Jane Jacobs is Canadian-American author and activists who made significant achievements in influencing sociology, economics, and urban studies. Jane Jacobs was born in Pennsylvania the year 1916. She graduated from Scranton Central High School 1933. She began working as a writer with Scranton Tribune. Jane was very fascinated with the nature of the urban life. Later she moved to Chicago where she hoped to get a job, but all was in vain. Although Jacobs had a diploma in stenographic skills of columnist writing, it was difficult for her to land a job since the journalist sector was all flooded with men (Jacobs, 12). She was not happy with the way female were viewed by men as unable and weak in the society. Later on, she got a job in a candy manufacturing company.
During her free hours at the job, she began writing, a habit she developed after observing bad practices in the city. Jane wrote activist books, for instance, ‘The Death and Life of Great American Cities'(Jacobs, 12). She championed some issues in Chicago such as immigration policy, poor and housing. In her work, Jane Jacobs was very unhappy with the state of city planning. Her opinion on this if city planners have implemented their theories and principles and failed, they need to review their approach to planning cities. In Jacobs view, many factors should be taken into consideration when designing a city, not just the reduction traffic and I agree with her. She primarily attacks current city planning and rebuilding techniques. She plans to propose a new set of principles. The present policies result in the expenditures of billions of dollars that produce hangouts for vandals and bums.
Jacobs looks at different cities and finds out what is wrong with them, and then looks at why. Her primary concern is inner cities, areas of high population density. Jacobs view is that city planning is not related to functionality, and that this is the cause of the problem (Jacobs, 24). The first thing she attacks is Howards Garden City. She says the city was only sufficient for those people without a purpose to their lives. She also criticized City Beautiful and Radiant City. City Beautiful was created to put all of the monuments in the city into one unit. Radiant City composed of skyscrapers in a park. She says that these two designs are irrelevant to how cities work.
Jacobs introduces streets and sidewalk; she explains that a city is unsafe if people feel unsafe using the roads and sidewalks. She views the hazardous area’s not as a problem to be resolved by the police but by city planners. Moving people to suburban does not help either since it leaves fewer people in the city. She believes crime will be low in high population density areas. Jacobs was against the principles that underlie city planning, as well as the way buildings, got constructed.
Jane Jacobs, thoughts on the use of sidewalks was fascinating. According to Jacobs, there are three primary uses of sidewalks which includes, for safety purposes, for children, and for contact. Safety is paramount because a city is dangerous when its population does not feel safe on its streets or sidewalks. The thought is always to get the children off of the streets and into playgrounds or other areas. Every time there are problems on the roads, the movement is for more parks and playgrounds. Fewer people are watching in these areas than on the streets (Klemek and Christopher, 56).
The author confirms this fact by walking around the neighborhood in New York. The children are safer playing on the streets and sidewalks where the adults are than in the deserted playground areas. Parents in many areas seem to feel the same way. Children use playgrounds for the first four or five years of their lives. After that, it is difficult to keep them confined in the area. Pavements promote street safety because they are visible markings of a public/private separation of property. Contact is significant because it enhances socialization. Storekeepers help improve this social structure which builds trust among neighbors and spreads the news. In addition sidewalk contact and safety can curb segregation and racial discrimination. The third purpose of sidewalks is assimilating children.
According to the Jacobs, City parks could be fruitful, contingent upon their use. Despite the fact that each stop is its very own substance, there are a few rules that apply to all parks. Neighborhood parks are the most prevalent form of parks. When there are no eyes watching behavior in the parks, they become dangerous as do the streets that border them. The diverse natures of the buildings that border the park contribute to the success of the park. The structures used as restaurants and stores lead to people walking through the park at different times. An example is Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia. The park is well used at all hours of the day. When parks aren’t used or abandoned, then they attract bums and crime (Alexiou and Alice Sparberg, 112). Washington Park is another park in Philadelphia. However, unlike Rittenhouse Square, high-rise office buildings surround it. The only people that use the park are there during their breaks from work. Parks surrounded by residences face the same problem. Mothers are there a few hours during the day. The rest of the time, there is no one there to “watch.” Franklin Square in Philadelphia and Pershing Square in Los Angeles are Skid Row parks. These are parks that are inhabited by bums and the homeless.In chapter 6, She explains that A thriving city neighborhood is one that is alive, vibrant, and safe. Success and safety have nothing to do with economic class.
Immigration and diversity
On immigrant’s issue, Jane argued that immigration is a national issue. When divers immigrants are well welcomed and allowed socialize with other people, they invest and contribute to the society. She added that the city should be a beautiful place for everyone to live freely and happily (Klemek and Christopher, 15).
Neighborhoods are not self-contained units but parts of a much larger city. As such, specific characteristics are required for the region to be prosperous, which Jacobs describes. City planners should try to foster and aid the neighborhoods along the lines they develop and not try to force them to be a way they think they should be. A stable community can keep its areas safe and belong to a district that can help it fight city hall when it needs to. If a neighborhood does not have this capability within its zone, then it cannot solve specific problems, as Jacobs illustrates (Alexiou and Alice Sparberg, 76).
Jane explains urban areas are different. In looking at urban areas, one can’t think about the utilization on a one-by-one premise (Alexiou and Alice Sparberg, 126). The usage is blends and mixes. These combinations and mixes are what is implied by decent variety. Urban communities require producing foundations and business foundations with a specific end goal to survive. Zones can just help such a significant number of markets and other kinds of establishments so cities can support more than the suburbs can. City commerce and manufacturing are diverse in size and nature. Cities generate diversity. She further on explains in chapter 8 that, the to start with the condition is that the region needs to have more than one reason.
The area individuals must be set up to play out their various capacities. As pointed out before, multiple individuals must be in the city in many circumstances always of the day and night to give the eyes that are required. The parks need individuals doing diverse things under various conditions. Similarly, as roads and parks require clients, stores, and other business foundations require clients. Lower Manhattan is utilized for instance. To adjust the time employ, they would need to figure out how to draw in visitors to the area since there are not enough residents to sustain a viable time use. What can they do? Jacobs feels they could build an aquarium, a library branch, schedule concerts, and other attractions in the evenings to draw people to the area (Klemek and Christopher, 85).
Jane Jacobs has composed two surprising books on financial aspects, The Economy of Urban areas, her second edition, distributed in 1969, and The urban regions and the Abundance of Countries, distributed in 1984. These have as of late gotten significant consideration in the financial aspects writing, yet were to a great extent disregarded in that writing when they were first distributed. How they moved from indefinite quality to wind up standard references is a fascinating story. Jacobs frequently exhibits that since fiscally strong families stay, agitated groups will “unslum” themselves. “Urban areas contain the seeds of their recovery.” This demonstrates a city working as a life form. In any case, if these business and families leave the city it will pass on like a malignancy persistent surrendering trust right now the fight turns out to be marginally dangerous.
Through confidence, a tough group consistent with its kin will uncover an approach to settle itself. The consequences of the examination were that opposition was more helpful for development than imposing business model and that a different city economy was superior to one with a grouping of a couple of enterprises. “The confirmation is in this manner negative on Blemish, blended on Watchman, and steady with Jacobs.”From that point on, references to Jane’s work wound up obligatory in any investigation of the development of urban areas and city locales. The most current reading material on urban economics has bounteous references to both of her books, and she has been agreed on a definitive honor: she has entered the language of teaching. Jane’s specific monetary mix of assorted variety and rivalry inside urban areas give what is,’ Jane Jacobs externalities”.
Alexiou, Alice Sparberg. Jane Jacobs: Urban Visionary. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2006.
Jacobs, Jane. The Death and Life of Great American Cities, New York: Random House, 1961.
Klemek, Christopher. “Jane Jacobs.” American National Biography Online. 2015 September 21. http://www.anb.org/articles/14/14-01176.html