Monday, March 7, 2011

To walk the path of Jane Jacobs – review of What We See, Advancing the Observations of Jane Jacobs

Jane Jacobs died in the spring of 2006. Three years earlier she had published the last book of her illustrious career as a philosopher, Dark Age Ahead, prophesying the fall of North American civilization. Today, this civilization is having a severe stroke due to all the factors that she warned us about. Instead of feeling confident about the outcome, being armed with the knowledge and wisdom of a great philosopher, our societies are plunged into total confusion. We fear what will come next because we have not yet learned our lessons, and not because they have not been written, or not even because we have not read them, but because we won’t acknowledge them.
I was invited to review a recently published collection of essays in honor of Jane Jacobs, “What We See: Advancing the Observations of Jane Jacobs”, gathering articles from a diverse crowd of intellectuals, academics, activists, acquaintances of Jane and honorary disciples. What I saw was that despite many of these people claiming to draw inspiration from Jane and her philosophy, few of them fully embrace what she truly stood for.

more urban planning book reviews:

The City Beautiful Movement by William H. Wilson

City Comforts – How to Build an Urban Village – Book Review

Book Review: Testimonies of the City. Identity, Community and Change in a Contemporary Urban World

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