and action, she has helped to make Canadian city streets and neighborhoods vibrant, liveable and workable for all."

In a 2001 interview for Reason magazine, she spoke about the distinctive nature each city should possess.

"It should be like itself. Every city has differences, from its history, from its site, and so on. These are important," she said. "One of the most dismal things is when you go to a city and it's like 12 others you've seen. That's not interesting, and it's not really truthful."

#2 McHand


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Posted 05 October 2014 - 06:25 AM

I checked out a children's (YA) book about her this weekend.  Ms. Jacobs had such foresight.  Her understanding of the difference between density and overcrowding was vital, and should be taught to all students of planning.


It is a shame that she had to fight the powers of sexism and futurism to be heard.  

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#3 Austin55


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Posted 25 May 2017 - 03:53 PM

Magnolia at the Modern will be showing "Citizen Jane: Battle for the City" this weekend



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