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The Great Inversion and the Future of the American City by Alan Ehrenhalt
anti-communist, big-box store, British Empire, crack epidemic, David Brooks, deindustrialization, Edward Glaeser, Frank Gehry, haute cuisine, Honoré de Balzac, housing crisis, illegal immigration, Jane Jacobs, manufacturing employment, McMansion, New Urbanism, postindustrial economy, Richard Florida, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, too big to fail, transit-oriented development, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, walkable city, white flight, working poor, young professional
The living habits and preferences of the emerging adult generation are simply too strong to prevent it from occurring to some degree in every healthy urban area. Somewhere in the midst of all these differing prophecies lies the vision of Jane Jacobs. Much of what Jacobs loved and wrote about will never return: The era of the mom-and-pop grocer, the shoemaker, and the candy store has ended for good. We live, for the most part, in a big-box, big-chain century. But I think the youthful urban elites of the present are looking in some sense for the things Jane Jacobs valued, whether they have heard of her or not. They are drawn to the densely packed urban life that they find vastly more interesting than the cul-de-sac world that they grew up inhabiting. And to a great extent, I believe central cities will give it to them.
Each morning, there are nearly as many people commuting out of the center to jobs in the suburbs as there are commuting in. New public elementary schools have opened in downtown Vancouver in the past few years. For several decades now, cities in the United States have wished for a 24/7 downtown, a place where people live as well as work, and keep the streets busy, interesting, and safe at every time of day. This is what Jane Jacobs preached in the 1960s, and it has long since become the accepted goal of urban planners. The irony in Vancouver’s case is that it has not merely done well at attracting downtown residents, it has done too well. The condominiums are crowding out office space. Relatively few commercial building projects have been launched in the past decade, and there is little vacant land to build them on anyway.
The people who are moving downtown are doing so in part to escape the real or virtual “gatedness” of suburban life. The condos that house them in the coming years may feature elaborate security systems, but the inhabitants will not be walled off from the street. They will want to be in contact with the street. This will mean different things to different people. Some will want the funky qualities of Jane Jacobs’s 1950s version of Hudson Street in New York’s Greenwich Village, with locally owned and slightly messy bookstores, coffeehouses, and bars, and a concentration of art galleries and studios. Others will be willing to accept the less adventurous urban world invaded by chain stores, with street-level rows occupied by the Gap, Cheesecake Factory, and Barnes & Noble, and with apartments perched above them on upper residential floors, either rental or condominium.
affirmative action, Andrei Shleifer, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, carbon footprint, Celebration, Florida, clean water, congestion charging, declining real wages, desegregation, diversified portfolio, Edward Glaeser, endowment effect, European colonialism, financial innovation, Frank Gehry, global village, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute cuisine, Home mortgage interest deduction, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, job-hopping, John Snow's cholera map, Mahatma Gandhi, McMansion, megacity, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, place-making, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, RFID, Richard Florida, Rosa Parks, school vouchers, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Steven Pinker, strikebreaker, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, Works Progress Administration, young professional
., 25. 145 “piece of built-in rigor mortis”: Alexiou, Jane Jacobs, 91. 145 a fight with Jane Jacobs: Asbury, “Board Ends Plan.” 146 Jacobs published her masterpiece: Jacobs, Death and Life, Random House, 1961. 146 between one and two hundred households per acre: Jacobs, Death and Life, 208-17. 148 Several papers have shown that new construction is lower: For example, Glaeser and Ward, “The Causes and Consequences of Land Use Regulation: Evidence from Greater Boston,” 265-78; and Katz and Rosen. “The interjurisdictional effects of growth controls on housing prices,” 149-60. 148 One of the cleverest papers ... less new construction and higher price: Albert Saiz, “The Geographic Determinants of Housing Supply,” 1253-96. 148 The building’s architect, like Jane Jacobs, saw height: Moore, Life and Times of Charles Follen Mckim, 274; and Ballon and McGrath, New York’s Pennsylvania Stations, 54. 148 preparing to raze its old New York station: Jacobs, Death and Life, Random House, 1961. 149 subtitle of the New York Times article: Bennett, “City Acts to Save Historical Sites.” 149 Landmarks Preservation Commission became permanent: Landmarks Preservation Committee, www.nyc.gov/html/lpc/html/about/mission.shtml; and “A Landmark Law,” New York Times, Apr. 27, 1965. 149 twenty-five thousand landmarked buildings: New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, Midcentury Modern Midtown Office Tower Becomes a Landmark, Apr. 13, 2010, No. 10-04, www.nyc.gov/html/lpc/downloads/pdf/10_04_springs_mills.pdf. 149 More than 15 percent of Manhattan’s nonpark land: Glaeser, “Preservation Follies,” 62.
After World War II, New York made private development more difficult by overregulating construction and rents while building a bevy of immense publicly supported structures, such as Stuyvesant Town and Lincoln Center. But then, during the 1950s and 1960s, both public and private projects increasingly ran into resistance from grassroots organizers, like Jane Jacobs, who were becoming adept at mounting opposition to large-scale development. Jane Jacobs hardly seemed cut out for big-city glory. She graduated from Scranton’s Central High School in 1934 and left the next year for New York City, because she thought it would be more fun than northeastern Pennsylvania. She took extension-school classes at Columbia University without ever getting a college degree. Later she would turn down abundant offers of honorary degrees.
Height restrictions do increase light, and preservation does protect history, but we shouldn’t pretend that these benefits come without a price. The Perils of Preservation In 1961, the same year that Jane Jacobs published her great book, the Pennsylvania Railroad was preparing to raze its old New York station. That railroad had built the station on Thirty-third Street as a temple to trains in 1908, the height of the rail era. The old Penn Station was a stunning structure, complete with Doric columns and a waiting room based on the Baths of Caracalla. The building’s architect, like Jane Jacobs, saw height as inimical to urban life, so he insisted that the building be short. The decision to go low would prove to be the station’s undoing. While the structure was an acknowledged architectural masterpiece, it also made less sense as rail travel declined in the twentieth century.
The End of the Suburbs: Where the American Dream Is Moving by Leigh Gallagher
Airbnb, big-box store, Burning Man, call centre, car-free, Celebration, Florida, clean water, collaborative consumption, Columbine, crack epidemic, East Village, edge city, Edward Glaeser, extreme commuting, helicopter parent, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, Jane Jacobs, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Menlo Park, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, Richard Florida, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Sand Hill Road, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Tony Hsieh, transit-oriented development, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, Victor Gruen, walkable city, white flight, young professional, Zipcar
And of course, just because suburbanites live apart doesn’t mean they’re alone; many suburbs have extremely strong and tight-knit communities. And as formulaic as critics say cul-de-sacs are, they do have design virtues that make them appealing to families with young kids. Jason Duckworth of Arcadia Land Company points out that there’s something “almost a little Jane Jacobs-y” about them, he says; when children are playing outside, the circular arrangement of homes with parents looking out tends to put multiple “eyes on the street,” Jane Jacobs parlance for the natural surveillance that comes from the presence of people in homes or stores who can easily view street activity. The biggest issue with the suburbs is the way we have developed them in recent years. You can almost chart the change over time by talking to people of different ages about their suburban experience.
He’s investing in bringing displays of artwork from the Burning Man festival to the area, and his team is developing bike-sharing and car-sharing programs. “The idea went from, ‘Let’s build a campus’ to ‘Let’s build a city,’” Hsieh says over shots of Fernet, the bitter digestif that has become the team’s signature drink, at his new neighborhood’s Cheers equivalent, the Downtown Cocktail Room. Hsieh has a vision to create his own version of the sidewalk “ballet” Jane Jacobs described, a place where people can live, work, and play without leaving their neighborhood. (It’s actually Jane Jacobs meets Ed Glaeser; the economist and author has become a hero of the Downtown Project team.) Hsieh himself has moved, too, vacating his suburban Vegas house for one of the loft-style apartments. “I haven’t been back there in months,” he told me. In addition to home builders, retailers, and corporate office parks, the urban migration can be seen in that most iconic emblem of America: our sports stadiums.
Jackson put it in his masterful book: Kenneth T. Jackson, Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States (Oxford University Press, 1985), p. 6. former stomping ground: Jane Jacobs’s former residence is located at 555 Hudson Street in Manhattan’s West Village. A two-story mixed-use building with an apartment above a storefront, it sold for $3.3 million in 2009. In recent years, another Jacobs has taken over the rest of the neighborhood: there are at least six separate Marc Jacobs boutiques in the small neighborhood, prompting graphic designer Mike Joyce to start a guerrilla campaign calling for “More Jane Jacobs Less Marc Jacobs.” More than twenty years later: Thanks goes to my high school English teacher, Emily Farrell. Some of the works appearing on her 2012 reading list: We Had It So Good by Linda Grant, State of Wonder by Anne Patchett, The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje, The Brooklyn Follies by Paul Auster, The Newlyweds by Nell Freudenberger.
A Pattern Language, active transport: walking or cycling, car-free, carbon footprint, congestion charging, David Brooks, edge city, Edward Glaeser, Enrique Peñalosa, food miles, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, if you build it, they will come, intermodal, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Urbanism, peak oil, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Florida, skinny streets, smart cities, Stewart Brand, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, transit-oriented development, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, young professional, Zipcar
Until they do, it will be necessary for mayors, Main Street merchants, and concerned citizens to discredit them. Toward that end, I provide the following short interlude. KILL THE TRAFFIC ENGINEERS FIRST Everybody likes Jane Jacobs, right? She was famous for fighting traffic engineers, and took them to task repeatedly and effectively in her masterpiece, The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Most planners and many public servants swear by that book, but few have read Dark Age Ahead, in which, forty years later, she took off the gloves. Until traffic engineers change their tune on induced demand, here is the statement from Jane Jacobs that every public official and planner needs to tape prominently above his or her desk: It is popularly assumed that when universities give science degrees in traffic engineering, as they do, they are recognizing aboveboard expert knowledge.
What characterizes the discussion on cities these days is not a wrongheadedness or a lack of awareness about what needs to be done, but rather a complete disconnect between that awareness and the actions of those responsible for the physical form of our communities. We’ve known for three decades how to make livable cities—after forgetting for four—yet we’ve somehow not been able to pull it off. Jane Jacobs, who wrote in 1960, won over the planners by 1980. But the planners have yet to win over the city. Certain large cities, yes. If you make your home in New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Portland, or in a handful of other special places, you can have some confidence that things are on the right track. But these locations are the exceptions. In the small and midsized cities where most Americans spend their lives, the daily decisions of local officials are still, more often than not, making their lives worse.
He states that “each ten additional minutes in daily commuting time cuts involvement in community affairs by ten percent—fewer public meetings attended, fewer committees chaired, fewer petitions signed, fewer church services attended, and so on.”37 This finding seems perfectly logical—there’s only so much time in the day, after all—but it is only one part of a much larger picture that includes not only how long it takes to get home, but also in what sort of neighborhood that home is located. Much civic engagement is physical, grown from interaction on the street. Jane Jacobs put it this way: “Lowly, unpurposeful, and random as they may appear, sidewalk contacts are the small change from which a city’s wealth of public life may grow.”● About now we could use some good news, so let’s turn to Dan Buettner, the charismatic National Geographic host and bestselling author responsible for The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest.
Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia by Anthony M. Townsend
1960s counterculture, 4chan, A Pattern Language, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Apple II, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, chief data officer, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, computer age, congestion charging, connected car, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Deng Xiaoping, East Village, Edward Glaeser, game design, garden city movement, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global supply chain, Grace Hopper, Haight Ashbury, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, jitney, John Snow's cholera map, Khan Academy, Kibera, knowledge worker, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, packet switching, patent troll, place-making, planetary scale, popular electronics, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social software, social web, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, working poor, working-age population, X Prize, Y2K, zero day, Zipcar
Molella, Invented Edens: Techno-Cities of the 20th Century (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press), 24. 3Kargon and Molella, Invented Edens, 18. 4Volker Welter, Biopolis: Patrick Geddes and the City of Life (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2003), 11. 5Patrick Geddes, Civics as Applied Sociology (Middlesex, UK: The Echo Library, 2008), 5. 6Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (New York: Random House, 1961), 19. 7Robert Fishman, “The Death and Life of Regional Planning,” in Reflections on Regionalism, edited by B. Katz (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 2000), 115. Fishman’s original source material is Jacobs, Death and Life of Great American Cities, chap. 7. 8Thomas J. Campanella, “Jane Jacobs and the Death and Life of American Planning,” Places: Forum of Design for the Public Realm, April 25, 2011, http://places.designobserver.com/feature/jane-jacobs-and-the-death-and-life-of-american-planning/25188/. 9Campanella, “Jane Jacobs and the Death and Life of American Planning.” 10R. L. Duffus, “A Rising Tide of Traffic Rolls Over New York; What is Being Done to Relieve the Ever-Growing Street Congestion Which Threatens to Slow Up the Vital Processes of Life in the Metropolis,” New York Times, February 9, 1930, XX4. 11Peter D.
Norton, Fighting Traffic: The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2008), 25. 12Duffus, “A Rising Tide of Traffic Rolls Over New York,” XX4. 13Norton, Fighting Traffic, 25–27. 14Norton, Fighting Traffic, 24. 15Norton, Fighting Traffic, 105. 16Norton, Fighting Traffic, 2. 17Campanella, “Jane Jacobs and the Death and Life of American Planning.” 18Anthony Flint, Wrestling with Moses: How Jane Jacobs Took on New York’s Master Builder and Transformed the American City (New York: Random House, 2009), 51. 19Author’s calculation using estimates from Caro, The Power Broker, 9, and US Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI Inflation Calculator, http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpicalc.htm, accessed August 15, 2012. 20Flint, Wrestling with Moses, 85–87. 21Flint, Wrestling with Moses, 100. 22Flint, Wrestling with Moses, 105. 23Flint, Wrestling with Moses, 99. 24Flint, Wrestling with Moses, 109. 25Campanella, “Jane Jacobs and the Death and Life of American Planning.” 26Tom Wright, remarks, “Tools for Engagement” workshop, Regional Plan Association & Lincoln Institute for Land Policy, New York, March 29, 2012. 27Patrick Geddes, quoted in Jaqueline Tyrwhitt, ed., Patrick Geddes in India (London: Lund Humphries: 1947), 45. 28Helen Meller, Patrick Geddes: Social Evolutionist and City Planner (New York: Routledge, 1990), 76–79. 29Patrick Geddes, quoted in Tyrwhitt, ed., Patrick Geddes in India, 41 30Alasdair Geddes, quoted in Tyrwhitt, ed., Patrick Geddes in India, 15. 31Lewis Mumford, quoted in in Tyrwhitt, ed., Patrick Geddes in India, 11. 32Quoted in Welter, Biopolis, 18. 33Nicolai Ouroussoff, “Outgrowing Jane Jacobs and Her New York, New York Times, April 30, 2006, http://www,nytimes.com/2006/04/30/weekinreview/30jacobs.html. 34Campanella, “Jane Jacobs and the Death and Life of American Planning.” 35Fareed Zakaria, “Special Address: At the Intersection of Globalization and Urbanization,” SmarterCities Forum, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, November 9, 2011. 36Tyler Cowen, The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All The Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better (New York: Dutton, 2011), Kindle edition, location 93. 37“Hal Varian on How the Web Challenges Managers,” video interview with James Manyika, McKinsey & Co., last modified January 2009, http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Hal_Varian_on_how_the_Web_challenges_ managers_2286. 38Joi Ito, “The Internet, innovation and learning,” last modified December 5, 2011, http://joi.ito.com/weblog/2011/12/05/the-internet-in.html. 39Ito, “The Internet, innovation and learning.” 40Michael Hiltzik, “So, who really did invent the Internet?”
., Patrick Geddes in India (London: Lund Humphries: 1947), 45. 28Helen Meller, Patrick Geddes: Social Evolutionist and City Planner (New York: Routledge, 1990), 76–79. 29Patrick Geddes, quoted in Tyrwhitt, ed., Patrick Geddes in India, 41 30Alasdair Geddes, quoted in Tyrwhitt, ed., Patrick Geddes in India, 15. 31Lewis Mumford, quoted in in Tyrwhitt, ed., Patrick Geddes in India, 11. 32Quoted in Welter, Biopolis, 18. 33Nicolai Ouroussoff, “Outgrowing Jane Jacobs and Her New York, New York Times, April 30, 2006, http://www,nytimes.com/2006/04/30/weekinreview/30jacobs.html. 34Campanella, “Jane Jacobs and the Death and Life of American Planning.” 35Fareed Zakaria, “Special Address: At the Intersection of Globalization and Urbanization,” SmarterCities Forum, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, November 9, 2011. 36Tyler Cowen, The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All The Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better (New York: Dutton, 2011), Kindle edition, location 93. 37“Hal Varian on How the Web Challenges Managers,” video interview with James Manyika, McKinsey & Co., last modified January 2009, http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Hal_Varian_on_how_the_Web_challenges_ managers_2286. 38Joi Ito, “The Internet, innovation and learning,” last modified December 5, 2011, http://joi.ito.com/weblog/2011/12/05/the-internet-in.html. 39Ito, “The Internet, innovation and learning.” 40Michael Hiltzik, “So, who really did invent the Internet?”
Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There by David Brooks
1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Community Supported Agriculture, David Brooks, Donald Trump, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Gilder, haute couture, haute cuisine, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Urbanism, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Silicon Valley, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thorstein Veblen, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban planning, War on Poverty, Yogi Berra
But that doesn’t mean that he and Whyte were wrong when they criticized technocracies or the conformist and artificial social ethic they engendered. It simply means that it would take a more down-to-earth writer to provide a more practical way of rethinking organizations and social structures. Jane Jacobs, Proto-Bobo In fact, when Roszak was writing, the seeds of that rethinking had already been planted. In 1961 Jane Jacobs published The Death and Life of Great American Cities, which remains the most influential book on how Bobos view organizations and social structures. Jane Jacobs was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, in 1916, the daughter of a doctor and a teacher. After high school she went to work as a reporter for the Scranton Tribune. She lasted a year, then ventured to New York and worked in a series of jobs as a stenographer and freelance writer before landing a junior editorial position at Architectural Forum.
In the years since The Death and Life of Great American Cities was published, Jacobs’s way of seeing has been vindicated again and again. The urban plans she criticized are now universally reviled. The disastrous failure of social-engineering projects across the developing world have exposed the hubris of technocrats who thought they could reshape reality. The failure of the Communist planned economies has taught us that the world is too complicated to be organized and centrally directed. We are, with Jane Jacobs, more modest about what we can know, more skeptical of planners and bureaucrats. We’re more likely to trust modest individuals like Jacobs, who take the time to sit quietly and observe closely. The Pastoral Organization Now we can return to the workplace of today. If you look at today’s management theorists or the restructuring that has been instituted by cutting-edge companies, you are immediately struck by how deeply they have been influenced first by Whyte’s and Roszak’s objections to the old business structures and then by Jacobs’s vision of what constitutes a healthy community.
At Procter & Gamble, elevators, which are thought to destroy give-and-take conversations, are out, while escalators, which are thought to enhance them, are in. Nickelodeon installed extra-wide stairs to encourage exchange and schmoozing. IDEO, another design company, has long rolls of butcher paper spread out over conference tables for brainstorming and doodling. All these companies and hundreds of others are trying to recreate little Jane Jacobs environments, complete with chance meetings, spontaneous exchanges, small gathering places, and the sort of constant flexibility that is really a dynamic order. In the old organization it was the system that was king. Now, so we are told, relationships matter most. In 1967 Kenneth Keniston completed Young Radicals, a study of the 1960s counterculturalists in which he observed that “in manner and style, these young radicals are extremely ‘personalistic,’ focused on face-to-face, direct and open relationships with other people; hostile to formally structured roles and traditional bureaucratic patterns of power and authority.”
A Pattern Language, active transport: walking or cycling, big-box store, Buckminster Fuller, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, delayed gratification, distributed generation, drive until you qualify, East Village, food miles, garden city movement, hydrogen economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, linear programming, McMansion, Murano, Venice glass, Negawatt, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, placebo effect, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thomas L Friedman, unemployed young men, urban planning, urban sprawl, walkable city
Many more acres of upstate pastoral paradise were destroyed by the steady spread of towns like hers than by the creation of the water supply system that makes it possible for New York City to exist. Building the city didn’t fill the Hudson Valley with parking lots; fleeing the city did. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF POPULATION DENSITY WAS ELUCIDATED brilliantly in 1961 in a landmark book called The Death and Life of Great American Cities, by Jane Jacobs.35 Jacobs upended many widely held ideas about how cities ought to be put together, and she has been celebrated ever since as an urban-planning iconoclast and visionary, but she could be viewed just as easily as a pioneering environmentalist. Indeed, Jacobs’s book may be most valuable today as a guide to reducing the ecological damage caused by human beings, even though it scarcely mentions the environment, other than by making a couple of passing references to smog.
The commissioners’ view regarding parks was that “vacant spaces” were made unnecessary by “those large arms of the sea which embrace Manhattan Island,” thereby providing what they felt to be an adequate supply of fresh air and obviating the need to sacrifice developable real estate to recreation.39 No one today would lay out such a large inhabited area with such a paucity of open space, but the relentlessness of the street plan is actually one of the keys to the city’s continuing vitality—and to its greenness. One of Jane Jacobs’s many arresting observations is that parks and other open spaces, if poorly planned, can actually make cities less livable, by creating dead ends that prevent people from moving freely between neighborhoods and by decreasing adjacent activity, a subject to which I’ll return in chapter 4.40 Manhattan’s crush of architecture is paradoxically humanizing, because it brings the city’s commercial, cultural, and other offerings closer together, thereby increasing their accessibility.
A 1998 report on the hidden costs of gasoline says that traditional zoning plays “a significant role in the inefficiencies of low-density development by creating two distinct infrastructures in place of the traditional multipurpose town or city. With the home and the workplace separated, often by long car commutes, two well-serviced developments are created with duplicate retail, service, and parking institutions: the bedroom community and the office park.”16 Standard zoning regulations prohibit or sharply limit almost every characteristic that Jane Jacobs celebrated as the irreducible ingredients of urban vitality, and that the Sierra Club has identified as tools for reducing or reversing sprawl. Zoning tends to fully separate residential and commercial uses, to move buildings farther apart and farther from streets and sidewalks, to force low-density development by limiting building height and lot coverage, and to require the creation of oversized parking facilities, which move buildings still farther apart, usually making them inaccessible to anyone who isn’t driving.
Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives by Tim Harford
affirmative action, Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Basel III, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, crowdsourcing, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Erdős number, experimental subject, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Frank Gehry, game design, global supply chain, Googley, Guggenheim Bilbao, high net worth, Inbox Zero, income inequality, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Merlin Mann, microbiome, out of africa, Paul Erdős, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Turing test, urban decay
It hasn’t really caught on.*14 When Jane Jacobs was admiring Birmingham in the early 1960s, her view seemed odd. Detroit, the quintessential one-industry town, was booming. The standard view was that cities could prosper by playing to their own strengths. But as deindustrialization ripped the life out of specialized cities from Detroit to Glasgow, it became clear that this view was shortsighted. Jacobs had been right that specialized cities were fragile. Diverse industries might seem untidy, and they might occasionally get in one another’s way. But the diversity gave a city a chance to respond to shocks. And while nobody ever gets very excited about Birmingham, it has adapted and endured for hundreds of years. In 1994, over three decades after Jane Jacobs set out this idea, AnnaLee Saxenian, an economist and political scientist, published a study comparing two famous technology clusters, Silicon Valley and Boston’s Route 128.
A much better recipe for success was a cluster of industries that drew on some common elements—for example, the same basic scientific research—but which were also diverse. Per person, San Francisco and Boston were comfortably the two most innovative places in the United States. Feldman and Audretsch concluded that Jane Jacobs had been right that innovation emerged from diverse (but complementary) industries rather than specialized clusters. The great Alfred Marshall had missed this important point—while Jane Jacobs, a woman with no formal qualifications, dismissed as “a crazy dame” by establishment figures, had come at the subject from a different angle and discovered something important. That is, of course, exactly the kind of thing her own theory predicted. * A fifth explanation has since been proposed: taking lead out of gasoline in the late 1970s seems to have improved children’s cognitive development and thus (with a delay) reduced crime
There is a balance to be struck here—a balance that we are still working hard to understand.11 Yet the early lessons of the new science of the microbiome chime strikingly with what we’ve already discovered: If you try to control a complex system, suppressing or tidying away the parts that seem unimportant, you are likely to discover that what seemed unimportant turns out to be very important indeed. • • • If we are increasingly understanding that mess makes natural systems more healthy and resilient, then could the same be true for artificial systems, such as the neighborhoods, cities, and countries where we live? Jane Jacobs, the urban writer and campaigner, made the case for neighborhood diversity in The Death and Life of Great American Cities. She wrote of “the daily ballet of Hudson Street” in Greenwich Village, New York, where she lived. “We may fancifully call it the art form of the city and liken it to the dance,” she wrote. “Not to a simple-minded precision dance with everyone kicking up at the same time, twirling in unison and bowing off en masse, but to an intricate ballet in which the individual dancers and ensembles all have distinctive parts which miraculously reinforce each other.”12 Jacobs explained that it was the diversity of this urban ballet that made it work.
Suburban Nation by Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Jeff Speck
A Pattern Language, big-box store, car-free, Celebration, Florida, City Beautiful movement, desegregation, edge city, Frank Gehry, housing crisis, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, intermodal, Jane Jacobs, jitney, McMansion, New Urbanism, place-making, price mechanism, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, skinny streets, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, transit-oriented development, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration
Census Bureau’s 1997 report on Geographical Mobility. 2 Edward Blakely and Mary Gail Snyder, Fortress America, 24. 3 Ibid., 7. 4 Peter Calthorpe, The Next American Metropolis, 19. 4. THE PHYSICAL CREATION OF SOCIETY 1 “Parking Lot Pique,” A26. 2 Jonathan Franzen, “First City,” 91. 3 Jonathan Rose, “Violence, Materialism, and Ritual,” 145. 4 Le Corbusier, The City of Tomorrow and Its Planning, 129. 5 Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, 129. 5. THE AMERICAN TRANSPORTATION MESS 1 Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, 183. 2 Donald D.T. Chen, “If You Build It, They Will Come,” 4. 3 Ibid., 6. 4 Stanley Hart and Alvin Spivak, The Elephant in the Bedroom, 122. 5 Jane Holtz Kay, Asphalt Nation, 129. 6 Hart and Spivak, The Elephant in the Bedroom, 111; James Howard Kunstler, Home from Nowhere, 67, 99. 7 Hart and Spivak, The Elephant in the Bedroom, 166. 6.
My own contribution to the editing process was a result of simple time management. With new towns to design that could outlast centuries, why spend an inordinate number of hours on a text that might have a shelf life of only a few years? I was aware of the tension between a book focused on a present problem and one of lasting relevance, and I argued strongly that our book should be the latter. In this regard, Jane Jacobs’s half-century-old The Death and Life of Great American Cities was my model—a difficult one to live up to, granted, but the pursuit of unattainable ideals is stimulating. And so I undertook the editing with an eye to issues that were of the more transcendental sort. To this end, the grand subject of urbanism certainly provided a good foundation. The fashionable was eradicated under my pen—and so I bear any blame for the book’s being not nearly as hip as the younger Jeff would have had it.
This would be an important first step toward creating public spaces worthy of habitation. 3 THE HOUSE THAT SPRAWL BUILT THE ODDITY OF AMERICAN HOUSING; PRIVATE REALM VERSUS PUBLIC REALM; THE SEGREGATION OF SOCIETY BY INCOME; TWO ILLEGAL TYPES OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING; TWO FORGOTTEN RULES OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING; THE MIDDLE-CLASS HOUSING CRISIS Does anyone suppose that, in real life, answers to any of the great questions that worry us today are going to come out of homogeneous settlements? —JANE JACOBS, THE DEATH AND LIFE OF GREAT AMERICAN CITIES (1961) THE ODDITY OF AMERICAN HOUSING Sprawl is made up mostly of housing. Its ubiquity alone makes it an important subject to study, but there are other reasons to consider the way America provides housing. While the current suburban model may seem natural enough to most Americans, it appears quite odd when viewed in a global context. There is not another nation on earth that houses its citizens as we do, and few could afford to.
affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, colonial rule, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, European colonialism, experimental economics, experimental subject, George Akerlof, income per capita, invention of the telephone, Jane Jacobs, John von Neumann, law of one price, Martin Wolf, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, women in the workforce
Department of Justice press release, February 21, 2006, www.usdoj.gov/usao/dc/Press_Releases/2006_Archives/Feb_2006/06060.html, summarizes the evidence, which Reginald Jones accepted, entering an “Alford” plea, which asserted his innocence but accepted that enough evidence existed to convict him. Newspaper accounts include “Horrific Attack, Heroic Rescue,” The Washington Post, July 7, 2005, and “Blood, Sweat, and Fear,” FT Magazine, August 27, 2005. I was one of the witnesses to the attack. Jane Jacobs: Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities 1961; rept. New York: Vintage 1992). Two economists: Edward Glaeser and Bruce Sacerdote, “The Social Consequences of Housing,” NBER Working Paper 8034, December 2000, papers.nber.org/papers/W8034. The British ghettos are up: U.K. white population from the Office for National Statistics, www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=273. Fact about people in high-rises is from an op-ed by the British geographer Daniel Dorling, published in the Observer, September 25, 2005.
Such was the ferocity of the attack that Sarah would have had no chance without the ordinary folk of Fifteenth Street who rushed to her aid. She owes her life to the neighborhood in which she was attacked and to the protection it gave her. Most city dwellers are not so unlucky as to attract the attention of maniacs, but we still rely on the city streets for protection. Usually we do not need passersby to pull muggers off us or apprehend pickpockets, because rational muggers and pickpockets do not act when there are passersby. Jane Jacobs—an unconventional observer of economies, especially city economies—famously argued that successful neighborhoods provide “eyes on the street” to protect us from crime, just as they protected Sarah but could not protect Margaret. It is yet another example of a positive externality: When I go to the park, I not only make it more interesting for other people, I also make it feel safer. That may attract more of them and they will make me feel safer.
Each additional floor in your building increases your risk of being robbed in the street or having your car stolen by two and a half percentage points—if your building has twelve stories rather than two, your chance of being mugged rises by a quarter. The higher the building, the more people are lifted away from the stoop and the street. Since Glaeser and Sacerdote adjusted for poverty, public housing, and many other factors, that is a big effect coming from mere steel and concrete. Jane Jacobs was right: The architecture of city neighborhoods isn’t just about what looks nice. It’s about whether the neighborhoods themselves live or die. And the pernicious effect of the tower blocks falls unevenly. In the United Kingdom, for example, whose population is 92 percent white, racial segregation is vertical: Whites are in the minority of those who live above the fifth floor of a tower block.
The New Economics: A Bigger Picture by David Boyle, Andrew Simms
Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, capital controls, carbon footprint, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, congestion charging, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, delayed gratification, deskilling, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, financial deregulation, financial innovation, full employment, garden city movement, happiness index / gross national happiness, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, land reform, loss aversion, microcredit, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, neoliberal agenda, new economy, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, peak oil, pensions crisis, profit motive, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, working-age population
Other books to read Jane Jacobs (1986) The Economy of Cities, Penguin, London Jeffrey Sachs (2005) The End of Poverty: How We Can Make It Happen in Our Lifetime, Penguin, London Amartya Sen (1999) Development as Freedom, OUP, Oxford Andrew Simms (2007) Tescopoly, Constable, London Andrew Simms (2009) Ecological Debt, Second Edition, Pluto, London Andrew Simms, Peter Chowla and Dan Moran (2006) The Interdependence Report, New Economics Foundation, London Jeffrey M. Smith (2003) Seeds of Deception, Green Books, Totnes, UK K. Watkins and P. Fowler (2003) Rigged Rules and Double Standards, Oxfam International, Oxford Websites www.capandshare.org www.dtqs.org Notes 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Andrew Simms, Dan Moran and Peter Chowla (2006) The UK Interdependence Report, New Economics Foundation, London. Jane Jacobs (1970) The Economy of Cities, Vintage, New York.
‘Any national policy that makes enough national spending available to enable Liverpool to generate healthy levels of economic activity there, is bound to create inflationary conditions in other parts of the country,’ wrote the economist and former civil servant James Robertson.13 That situation is probably even more pronounced under the euro. 56 THE NEW ECONOMICS The problem with big currencies is that they undermine the kind of information small currencies can provide to cities and regions. This was the argument that the radical economist Jane Jacobs put forward in 1986: Imagine a group of people who are all properly equipped with diaphragms and lungs, but share only one single brainstem breathing centre. In this goofy arrangement, through breathing they would receive consolidated feedback on the carbon dioxide level of the whole group, without discriminating among the individuals producing it... But suppose some of these people were sleeping, while others were playing tennis...
63 9 Tax Justice Network (2005) The Price of Offshore, London. 10 Edgar Cahn (2000) No More Throwaway People: The Co-production Imperative, Essential Books, Washington DC. 11 Robert Skidelsky (1992) John Maynard Keynes Vol 2: The Economist as Saviour, Picador, London. 12 David Boyle (2003) Beyond Yes and No: A Multi-currency Alternative to EMU, New Economics Foundation, London. 13 James Robertson (2002) ‘The euro will prompt further monetary reform’, European Business Review, Vol 14, No 1. 14 Jane Jacobs (1986) Cities and the Wealth of Nations, Random House, New York. 15 Bernard Lietaer (2000) The Future of Money, Random Century, London. 16 Richard Douthwaite (1999) The Ecology of Money, Schumacher Briefings Number 4, Green Books, Totnes. 17 Tom Greco (1985) New Money for Healthy Communities, Greco, Tucson. 18 See, for example, David Boyle (ed) (2002) The Money Changers: Currency Reform from Aristotle to e-cash, Earthscan, London. 19 New York Times (1921) 4 December. 20 Stamp Out Poverty (2005) Submission to the Intergovernmental Working Group, London. 21 Joseph Stiglitz (2002) Globalisation and its Discontents, Norton, New York. 5 Markets: Why has London Traffic Always Travelled at 12mph?
The Vanishing Neighbor: The Transformation of American Community by Marc J. Dunkelman
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, Broken windows theory, call centre, clean water, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, David Brooks, delayed gratification, double helix, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global village, helicopter parent, if you build it, they will come, impulse control, income inequality, invention of movable type, Jane Jacobs, Khyber Pass, Louis Pasteur, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, McMansion, Nate Silver, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Occupy movement, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, Richard Florida, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban decay, urban planning, Walter Mischel, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, World Values Survey
For the better part of the next several decades, right through the Great Depression, the Second World War, and the postwar era that raised Kitty Genovese, answering those questions became one of sociology’s most important projects. Then two things happened. First, in 1961, a transplant to New York City from Scranton, Pennsylvania, published arguably the most important twentieth-century treatise on American community. Jane Jacobs’s The Death and Life of American Cities offered a wholly new understanding of municipal success. Conventional wisdom argued that city problems were driven by the chaos of urban life; but Jacobs thought just the opposite. It wasn’t that cities alienated people from one another; quite the opposite, efforts to clean up the nation’s metropolises were sterilizing their streetscapes. The key to a vibrant city, in her view, was to maintain the familiar relationships that arranged neighborhood routines into an intricate ballet.
No matter whether in colonial villages, frontier towns, urban tenements, or, as Fischer noted, the distinct pockets of life that persevered even in the darkest days of American city life, the township remained the core building block of American community. It’s not that the disruptive elements of the nation’s past didn’t have dramatic effects. Undoubtedly, cities experienced growing pains around the turn of the twentieth century. But Jane Jacobs’s work illustrated clearly that the connections that represent the core ties of any township remained a central feature of successful twentieth-century American communities. Whether or not neighbors were socializing with more circumscribed groups of people—if the Italian immigrants largely kept to themselves, or the gay community cocooned in one part of a city—they were carrying on the tradition.
Has the township survived the postwar period or, alternatively, have the Third Wave, the Chinatown Bus effect, the jump up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and the search for affirmation opened the door for us to embrace something new? 10 EXIT TOCQUEVILLE Let’s recall where we left off in our historical survey of American community. What had seemed imminent during the early years of the twentieth century—namely, that the massive migration from the wholesome countryside to the gritty metropolis would leave Americans isolated and depraved—had, just a few decades later, been proven wrong. As Jane Jacobs revealed—and many academics later came to acknowledge—many of the rhythms that had defined the Tocqevillian township had survived despite the big shift. Indeed, cities thrived after the Industrial Revolution in large part because the individual neighborhoods that subdivided urban America had embraced the same basic social architecture that had been present in America’s colonial villages and frontier towns.
Nomad Citizenship: Free-Market Communism and the Slow-Motion General Strike by Eugene W. Holland
capital controls, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, complexity theory, deskilling, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, informal economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, means of production, microcredit, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, peak oil, price mechanism, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, slashdot, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, wage slave, working poor
This is the other secret of primitive accumulation, hinted at by Marx in his lurid descriptions of the process toward the end of Capital, volume 1, then elaborated on by Rosa Luxemburg, but only fully developed in recent work by feminists such as Maria Mies and Syl via Federici on the dependence of accumulation on patriarchy: the accu mulation of capital requires not only the destitution of the poor in the marketplace but also the subordination of women in the domestic sphere and the subordination or enslavement of indigenous peoples around the globe.52 Capital accumulation becomes possible, in other words, not only because of the reduction of wage levels by job-market competition among destitute workers but also because of completely unremunerated labor per formed by those workers’ wives at home and by slaves and other workers in the colonies. If the third and fourth theoretical displacements yield a kind of minor marxism, the four displacements taken together yield something like a mi nor feminism or a feminist nomadology. Affirmative nomadology is, to be sure, adapted from the work of Deleuze and Guattari, but it is informed through and through by the perspectives of Mies and Federici and the work of Mary Parker Follett, Jane Jacobs, Iris Marion Young, Rosa Lux emburg, and J. K. Gibson-Graham, among others. I chose these women’s works—or rather they chose me, forced and helped me to think—because their work offers means with which to address the Problems confronting us, both sociohistorical and philosophical, in the most provocative and productive ways. The only thing minor about the feminism of affirmative nomadology, I hasten to add, is that, like all other conceptual compo nents adapted for use here, they are mobilized not to erect some general theory but to address a specific set of Problems.
The problem with an exclusive focus on faceto-face groups, as Iris Marion Young has shown, is that it can construe any kind of mediation as alienation, and privilege instead immediacy and transparency; it tends, in short, to deny some kinds of difference.34 Such a focus is not only theoretically untenable (Young argues that it falls afoul of the Derridean critique of unified subjects present to one another35), it is also totally impractical: urbanization and hence intensifying social me diation and complexification are long-standing and worldwide trends that must be worked with, not wished away in a nostalgic attempt to restore something like small-town, gemeinschaft social life. Drawing directly on the work of Jane Jacobs—arguably the second great twentieth-century American theorist of urban neighborhoods, after Mary Parker Follett herself—Young proposes city life as an alternative to the neighborhood group, “an ideal of city life as a vision of social relations affirming group difference,” and as a venue for “different groups that dwell together . . . without forming a community”36—or while forming at most what van Gunsteren would call a “community of fate.”37 If the essence of society is not just difference but “related difference,” as Follett insists, it is city life as a whole that concentrates and composes related differences, even more than the neighborhood group alone.38 We saw th at for Follett, the neighborhood group already possessed this advantage compared to the Greek polis: whereas Greek citizens qua citi zens were all alike (land- and slave-owning males), neighborhood citizens were different—occupationally, at least—and those differences contrib uted directly to the strength of the group.
Familiar acquaintances combine with neighborhood residents in composing a web of interpersonal connections that makes it possible not only to tolerate the presence of strangers and passers-by without undue concern but to enjoy and appreciate their novelty and their differences. It is the haphazard mix of residents, regular users, mere passers-by, neighbors, strangers, and ac quaintances that, for Jacobs, both enlivens and secures the neighborhood. In one important respect, the Jane Jacobs neighborhood is quite un like the neighborhood watch groups her work partly inspired and quite unlike the Progressive-era neighborhood organization championed by Mary Parker Follett and others—not to mention the radiant city of Le Corbusier—because the Jacobs neighborhood is completely unplanned (unconscious is the word she often uses). The continual crisscrossing of paths, the consistent overlapping of lines-of-sight, the comings and go ings and the staying in place, the seeing and being seen, the buildup of a thick texture of social relations and related difference—all this occurs totally without design.
barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, clean water, computer age, Corn Laws, cross-subsidies, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, Diane Coyle, Edward Glaeser, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, financial deregulation, full employment, global village, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, lump of labour, Marshall McLuhan, McJob, microcredit, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, night-watchman state, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, pension reform, pensions crisis, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, spinning jenny, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, two tier labour market, very high income, War on Poverty, winner-take-all economy, working-age population
John Hills (July 1997) Rowntree Title, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, York. Paul Hirst & Grahame Thompson (1996) Globalisation in Question, Polity Press, Cambridge. Mathew Horsman & Andrew Marshall (1994) After the Nation State, HarperCollins, London. Peter Huber (2 December 1996) ‘Cyber Power’, Forbes, New York. Mike Hudson (1995) Managing Without Profit, Penguin, London. Jane Jacobs (1984) Cities and the Wealth of Nations, Random House/Viking, London. Jane Jacobs (1961) The Life and Death of Great American Cities, Jonathan Cape, London. Thierry Jeantet (1986) La modernisation de la France par l’Economie Sociale. Peter Kenen, ed. (1994) Managing the World Economy, Institute for International Economics, Washington, DC. Paul Kennedy (30 May 1996) Analysis lecture, BBC Radio 4. Paul Krugman (1993) Geography and Trade, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.
In his futurological essay he writes: ‘The jobs that could not be shipped abroad or handled by machines were those that required a human touch — face to face interaction between people working directly with physical materials. In short, they were jobs done best in dense urban areas.’ Whether for reasons of weightlessness or the reverse, some cities at least will become important centres of economic power. Perhaps, as in mediaeval and The Weightless World 22 renaissance times, the city state will become the key political unit. This development was foreseen by Jane Jacobs in her wonderful book Cities and the Wealth of Nations. The assumption underlying conventional economic analysis, she argues, is that the national economy is the salient unit, an assumption dating from the mercantilists of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Only Marxist economic theory has diverged successfully from this assumption. She analyses the economy instead in terms of city units, hubs of trade and the centre of webs of economic relationships.
The Charities Aid Foundation estimates that unfilled demand for microloans in the UK could amount to £250 million. Social lending has a longer history and takes place on a much bigger scale on the Continent. For example, France has the Caisses de Credit Municipal, serving a million lowincome customers, and Germany has a big credit union movement dating back to the mid-nineteenth century. Sometimes the process is more informal. Jane Jacobs gives the example of the redevelopment of Boston’s North End in the 1950s — it has since become an expensive and chi-chi neighbourhood. But after World War II it was a squalid, crowded immigrant area with a very dilapidated housing stock. Banks would not lend for redevelopment in the area. It was a no-hope project, a bad credit risk, in their eyes. The redevelopment did take place, but without outside capital.
City: Urbanism and Its End by Douglas W. Rae
agricultural Revolution, barriers to entry, business climate, City Beautiful movement, complexity theory, desegregation, edge city, ghettoisation, income per capita, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, manufacturing employment, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Saturday Night Live, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, urban planning, urban renewal, War on Poverty, white flight, Works Progress Administration
The sum of such casual, public contact at a local level—most of it fortuitous, most of it associated with errands, all of it metered by the person concerned and not thrust upon him by anyone—is a feeling for the public identity of people, a web of public respect and trust, and a resource in time of personal or neighborhood need. The absence of this trust is a disaster to a city street. Its cultivation cannot be institutionalized. Jane Jacobs, 1961 CONTENTS Preface, ix 1 Creative Destruction and the Age of Urbanism, 1 PART ONE / URBANISM 2 Industrial Convergence on a New England Town, 35 3 Fabric of Enterprise, 73 4 Living Local, 113 5 Civic Density, 141 6 A Sidewalk Republic, 183 PART TWO / END OF URBANISM 7 Business and Civic Erosion, 1917–1950, 215 C O N T E N T S 8 Race, Place, and the Emergence of Spatial Hierarchy, 254 9 Inventing Dick Lee, 287 10 Extraordinary Politics: Dick Lee, Urban Renewal, and the End of Urbanism, 312 11 The End of Urbanism, 361 12 A City After Urbanism, 393 Notes, 433 Bibliography, 477 Acknowledgments, 499 Index, 503 viii PREFACE City: Urbanism and Its End pursues the course of urban history across the boundaries that separate political science from sociology, geography, economics, and history itself.
First, many of the problems faced by city government today arise from the historical adaptation of its institutions to a far more supportive environment—an environ29 C R E AT I V E D E S T R U C T I O N ment where control over urban land use represented real power, where law enforcement was carried out substantially by civilian agents operating as storekeepers, as school principals, and simply as engaged neighbors helping one another to cope with the behavior of fifteen-year-old miscreants. Such an urbanist environment tended, without much explicit effort, to support trust and cooperation among civilians, and thus to reduce the strain on public sector responsibility for the keeping of good order and civil respect. As Jane Jacobs wrote: The first thing to understand is that the public peace—the sidewalk and street peace—of cities is not kept primarily by the police, necessary as the police are. It is kept primarily by an intricate, almost unconscious, network of voluntary controls and standards among the people themselves, and enforced by the people themselves. In some city areas . . . the keeping of public sidewalk law and order is left almost entirely to the police and special guards.
If [the individual] comes into contact with his neighbors, and they with other neighbors, there will be an accumulation of social capital, which may immediately satisfy his social needs and which may bear a social potentiality sufficient to the substantial improvement of living conditions in the whole community. The community as a whole will benefit by the cooperation of all its parts, while the individuals will find in his associations advantages of the help, the sympathy, and the fellowship of his neighbors.56 181 U R B A N I S M Several others, including Jane Jacobs, have since independently discovered this idea, and Robert Putnam has made it a part of speech in American English with his Bowling Alone.57 It is a useful idea, and Hanifan got it right in 1916—in recommending rural policy in conscious emulation of urban life built up with civic density of just the sort we have reviewed here. The ideas around which this chapter and the several before it have been organized—centering, groundedness, civic density—are all related to this admittedly inexact concept.
Where Good Ideas Come from: The Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson
Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, cleantech, complexity theory, conceptual framework, cosmic microwave background, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, digital Maoism, discovery of DNA, Dmitri Mendeleev, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Drosophila, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Ernest Rutherford, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, greed is good, Hans Lippershey, Henri Poincaré, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, invention of air conditioning, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telephone, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Jacquard loom, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, Mason jar, Mercator projection, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, online collectivism, packet switching, PageRank, patent troll, pattern recognition, price mechanism, profit motive, Ray Oldenburg, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, silicon-based life, six sigma, Solar eclipse in 1919, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, urban planning
This is what we call “superlinear scaling”: if creativity scaled with size in a straight, linear fashion, you would of course find more patents and inventions in a larger city, but the number of patents and inventions per capita would be stable. West’s power laws suggested something far more provocative: that despite all the noise and crowding and distraction, the average resident of a metropolis with a population of five million people was almost three times more creative than the average resident of a town of a hundred thousand. “Great cities are not like towns only larger,” Jane Jacobs wrote nearly fifty years ago. West’s positive quarter-power law gave that insight a mathematical foundation. Something about the environment of a big city was making its residents significantly more innovative than residents of smaller towns. But what was it? The 10/10 Rule The first national broadcast of a color television program took place on January 1, 1954, when NBC aired an hour-long telecast of the Tournament of Roses parade, and distributed it to twenty-two cities across the country.
“The theory . . . explains the ‘evil’ and ‘good’ of cities simultaneously,” Fischer wrote. “Criminal unconventionality and innovative (e.g., artistic) unconventionality are both nourished by vibrant subcultures.” Poetry collectives and street gangs might seem miles apart on the surface, but they each depend on the city’s capacity for nurturing subcultures. The same pattern holds true for trades and businesses in large cities. As Jane Jacobs observed in The Death and Life of Great American Cities: “The larger a city, the greater the variety of its manufacturing, and also the greater both the number and the proportion of its small manufacturers.” Towns and suburbs, for instance, are natural homes for huge supermarkets and for little else in the way of groceries, for standard movie houses or drive-ins and for little else in the way of theater.
No longer needed for mass transportation, the abandoned subway cars have taken on a new occupation in their retirement years. They are now ecosystem engineers. Platforms have a natural appetite for trash, waste, and abandoned goods. The sea bass and mussels making a home in a decommissioned A train, like the songbirds nesting in the abandoned homes of the pileated woodpeckers, mirror a pattern Jane Jacobs detected years ago in urban development: innovation thrives in discarded spaces. Emergent platforms derive much of their creativity from the inventive and economical reuse of existing resources, and, as any urbanite will tell you, the most expensive resource in a big city is real estate. “If you look about, you will see that only operations that are well established, high-turnover, standardized or heavily subsidized can afford, commonly, to carry the costs of new construction,” Jacobs wrote.
Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, Apple II, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, butterfly effect, computer age, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, East Village, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Grace Hopper, gravity well, Guggenheim Bilbao, Honoré de Balzac, Howard Rheingold, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mercator projection, Mother of all demos, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Post-materialism, post-materialism, Potemkin village, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert X Cringely, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, social software, spaced repetition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Turing machine, Turing test, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, walkable city, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Shockley: the traitorous eight
Never submit to failure.” has to be one of the most repeated pieces of advice to sales trainees everywhere. Quoted in Richard Langworth, Churchill by Himself: The Deﬁnitive Collection of Quotations (New York: Public Affairs, 2008), 569; originally in Winston Churchill, My Early Life: A Roving Commission (London: Thornton Butterworth, 1930), 74. 7. Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961; repr., New York: Modern Library, 1993; Jane Jacobs, Systems of Survival: A Dialogue on the Moral Foundations of Commerce and Politics (New York: Random House, 1992). 188 NOTES 8. Manuel DeLanda offers a succinct deﬁnition of the difference between hierarchies and meshworks in “Homes: Meshwork or Hierarchy?” Mediamatic, available at <http://www.mediamatic.net/article-5914-en.html>. “Hierarchies are structures in which components have been sorted out into homogeneous groups, then articulated together.
A housing administrator who battled her once said, “What a dear, sweet character she isn’t.” She went to jail twice for defending her neighborhood, and was able to work with a large group of people who questioned why cars and commuters were more important than parks, communities, and pedestrians. The woman decided to write down the record of her experiences and thoughts about cities and urban planning, and the ﬁeld of urban planning was changed forever. She was Jane Jacobs, the year was 1961, and her book was The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Jacobs was our preeminent urban anthropologist—a person who could look at a city block, and through building up the details, show exactly how it worked. An associate editor of Architectural Forum in the 1950s, she became more and more concerned with the deadening effects of urban planning on cities. She went over the whole sad history of those inﬂuential thinkers who saw 84 WEB n.0 cities as horrid, dirty, overcrowded places ﬁlled with the dregs of humanity who needed planners to come in and rationalize, de-densify, and order their spaces for them.
For Jacobs, the worst situation is the creation of the moral hybrid, a commercial group with guardian powers, as when a criminal syndicate like the mafia comes to dominate a society, or guardians with commercial aspirations, like the Chinese Army’s control over local industries resulting from the market-economic reforms after Mao Zedong’s death. These syndromes are complex agglomerations of attributes, attitudes, and symptoms. In that, they serve as a model for the ways in which we will talk about downloading and uploading. Jacobs was a champion of hybridity, but understood that the secret was to maintain the right balance of the elements and system. Jane Jacobs is inspirational in terms of reminding us that deep systemic analysis can be linked to action.7 Metcalfe’s Corollary These infrastructure battles become more and more important because as complex systems evolve over time, what gets constructed now, no matter how ad hoc, tends to be grandfathered in as time goes by. Bob Metcalfe—coinventor of the Ethernet technology, founder of industrial giant 3COM, and a pioneer in wiring people together—put forth one of the most succinct analyses of networks ever offered: the value of 86 WEB n.0 a network is proportional to the square of the number of users of the system (n2).
Times Square Red, Times Square Blue by Samuel R. Delany
—Library Journal “Composed of two diametrically opposed essays, Times Square Red, Times Square Blue falls somewhere in the cracks between memoir, social history, philosophy, and polemic—and draws its strength precisely from the tension between those elements. Delany plumbs the depths of a Times Square that’s all but gone in search of social treasure worth salvaging for future use; the result is worthy of a (sometimes contentious) position within a history of modernist city thinking that stretches from Walter Benjamin through Jane Jacobs to Marshall Berman.” —citysearch.com “Samuel Delany is one of America’s keenest observers. . . . In this eloquent, provocative book, Delany grieves for the loss of this strip of sexual release. Though he is careful not to romanticize or sentimentalize the peep shows and porn theaters, he does illuminate the way in which these venues crossed class, racial, and orientation lines, providing a delightfully subversive utopia—and a microcosm of New York life. . . . both heartfelt homage to a beloved city and lament for a quirky vitality increasingly phased out by encroaching capitalism.”
Businesses are supposed to move in when vice is at its peak—not ten years after the wave has crested and is a decade into its ebb. What this may just sign is that those four planned office towers, if not the rest of the brave new mall, could suffer the fate of so many of the country’s artificially built-up downtown areas over the last decade or two—Minneapolis, Minnesota; Springfield, Massachusetts—where no one wants to live or work, so that, as Jane Jacobs warned in her 1961 volume The Death and Life of Great American Cities, because there’s not enough intertwined commercial and residential variety to create a vital and lively street life, the neighborhood becomes a glass and aluminum graveyard, on its way to a postmodern superslum, without even going through the process of overcrowding—abandoned before it’s ever really used. Across Eighth Avenue from Stella’s, toward the corner of Forty-sixth Street, between the Eighth Avenue Grocery and the Lilipul Video Store, the Full Moon Saloon is a narrow bar on the ground floor of a five-story apartment house, most of whose upper windows have been cinder-blocked over.
Visitors to New York might be surprised that such occurrences are central to my vision of the city at its healthiest. Lifetime residents won’t be. Watching the metamorphosis of such vigil and concern into considered and helpful action is what gives one a faithful and loving attitude toward one’s neighborhood, one’s city, one’s nation, the world. I have taken “contact,” both term and concept, from Jane Jacobs’s instructive 1961 study, The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Jacobs describes contact as a fundamentally urban phenomenon and finds it necessary for everything from neighborhood safety to a general sense of social well-being. She sees it supported by a strong sense of private and public in a field of socioeconomic diversity that mixes living spaces with a variety of commercial spaces, which in turn must provide a variety of human services if contact is to function in a pleasant and rewarding manner.
Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design by Charles Montgomery
2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, agricultural Revolution, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, City Beautiful movement, clean water, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, East Village, edge city, energy security, Enrique Peñalosa, experimental subject, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, happiness index / gross national happiness, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, income inequality, income per capita, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, license plate recognition, McMansion, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, science of happiness, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transit-oriented development, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, wage slave, white flight, World Values Survey, Zipcar
Rome rose as its wealth was poured into the common good of aqueducts and roads, then declined as it was hoarded in private villas and palaces. Paris’s most glorious public gardens were built for the enjoyment of a ruling elite but now provide hedonic delights for all. The high modernists of the last century used architecture like an ethical bulldozer, pushing communities toward a symbolic, forced, and not-always-convivial closeness. The late great urbanist Jane Jacobs argued that the streets of 1960s Greenwich Village were made friendly and safe specifically because they were shared by many people. On the other end of the spectrum, millions of Americans have pursued a private version of happiness to detached structures far from any hint of what the Greeks would have called an agora. The balance shifts back and forth with philosophy, politics, and technology.
At first I was disoriented and scared. I had been warned about the pathological aggression of Parisian drivers, and the streets were still full of them. But Britton and I were not the only ones on two wheels. There were dozens of other Vélib’ users around us. There were so many of us out there that drivers had to pay attention. They had to make room. In The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jane Jacobs described the ballet that takes place on crowded sidewalks as people make eye contact and find their way around one another. I felt a similar if supercharged dynamic coming to life in Paris’s traffic lanes. With cars and bikes and buses mixed together, none of us could be sure what we would find on the road ahead of us. We all had to be awake to the rhythm of asymmetrical flow. In the contained fury of the narrow streets we were forced to choreograph our movements, but with so many other bicycles flooding the streets, cycling in Paris was actually becoming safer.
In fact, just about every measure I’ve connected to happy urbanism also influences a city’s environmental footprint and, just as urgent, its economic and fiscal health. If we understand and act upon this connectedness, we just may steer hundreds of cities off the course of crisis. There Is No Such Thing as an Externality Even before widespread acknowledgment of human-caused climate change, Jane Jacobs warned that the city is a fantastically complex organism that can be thrown into an unhealthy imbalance by attempts to simplify it in form or function. In Cities and the Wealth of Nations she warned specifically about the tendency for designers and planners to overscale: the larger an organism or economy, the more unstable it would become in changing times, and the less the likelihood that the system would be able to self-correct.
Andrew Wiles, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, bonus culture, British Empire, business process, Cass Sunstein, computer age, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, discounted cash flows, discovery of penicillin, diversification, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Pasteur, market fundamentalism, Nash equilibrium, pattern recognition, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, shareholder value, Simon Singh, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, ultimatum game, urban planning, value at risk
But from the 1920s to 1968, the autocratic Robert Moses controlled the physical environment of New York, driving expressways directly where homes, offices and factories had been only a short time before.8 The notion of the urban environment as a designed system was most fully implemented in planned cities such as Brasília, Canberra and Chandigarh. But these places are dull. The vitality of real communities is not successfully imitated by setting out to create a vital community. As with housing projects, their very functionality is dysfunctional. Jane Jacobs, who led the reaction against such planning (especially that of Moses), explained how the richness of city life was the product of obliquity, not design. Applauding Stanley Tankel’s comment that “it is beyond the scope of anyone’s imagination to create a community,” she wrote scathingly of the planners’ approach to civic design: “Only an unimaginative man would think he could: only an arrogant man would want to.”9 Both the tennis competition and the man-and-dog problem have best solution methods.
Churchill, the hedgehog, won his place in history by being presciently and ultimately triumphantly right about one big thing—perhaps the biggest thing of the twentieth century. But on other matters his judgment was poor, the causes he pursued to the point of failure misconceived: the ill-fated Gallipoli expedition of 1915 and the disastrous return to the gold standard ten years later, his quixotic support of the deposed Edward VIII in 1936 and his stubborn resistance to Indian independence. When Jane Jacobs accused the modernist town planners of being unimaginative, she was making a subtle point. At first sight, visionaries who seek to rebuild whole cities seem engaged in extraordinary feats of imagination. But in reality, Le Corbusier’s schemes were characterized by a few ideas pursued with obsession. No one could design a city of three million people in any other way. The creation of living cities demands a multiplicity of objectives.
Barr, Picasso: Fifty Years of His Art (New York, Museum of Modern Art, 1946), p. 270. 4 Simon Singh, Fermat’s Last Theorem (London, Fourth Estate, 1997). 5 U.S. National Park Service, “The Yellowstone Fires of 1988,” 2008. 6 B. M. Kilgore, “Origin and History of Wildland Fire Use in the U.S. National Park System,” George Wright Forum 24, no. 3 (2007). 7 Le Corbusier, The Radiant City (London, Faber & Faber, 1964), p.154. 8 Robert A. Caro, The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York (New York, Vintage Books, 1975), p. 11. 9 Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin, 1965), p. 350. 10 Louis Pasteur, 1854, quoted in Maurice B. Strauss, Familiar Medical Quotations (London: J & A Churchill, 1968), p. 108. Chapter 7: Muddling Through—Why Oblique Approaches Succeed 1 Charles Lindblom, “The Science of “Muddling Through,” Public Administration Review 19, no. 2 (1959), pp. 79–88. 2 H.
call centre, clean water, correlation does not imply causation, Dean Kamen, double helix, edge city, germ theory of disease, Google Earth, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, John Snow's cholera map, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, megacity, mutually assured destruction, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, peak oil, side project, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, trade route, unbiased observer, working poor
The bigger the city, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to make an interesting link, because the overall supply of social groups and watering holes and local knowledge is so vast. Jane Jacobs observed many years ago that one of the paradoxical effects of metropolitan life is that huge cities create environments where small niches can flourish. A store selling nothing but buttons most likely won’t be able to find a market in a town of 50,000 people, but in New York City, there’s an entire button-store district. Subcultures thrive in big cities for this reason as well: if you have idiosyncratic tastes, you’re much more likely to find someone who shares those tastes in a city of 9 million. As Jane Jacobs wrote: Towns and suburbs… are natural homes for huge supermarkets and for little else in the way of groceries, for standard movie houses or drive-ins and for little else in the way of theater.
The list of poets and musicians and sculptors and philosophers who lived in Soho during this period reads like an index to a textbook on Enlightenment-era British culture. Edmund Burke, Fanny Burney, Percy Shelley, William Hogarth—all were Soho residents at various points in their lives. Leopold Mozart leased a flat on Frith Street while visiting with his son, the eight-year-old prodigy Wolfgang, in 1764. Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner also stayed in the neighborhood when visiting London in 1839–1840. “New ideas need old buildings,” Jane Jacobs once wrote, and the maxim applies perfectly to Soho around the dawn of the Industrial Age: a class of visionaries and eccentrics and radicals living in the disintegrating shells that had been abandoned a century ago by the well-to-do. The trope is familiar to us by now—artists and renegades appropriate a decaying neighborhood, even relish the decay—but it was a new pattern of urban settlement when Blake and Hogarth and Shelley first made their homes along the crowded streets of Soho.
In fact, the runaway growth of metropolitan centers may prove to be essential in establishing a sustainable future for humans on the planet. That reversal of fortune has much to do with the shifting relationship between microbe and metropolis that the Broad Street epidemic helped set in motion. “Cities were once the most helpless and devastated victims of disease, but they became great disease conquerors,” Jane Jacobs wrote, in one of many classic passages from Death and Life of the Great American City. All the apparatus of surgery, hygiene, microbiology, chemistry, telecommunications, public health measures, teaching and research hospitals, ambulances and the like, which people not only in cities but also outside them depend upon for the unending war against premature mortality, are fundamentally products of big cities and would be inconceivable without big cities.
Social Capital and Civil Society by Francis Fukuyama
Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, German hyperinflation, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, p-value, postindustrial economy, principal–agent problem, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, transaction costs, World Values Survey
I want to address each of these issues, and in particular how social capital is produced and consumed in an increasingly complex, high-tech economy like that of the United States. SOCIAL CAPITAL : DEFINITIONS The first use of the term “social capital” that I am aware of was in Jane Jacobs’s classic work The Death and Life of Great American Cities, in which she explained that the dense social networks that existed in older, mixed-use urban neighborhoods constituted a form of social capital and were far more responsible for cleanliness, absence of street crime, and other quality-of-life measures than were formal institutional factors like police protection.2 1 These are the broad themes of Trust: T h e Social Virtues and the Creation o f Prosperity (New York: Free Press, 1995). 2 Jane Jacobs, T h e Death and Life o f Great American Cities (New York: Vintage Books, 1961), p. 138.  378 The Tanner Lectures on Human Values The economist Glenn Loury, as well as the sociologist Ivan Light, used the term “social capital” in the 1970s to describe the problem of inner-city economic development : African Americans lacked the bonds of trust and social connectedness within their own communities that existed for Asian Americans and other ethnic groups, which went a long way toward explaining the relative lack of black small business development.3 In the 1980s, the term “social capital” was brought into wider use by the sociologist James Coleman and the political scientist Robert Putnam ,4 the latter of whom has stimulated an intense debate over the role of social capital and civil society in both Italy and the United States. 5 Social capital can be defined simply as the existence of a certain set of informal values or norms shared among members of a group that permits cooperation among them.
The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart by Bill Bishop, Robert G. Cushing
1960s counterculture, affirmative action, big-box store, blue-collar work, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, demographic transition, desegregation, Edward Glaeser, immigration reform, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, knowledge economy, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, music of the spheres, New Urbanism, post-industrial society, Post-materialism, post-materialism, Ralph Nader, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, superstar cities, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, union organizing, War on Poverty, white flight, World Values Survey
We drove and when a place felt comfortable, seemed right, my wife, the daughter of one of Kentucky's last New Deal liberals, drew a smiley face on the map. We didn't intend to move into a community filled with Democrats, but that's what we did—effortlessly and without a trace of understanding about what we were doing. We bought a house on one of those smiley-face streets, a shady neighborhood of dog walkers, Jane Jacobs-approved front porches, bright paint, bowling-ball yard art, and YOU KEEP BELIEVING; WE'LL KEEP EVOLVING bumper stickers. In 2000, George W. Bush, then the governor of Texas, took 60 percent of the state's vote. But in our patch of Austin, Bush came in third, behind both Al Gore and Ralph Nader. Four years later, eight out of ten of our neighbors voted for John Kerry. Our neighborhood is one of the friendliest I've encountered.
The unusual thing about this country has been the stubborn and quite strong connection between religious belief and political party—a cultural peculiarity that, in the post-materialist politics of values, has allowed computer technicians in Orange County to find common cause with West Virginia coal miners and truck drivers.73 6. THE ECONOMICS OF THE BIG SORT Culture and Growth in the 1990s Opportunity, not necessity, is the mother of invention. —JANE JACOBS "An Inexplicable Sort of Mass Migration" THE Baton Rouge Advocate ran a series of stories in 2002 titled "Leaving Louisiana"—and people were. They were hoofing it from Louisiana by the hundreds of thousands long before Hurricane Katrina washed, rinsed, and tumbled out those who remained. In the flow of people back and forth across the state line, Texas cities alone had a net gain of 121,000 Louisianans between 1992 and 2000.
The entire society would be more productive and richer because of one person's new way of arranging a limited set of ingredients.34 "No amount of savings and investment, no policy of macroeconomic fine-tuning, no set of tax and spending incentives can generate sustained economic growth unless it is accompanied by the countless large and small discoveries that are required to create more value from a fixed set of natural resources," Romer wrote.35 According to Romer-inspired "new growth theory," ideas were the essential factor in increasing economic returns. City life was key for such economies of ideas to flourish, because cities sped both the creation and the spread of useful knowledge. That insight came from a woman who never graduated from college and was best known for her observations about city planning. In 1969, Jane Jacobs published the first edition of The Economy of Cities, a book that described how ideas scattered through urban areas, creating new industries and new wealth.* Jacobs wrote that new wealth and businesses didn't stem from isolated discoveries or unique inventions. Innovations sprang from older lines of work—"parent work," she called it. Consider, for example, the brassiere. Ida Rosenthal was a custom seamstress in early-twentieth-century New York, as Jacobs told the story.
One Less Car: Bicycling and the Politics of Automobility by Zack Furness, Zachary Mooradian Furness
active transport: walking or cycling, affirmative action, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, back-to-the-land, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, conceptual framework, dumpster diving, Enrique Peñalosa, European colonialism, feminist movement, ghettoisation, Golden Gate Park, interchangeable parts, intermodal, Internet Archive, Jane Jacobs, market fundamentalism, means of production, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, peak oil, place-making, post scarcity, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, sustainable-tourism, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, urban planning, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, working poor, Yom Kippur War
We have the naive belief that we can satisfy the demands of the automobile by building more expressways, building bigger expressways, by widening existing streets, by trimming sidewalks. We are exchanging the meaningful and varied life of the cities for our increasingly monotonous life on wheels. The heart of the city should be served chiefly by rapid transit, buses, taxis and above all the human foot. The choice is clear and urgent: Does the city exist for people, or for motorcars?31 Jane Jacobs brought a similar set of questions to bear on the issue of transportation, but unlike Mumford, she did not see cars as the primary impediment to sound urban planning or a more orderly public sphere. rather, she posed the problem in terms of the urban planning paradigm itself, specifically the assumption that cities could, or should, be designed in accordance with a grand plan or master narrative: automobiles are often conveniently tagged as the villains responsible for the ills of cities and the disappointments and futilities of city planning.
For better or worse, the aT movement directed attention to issues of scale, specifically the correlation between the size of technological systems and their effects on societies, which Schumacher describes as inversely proportional, hence smaller being beautiful. This line of inquiry is significant because it closely paralleled critiques of urban planning and transportation in the same general period. Jane Jacobs was among those who challenged not only the size and scale implicit to orthodox urban planning but also the spatial tensions between the needs of pedestrians and those required of automobiles. ivan illich similarly bemoaned modern transportation, though his critique dealt less with the size and scale of auto-mobility than its high energy demands and its speed: “a true choice among practical policies and of desirable social relations is possible only where speed is restrained. participatory democracy demands low-energy technology, and free people must travel the road to productive social relations at the speed of a bicycle.”97 Schumacher, Jacobs, and illich formed something of a holy trinity for bicycle advocates who used their theories to create a more philosophically informed analysis of cycling in the 1970s. illich’s ideas understandably took on a prominent role because he mapped an entire politics of technology around the bicycle itself, writing in Energy and Equity: Bicycles let people move with greater speed without taking up significant amounts of scarce space, energy, or time.
Charlie McCorkell, Transportation alternative’s second executive director and a thirty-year bike advocate/builder/educator, recalls that cyclists in the early 1970s were “much more outside the system then today,” and Steven Faust, another longtime bike advocate and planner in new york City, says that cyclists were considered “sociologically marginal people.”102 rivvy neshama speaks clearly to the correlation between biking and the counterculture in describing the motivation for Ta’s 1974 Bike-in: i was thinking of what happened at that time to create a culture ripe for the idea. The environmental movement was new, idealistic, and hopeful, and that’s the movement i came from. Urban planners were also idealistic and looking to create humane environments; Barry Benepe and Brian Ketcham were two of them, and two of our founders influenced by Jane Jacobs (David Gurin was also influenced by Jane). Health, being more at one with nature, and using our own resources were three ideals of the time, influenced by the Whole Earth Catalog. it was a time of be-ins, love-ins, smoke-ins . . . so it was natural to plan a huge Bike-in—one that would bring all groups together around a common dream.103 What is interesting about these early years of bike activism is that despite its cultural emphasis, there was also a firmly entrenched commitment to transforming bicycling and automobility through formal political channels, whether it be lobbying, hosting community events, meeting with politicians and urban planners, circulating petitions, and/or getting involved with local (and regional) governmental affairs.
To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism by Evgeny Morozov
3D printing, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Automated Insights, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive bias, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, disintermediation, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, future of journalism, game design, Gary Taubes, Google Glasses, illegal immigration, income inequality, invention of the printing press, Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Narrative Science, Nicholas Carr, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, pets.com, placebo effect, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, smart meter, social graph, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks
I’m thinking, in particular, of Ivan Illich’s protestations against the highly efficient but dehumanizing systems of professional schooling and medicine, Jane Jacobs’s attacks on the arrogance of urban planners, Michael Oakeshott’s rebellion against rationalists in all walks of human existence, Hans Jonas’s impatience with the cold comfort of cybernetics; and, more recently, James Scott’s concern with how states have forced what he calls “legibility” on their subjects. Some might add Friedrich Hayek’s opposition to central planners, with their inherent knowledge deficiency, to this list. These thinkers have been anything but homogenous in their political beliefs; Ivan Illich, Friedrich Hayek, Jane Jacobs, and Michael Oakeshott would make a rather rowdy dinner party. But these highly original thinkers, regardless of political persuasion, have shown that their own least favorite brand of solutionist—be it Jacobs’s urban planners or Illich’s professional educators—have a very poor grasp not just of human nature but also of the complex practices that this nature begets and thrives on.
Putnam, Elite Transformation in Advanced Industrial Societies: An Empirical Assessment of the Theory of Technocracy (Ann Arbor: Institute of Public Policy Studies, University of Michigan, 1976), 11. 137 “For Larry [Page] and Sergey [Brin], truth was often self-evident”: Douglas Edwards, “Google Goes Electric,” Xooglers, March 22, 2011, http://xooglers.blogspot.com/2011/03/google-goes-electric.html. 138 fundamental assumption “is that disagreements occur”: F. Ridley and J. Blondel, Public Administration in France (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1964). 138 Jane Jacobs’ attack on unimaginative urban planning, Isaiah Berlin’s attack on “procrusteanism,” Hayek’s attack on central planning, Popper’s attack on historicism, Michael Oakeshott’s attack on rationalism: see Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (New York: Vintage, 1992); on Berlin’s “anti-procusteanism” see Jonathan Allen, “Isaiah Berlin’s Anti-Procrustean Liberalism: Ideas, Circumstances, and the Protean Individual,” paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association (August 28–31, 2003, Philadelphia, PA).
As two scholars of technocracy observe, its fundamental assumption “is that disagreements occur not because people are bound to differ but because they are misinformed.” The paradox is that, while technocracy itself is an ideology, most technocrats try their best to distance themselves from any insinuation that they might be driven by anything other than pragmatism and the pursuit of efficiency. Unfortunately, Crick’s attack on technological thinking has received less attention than several other similar attacks by his contemporaries: Jane Jacobs’s attack on unimaginative urban planning, Isaiah Berlin’s attack on “procrusteanism,” Friedrich Hayek’s attack on central planning, Karl Popper’s attack on historicism, and Michael Oakeshott’s attack on rationalism come to mind. Most of these important critiques of the arrogance and self-conceit of the planner and the reformer are united by a common theme: something about the experience of living in the polis with other human beings is essentially irreducible to formulaic expression and optimization techniques.
business climate, car-free, Jane Jacobs, New Urbanism, Parkinson's law, place-making, Ray Oldenburg, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, skinny streets, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, transit-oriented development, urban decay, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city
Progress is certainly being made, in Gainesville and elsewhere, but at a glacial pace. I’ll bet Dom Nozzi was at work when the need became apparent for a balanced, straight-forward text that breaks past the usual shrill rhetoric about cars and traffic. While it is written for popular readers, Road to Ruin also picks up and advances an important scholarly thread stirred by Lewis Mumford, furthered by Jane Jacobs, and more lately coalesced into practice by the New Urbanists and Smart Growthers. A two-part formula about land use and transportation was associated with twentieth-century city planning in America, especially in the rapidly changing Sun Belt. First, the formula assumed that land uses would remain separate and kept low in their intensity and density. Second, the formula assumed practically all trips from one land use to another would be made by car on a coarse, treelike regional roadway network, usually in a succession of single-occupant trips.
Because of their size, activity and nature parks disrupt the walkability of an area and therefore serve a community best at the urban periphery. Walkable Streets and Blocks As designers have ignored the needs of pedestrians over the past several decades, the public realm—the streets, parks, sidewalks, and plazas—has become dangerous, uninviting, and undesirable. Pedestrians in such a community represent little more than inconveniences to motorists. As Jane Jacobs noted 40 years ago in The Death and Life of Great American Cities, “lowly, unpurposeful and random as they may appear, sidewalk contacts are the small change from which a city’s wealth of public life may grow” (p. 72). Yet many new residential and commercial developments either neglect to build a sidewalk along the frontage street or build one that is too narrow to be usable. For pedestrians to walk comfortably side-by-side, they need a sidewalk at least five feet wide.
For example, New Urbanist projects nearly always include inherently affordable accessory units (granny flats), residences above offices or retail shops, and higher-density, smaller-lot residential units. These forms of affordable housing become increasingly affordable as the number of New Urbanist communities grows, which will lower prices as a result of competition. Mixed-use and mixed-income housing units are allowable and acceptable in New Urbanist designs because they are properly scaled and detailed and do not generate as much car travel as single-use developments. As Jane Jacobs noted in The Death and Life of Great American Cities, vibrant downtowns (which are hurt by an auto-based culture) provide important entry-level, low-capital job opportunities for low-income people—selling food from carts, providing personal services, selling specialty goods, and so forth. And what do our auto-dominated communities offer the poor? They are expensive to live in. The average car costs the same as a $50,000 home mortgage, depending on the interest rates.
Aerotropolis by John D. Kasarda, Greg Lindsay
3D printing, air freight, airline deregulation, airport security, Akira Okazaki, Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blood diamonds, borderless world, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, edge city, Edward Glaeser, failed state, food miles, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Gehry, fudge factor, full employment, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, global supply chain, global village, gravity well, Haber-Bosch Process, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, inflight wifi, interchangeable parts, intermodal, invention of the telephone, inventory management, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Kangaroo Route, knowledge worker, kremlinology, labour mobility, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, megacity, Menlo Park, microcredit, Network effects, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pink-collar, pre–internet, RFID, Richard Florida, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Seaside, Florida, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, telepresence, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, thinkpad, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Tony Hsieh, trade route, transcontinental railway, transit-oriented development, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, Yogi Berra
The world may or may not have flattened since then, but there’s a lot less changing planes. In the end, we won’t stop flying for the simple reason that quitting now would run counter to our human impulse to roam. Will you be the one to tell a hundred million Chinese tourists (and another hundred million Indians) they’ll have to stay home? I live in one of the oldest sections of Brooklyn, blocks of leafy streets and brownstones I like to think Jane Jacobs would have recognized as her own. The park where I read the newspaper most mornings is a small one—a few tables and benches, a patch of grass, a playground—but it sits on the site of a fort defended by George Washington’s troops, one that gave the neighborhood its name: Cobble Hill. Most mornings, the only patrons at 7:30 a.m. are a few bleary-eyed dog owners or the parents of overeager toddlers.
Down the block, an otherwise boring brick mansion with a wraparound porch boasted a sign proclaiming it one of LEED’s pilots. But the strangest sight lay not far away. Turning a corner, I came face-to-face with a quarter mile of brownstones lining Stapleton’s grand boulevard, looking exactly like my own back in Brooklyn. They were new, of course—so clean they’d obviously never seen a pigeon—but otherwise packed shoulder to shoulder like the loveliest stretches of my borough, where Jane Jacobs’s “sidewalk ballet” of people endlessly dances arabesques below our windows. Stapleton’s residents were learning the steps—dog walkers strolled the grassy median, and a few runners loped by—but it wasn’t quite Cobble Hill yet. After the initial shock of meeting its doppelgänger wore off, another one hit me: Who moves to Denver to live like they’re in Brooklyn? And then: How much do they pay for the privilege?
Air travel, Kasarda deduced twenty years ago, would create a new, likely final network of hubs within a single global ecosystem. Every city, region, and nation, whether they knew it or not, had been plunged into a Darwinian struggle from which a new world order would emerge. Today we call this process globalization. The Death and Life of American Cities Kasarda grew up in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, in the postwar years. Jane Jacobs, who was born in the next town over, Scranton, later noted that the twin cities of the Appalachian coal country “are less populated today than when I was a child in the 1920s, and even then people in search of city jobs were beginning to leave.” By the time Kasarda was born in 1945, the Diamond City’s veins of shining anthracite were running dry. Unlike so many of the Rust Belt towns that followed, Wilkes-Barre went bankrupt in two ways, gradually and then suddenly on January 22, 1959, when one of the mines beneath the Susquehanna River collapsed, flooding a warren of tunnels burrowed for miles beneath the hillsides.
air freight, Andrei Shleifer, battle of ideas, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business process, business process outsourcing, Carmen Reinhart, clean water, colonial rule, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, discovery of the americas, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, Francisco Pizarro, fundamental attribution error, germ theory of disease, greed is good, income per capita, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, M-Pesa, microcredit, Monroe Doctrine, oil shock, place-making, Ponzi scheme, risk/return, road to serfdom, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, urban planning, urban renewal, Washington Consensus, World Values Survey, young professional
The industrial world’s loss was the art world’s gain, for “artists needed big spaces and these were empty and cheap. When I moved in here,” said Silver, “it had been a carpentry shop and there was literally a foot of sawdust over everything.”33 Meanwhile, Greenwich Village residents were horrified at what the Moses plan would do to their neighborhood. The SoHo artists formed an anti-Moses alliance with the Village residents. A West Village resident named Jane Jacobs engaged Moses on the same debate that failed to happen in development: spontaneous solutions versus conscious direction. In a classic book first published in 1961, Jacobs mocked the urban experts’ “pseudoscience of city rebuilding and planning” where “a plethora of subtle and complicated dogma have arisen on a foundation of nonsense.” Jacobs praised the local neighborhoods as having organically evolved to meet the needs of residents, as embodiments of social networks that helped prevent crime (her famous “eyes on the street”), and as incubators of innovation.34 She might have added that they also were a source of democratic resistance to technocratic officials who would eradicate those same neighborhoods if they could.
Jacobs praised the local neighborhoods as having organically evolved to meet the needs of residents, as embodiments of social networks that helped prevent crime (her famous “eyes on the street”), and as incubators of innovation.34 She might have added that they also were a source of democratic resistance to technocratic officials who would eradicate those same neighborhoods if they could. The belief in all-knowing experts fades when they are applying their conscious direction to you. Moses had won almost all of his previous battles in New York, but he lost this one, the last of his career. Greene Street had survived its near-death experience. What happened next vindicated Jane Jacobs’s position even more. The art boom took over. On the Greene Street block alone, at least-thirty-five art galleries would appear from the 1970s through the 1990s. In 1980, Leo Castelli, the art dealer representing Robert Rauschenberg, opened a gallery at 142 Greene Street. Castelli’s gallery also featured Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, among many other successful artists. At 133 Greene Street, the former site of the 1850 Benjamin Seixas family home and Laura Barmore’s 1870 brothel was going to see yet another surprising shift.
Since then, the upward trend has resumed, with real-estate value doubling with art galleries and luxury retail and residential co-ops. Under the Invisible Hand, the high payoffs were not only to the owners of the galleries, stores, and residences, but to their customers and suppliers in the larger society. The value of the block in the long run was simply the freedom to be whatever its residents and customers wanted it to be. The moral of the climactic phase of the Greene Street story is not just that Jane Jacobs was proven right after winning her debate with Robert Moses to save SoHo and Greene Street. Not every such debate has a positive outcome. The story just happens to conform to a broader pattern, for which we have seen evidence throughout this book. A system based on individual rights—both economic and political—tends to reward positive actions and stop negative ones. It tends to stop the hubris of conscious direction and leave room for the spontaneous solutions that actually create most of the prosperity we enjoy today.
Multicultural Cities: Toronto, New York, and Los Angeles by Mohammed Abdul Qadeer
affirmative action, call centre, David Brooks, deindustrialization, desegregation, edge city, en.wikipedia.org, Frank Gehry, game design, ghettoisation, global village, immigration reform, Jane Jacobs, knowledge economy, market bubble, McMansion, new economy, New Urbanism, place-making, Richard Florida, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, Skype, telemarketer, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, urban planning, urban renewal, working-age population, young professional
Multiculturalism is both a lived reality and an ideal of social life in times of global flows and universal rights. These propositions will illuminate the search for patterns in multicultural cities in the chapters to come. The diversity of people, activities, and roles has been the strength of cities. Peter Hall traces diversity as the source of creativity even in ancient and medieval cities.45 Jane Jacobs has identified diversity as the driving force of urban economy and social life.46 Richard Florida offers the theory that “regional economic growth is powered by creative people who prefer places that are diverse, tolerant and open.”47 Yet this diversity is sustained by the city serving as the common ground. Its collective life, shared space, services, and institutions contribute to the formation of values, beliefs, and behaviours.
In the case of new subway lines, the norms of riding public transit have to be explicitly laid out. When Vancouver’s new Canada Line was opened, the authorities printed instructions for the use of passengers. The city of Delhi, India, had volunteers patrolling a new subway line instructing passengers not to squat or spit on the floor.25 Making one aware of public expectations is a step in constructing social order. Jane Jacobs said that the social order of the street is “kept primarily by an intricate, almost unconscious, network of voluntary controls and standards among the people themselves.”26 This social order evolves in public places, such as streets, parks, plazas, theatres, and stores, through the (micro) politics of doubt and trust expressed among strangers.27 In these politics, stereotypes and suspicions lurk below the surface, but shared experiences and frequent contacts, combined with the ethos 162 Multicultural Cities of citizenship, resolve such feelings over time.
A Time for Reconciliation, Report of the Commission de Consultation sur les Pratiques d’Accommodement Reliées aux Différences Culturelles, (Quebec, 2008), 19. 43 Yasmeen Abu-Laban and Baha Abu-Laban, “Reasonable Accommodation in a Global Village,” Policy Options 26, no. 8 (2007), 30. 44 Julius Grey, “The Paradox of Reasonable Accommodation,” Policy Options 26, no. 8 (2007), 34–5. Notes to pages 36–44 279 45 Peter Hall, Cities in Civilization (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1998), 6. 46 Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (New York: Vintage Books, 1992), 14. 47 Richard Florida, The Flight of the Creative Class (New York: Collins, 2005), 62. 48 William Shakespeare, Coriolanus, act 3, scene 1. 49 Janet Abu-Lughod, Changing Cities: Urban Sociology (New York: HarperCollins, 1991), 140. 50 James Holston and Arjun Appadurai, “Cities and Citizenship,” Public Culture 8 (1996),188–9. 51 Ibid., 200. 52 Ash Amin, “The Good City,” Urban Studies 43, nos. 5/6 (May 2006),1012. 53 Susan S, Fainstein, The Just City (Ithaca; Cornell University Press, 2010), 3. 54 Ibid., 43. 55 Leonie Sandercock, Mongreal Cities (London: Continuum, 2003), 87. 56 Henri Lefebvre, Writings on Cities, trans.
Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy by Chris Hayes
affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, asset-backed security, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, carried interest, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, dark matter, David Brooks, David Graeber, deindustrialization, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, fixed income, full employment, George Akerlof, hiring and firing, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, mass affluent, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, peak oil, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rolodex, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, University of East Anglia, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce
., p. 64. 52 “Pollack manages to eschew the cant, stupidity, and obfuscation”: Joshua Micah Marshall, “The Reluctant Hawk: The Skeptical Case for Regime Change in Iraq,” Washington Monthly, November 2002. 53 “argument for invading Iraq is surely the most influential book of this season”: Bill Keller, “The I-Can’t-Believe-I’m-a-Hawk Club,” New York Times, February 8, 2003. 54 “I was 21 years old and kind of a jerk”: Matthew Yglesias, “Four Reasons for a Mistake,” ThinkProgress, August 19, 2010. 55 “If you [the average investor or the average corporation] don’t know anything”: Ho, Liquidated, p. 40. 56 “improper dependency”: Lessig, Republic, Lost, p. 245. 57 what Jane Jacobs described as the Guardian Syndrome: See Jane Jacobs, Systems of Survival: A Dialogue on the Moral Foundations of Commerce and Politics, (New York: Vintage, 1992). 58 “At some point after incomes in the financial sector took off”: Thomas Ferguson and Robert Johnson, “When Wolves Cry ‘Wolf’: Systemic Financial Crises and the Myth of the Danaid Jar,” http://andrewgelman.com/movabletype/mlm/Ferg-John%201NET%20Conf%20Cambridge%20UK%20April%202010%20final%20%20pdf-1.pdf, accessed January 23, 2012. 59 “Mishkin even took $124,000 from the Iceland Chamber of Commerce”: See Annie Lowrey, “The Economics of Economists’ Ethics,” Slate, January 5, 2011, http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2011/01/the_economics_of_economists_ethics.html, accessed January 23, 2012. 60 “adapted to the new environment with the most agility and creativity”: Janine R.
It pulls Congress away from its true purpose, which is to turn the conflicting, complicated wishes of the people into laws with which they can govern themselves. There are certain institutional functions and professional roles—like, say, member of Congress—that we want to see insulated from crass commercial concerns. And yet during our era of fractal inequality, the noncommercial sphere has shrunk, leaving noncommercial institutions increasingly dependent on commercial interests. What we’re left with is a blurring of the boundaries between what Jane Jacobs described as the Guardian Syndrome on the one hand and the Commercial Syndrome on the other. According to Jacobs, the Guardian Syndrome (“shun trading,” “be loyal,” “treasure honor”) regulates the behavior of the soldier, the politician, and the policeman among others, while the Commercial Syndrome (“compete,” “respect contracts,” “promote comfort and convenience”) guides the behavior of the banker, the baker, and the businessman.
Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age by Steven Johnson
airport security, algorithmic trading, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, dark matter, Dava Sobel, David Brooks, future of journalism, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, Jane Jacobs, John Gruber, John Harrison: Longitude, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, Occupy movement, packet switching, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, pre–internet, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Tim Cook: Apple, urban planning, WikiLeaks, working poor, X Prize
The price signaling of markets, in Hayek’s brilliant formulation, was a “system of telecommunications,” a way of solving the complex problem of constantly changing economic needs without reducing the whole mess down to a simplified central plan. Hayek would go on to become a patron saint of the libertarian right, but his critique of Legrand Star planning had an unlikely ally in the American progressive urbanist Jane Jacobs, who followed Hayek’s evisceration of Soviet planning with an equally devastating critique of master planners such as Robert Moses and the lifeless (and deadly) housing projects that had sprouted like concrete wildflowers in the postwar years. By replacing the local, intimate, improvisational balance of a city sidewalk with the bird’s-eye view of automobile-centric planning, Moses and his peers were destroying the connective tissues of urban life.
For a fascinating discussion of Scott’s theories and their relationship to Friedrich Hayek, see “Forests, Trees, and Intellectual Roots,” by J. Bradford DeLong, at http://econ161.berkeley.edu/econ_articles/reviews/seeing_like_a_state.html, along with Henry Farrell’s response, “Seeing ‘Seeing Like a State’” at http://crookedtimber.org/2008/02/05/seeing-like-seeing-like-a-state/. Hayek’s arguments are nicely summarized in his 1945 essay “The Use of Knowledge in Society,” which appeared in The American Economic Review. Jane Jacobs’s attack on centralized planning appears in her classic work, The Death and Life of Great American Cities. For a comprehensive history of the birth of the Internet, see Where Wizards Stay Up Late, by Matthew Lyon and Katie Hafner, as well as Stewart Brand’s interview with Paul Baran, “Founding Father,” in Wired. I first came across the concept of “positive deviance” in the article “Design Thinking for Social Innovation,” by Tim Brown and Jocelyn Wyatt, in the Stanford Social Innovation Review.
3D printing, call centre, clean water, dematerialisation, demographic transition, Edward Glaeser, extreme commuting, feminist movement, financial independence, Firefox, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, late capitalism, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, McMansion, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, oil shock, PageRank, Ponzi scheme, positional goods, post-industrial society, Post-materialism, post-materialism, principal–agent problem, recommendation engine, Richard Florida, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Moderation, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War
Perhaps it is ironic, then, that New York City tries to enforce a law against panhandling on the subway, arguing that it’s constitutional to protect people from hawkers or beggars in an enclosed (albeit public) space, when the city itself sells every inch of the wall space of those very same subway cars (and its buses) to corporate advertisers. The very concept of public space is collapsing before our eyes (albeit in slow motion). First of all, there is the issue of the technologies themselves— the increase in people chattering away to “elsewhere” while walking down a city street or sitting in a park or driving down the interstate. Almost fifty years ago, the urban theorist Jane Jacobs wrote that “the eyes and ears of the street” were the basis of a community’s social order—much more than formal laws, policing, and other government institutions.1 Local residents kept a watch on kids playing stoop on the sidewalk. Shopkeepers noticed when suspicious characters appeared on the scene. Grandmothers leaning out of second-floor windows offered directions to lost tourists. Hence the importance of mixed-use neighborhoods.
Ronna Larsen, “The Skyrocketing Number of Bank Branches,”e-merging Directions, Colliers Turley Martin Tucker Commerical Real Estate Services, at http://www.ctmt.com/pdfs/emergingDirections/BankBranches Skyrocket.pdf. 9. Juliet Schor, “The Social Death of Things,” working paper, 2007. 10. Barry Schwartz, The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less (New York: HarperCollins, 2004). SHOOT THE MOON 1. Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (New York: Vintage Books, 1961). 2. For this observation I must credit Natalie Jeremijenko’s research in“Share This Book” (PhD diss., University of Queensland, Aust). 3. “A Guide to UHF Television Production,” 2004-2007, at http://www.indiana.edu/~radiotv/wtiu/uhf.shtml. 4. Ian Grey, “Tee-Construction: A Brief History of the T-Shirt," at http://www.vintageskivvies.com/pages/archives/articles/readersubmissions/history ofthet-shirt.html. 5.5.
Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, Claude Shannon: information theory, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Douglas Hofstadter, frictionless, frictionless market, George Akerlof, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, income per capita, invention of the telegraph, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, John von Neumann, New Economic Geography, Norbert Wiener, p-value, phenotype, price mechanism, Richard Florida, Ronald Coase, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, transaction costs, working-age population
But this type of formal definition of utility reduces the fundamental premise of economics to an assertion that people maximize whatever it is they choose to maximize, a tautology that robs the model of any interest or explanatory power.” Francis Fukuyama, Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity (New York: Free Press, 1995), 19. CHAPTER 5: AMPLIFIERS 1. This echoes ideas from urban activist Jane Jacobs. When Jacobs was asked about the importance of greed and self-interest in the economy, she remarked: “You are leaving out the most important things about economies. You can’t have greed unless there is something to be greedy about.” Video interview with Jane Jacobs on the nature of economies, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPNPpdBCqzU. 2. George Johnson, The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments (New York: Knopf, 2008), 76–86. 3. I have taken the liberty of expanding this example substantially, since in Wiener’s book it is not mentioned in a very straightforward way and furthermore is woven into a weird Cold War political argument.
The Year Without Pants: Wordpress.com and the Future of Work by Scott Berkun
barriers to entry, blue-collar work, Broken windows theory, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, future of work, Google Hangouts, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Lean Startup, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, remote working, Results Only Work Environment, Richard Stallman, Seaside, Florida, side project, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the map is not the territory, Tony Hsieh, trade route
Mostly it was up to programmers and their teams to decide how to triage issues that landed on their P2s. Some were fixed immediately, others were fixed soon, some were rejected, and others fell into the limbo of issues whose fate may never be decided. Source: Greg Brown, a code wrangler at Automattic. If you ask the old-timers, Automattic believed in the broken window theory, the idea popularized by Jane Jacobs in her book The Death and Life of Great American Cities.1 She examined why some neighborhoods in New York City were safer than others and concluded that neighborhoods that were well maintained by their inhabitants, including small things like picking up trash and fixing broken windows, tended to have less crime. In other words, by regularly fixing small things, you prevent bigger problems from starting.
It was a scoreboard, but one you had to go out of your way to find, much like my experience during my support tour. There was a mature balance of reporting data yet leaving people free to decide what they meant or how much they wanted to use in their thinking. MC was a manifestation of the line between support and creatives. MC was a tool, created by the Janitorial team, to support all the others in doing their work. But rarely would the data dictate to anyone what should be done. Notes 1 Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (New York: Vintage, 1992; originally published 1961). The theory was developed by James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling, “Broken Windows,” Atlantic Monthly (March 1982). 2 Just as a broken leg will take more time to fix than a scratch, a simple incoming-versus-fix chart discounts possibly important details such as the scope of each issue. 3 A good summary of the problems with evaluating programming work based on lines of code is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Source_lines_of_code#Disadvantages.
Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future by Johan Norberg
agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, availability heuristic, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business climate, clean water, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, demographic transition, desegregation, Donald Trump, Flynn Effect, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, Haber-Bosch Process, Hans Island, Hans Rosling, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, John Snow's cholera map, Kibera, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, more computing power than Apollo, moveable type in China, Naomi Klein, open economy, place-making, Rosa Parks, special economic zone, Steven Pinker, telerobotics, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transatlantic slave trade, very high income, working poor, Xiaogang Anhui farmers
As people got healthier and secured a stable supply of food, they could work harder and better. As life expectancy increased, skills could be built up for longer and were put to better use. Smaller families meant that each child got a better start in life and a longer education. Humanity could finally start defeating that ancient scourge, poverty. 4 Poverty [P]overty has no causes. Only prosperity has causes. Jane Jacobs1 Why are some people poor? That is the wrong question. We do not need an explanation for poverty, because that is the starting point for everybody. Poverty is what you have until you create wealth. It is easy to forget the dreadful circumstances of our ancestors’ lives even in the richest countries. The accepted definition of poverty in a country like France was very simple: if you could afford to buy bread to survive another day, you were not poor.
New York: St Martin’s Press, 2015, chap. 4; ‘More than 1.5 million cancer deaths averted in last two decades’, CBS News, 31 December 2014, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/more-than-1-million-cancer-deaths-averted-in-last-two-decades (accessed on 21 March 2016). 27 World Bank, ‘World Development Indicators 2015’. 28 In 2013 it was 86.6 years. 29 Jim Oeppen and James W. Vaupel, ‘Broken limits to life expectancy’, Science, 296, 5579 (2002), 1029–31. 30 Deaton 2013, p. 149. 4 Poverty 1 Jane Jacobs, The Economy of Cities. New York: Random House, 1969, p. 121. 2 Braudel 2002, p. 283. 3 Maddison 2003, p. 262. 4 Francois Bourguignon and Christian Morrisson, ‘Inequality among world citizens: 1820–1992’, American Economic Review, 92, 4 (2002), 727–44; World Bank, PovcalNet, http://iresearch.worldbank.org/PovcalNet; Marcio Cruz, James Foster, Bryce Quillin and Philip Schellekens, ‘Ending extreme poverty and sharing prosperity: progress and policies’, Policy Research Note no. 3, October 2015. 5 Martin Ravallion, ‘Poverty in the rich world when it was not nearly so rich’ (2014), blog post, Center for Global Development, Washington DC, http://www.cgdev.org/blog/poverty-rich-world-when-it-was-not-nearly-so-rich (accessed on 12 April 2016). 6 Fogel 2004, p. 41. 7 Adam Smith, An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith.
accounting loophole / creative accounting, Alfred Russel Wallace, Apple II, barriers to entry, British Empire, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, informal economy, intermodal, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, Menlo Park, open economy, packet switching, PageRank, profit motive, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, Upton Sinclair, urban planning
Oversimplified as this may seem, we shall find the idea more easily acceptable if we consider that bigness, or oversize, is really much more than just a social problem.… Whenever something is wrong, something is too big.”10 Kohr’s student, the economist E. F. Schumacher, in 1973 wrote Small Is Beautiful: Economics As If People Mattered, developing the concept of “enoughness” and sustainable development.11 Jane Jacobs, the great theorist of urban planning, expresses a no less incendiary disdain for centralization, and as in Hayek, the indictment is based on an inherent neglect of humanity. In her classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities, she relies on careful firsthand observations made while walking around cities and new developments to determine how Olympian planners like Robert Moses were going wrong.12 There was no understanding, let alone regard, for the organic logic of the city’s neighborhoods, a logic discernible only on foot.
In the time of Henry Ford, Theodore Vail, and the rest, it had seemed quite natural, in a Darwinian way, that the big fish ate the little ones until there were only big ones trying to eat one another. All the power would thus come to reside in one or two highly centralized giants, until some sort of sufficiently disruptive innovation came along and proved itself a giant killer. Small fry would then enter the new decentralized environment, and the natural progression would start all over again. The twenty-first century begins with no such predilection for central order. In our times, Jane Jacobs is the starting point for urban design, Hayek’s critique of central planning is broadly accepted, and even governments with a notable affinity for socialist values tout the benefits of competition, rejecting those of monopoly. Nor does the new century partake of the previous one’s sense of what is inevitable. Technology has reached a point where the inventive spirit has a capacity for translating inspiration into commerce virtually overnight, creating major players with astonishing speed, where once it took years of patient chess moves to become one, assuming one wasn’t devoured.
This quote comes from Friedrich A. Hayek, Individualism and Economic Order (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1948), 77. 10. Leopold Kohr, The Breakdown of Nations (London: Routledge & Paul, 1957), ix. 11. Schumacher’s idea of “enoughness” stemmed from his studies of what he called “Buddhist economics.” See Ernst F. Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful: Economics As If People Mattered (New York: Harper & Row, 1973). 12. Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (New York: Vintage Books, 1961). 13. Frederick W. Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management (New York: Harper & Bros., 1911). 14. Jon Postel wrote this into the “Robustness Principle,” Section 2.10 of the Transmission Control Protocol (January 1980), available at http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc761#section-2.10. 15. This paper announced the innovative end-to-end design principle.
Life Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take It Back by Douglas Rushkoff
affirmative action, Amazon Mechanical Turk, banks create money, big-box store, Bretton Woods, car-free, colonial exploitation, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, computer age, corporate governance, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, death of newspapers, don't be evil, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, easy for humans, difficult for computers, financial innovation, Firefox, full employment, global village, Google Earth, greed is good, Howard Rheingold, income per capita, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, laissez-faire capitalism, loss aversion, market bubble, market design, Marshall McLuhan, Milgram experiment, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, peak oil, place-making, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, price stability, principal–agent problem, private military company, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, RFID, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, short selling, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, social software, Steve Jobs, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trade route, trickle-down economics, union organizing, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, Victor Gruen, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration, Y2K, young professional
Think about it from your mugger’s point of view: quiet, tree-lined streets of row houses, each worth a million or two, and inhabited by the rich people who displaced your family. Now, you live in or around the projects just outside the circle. Where would you go to mug someone?” Back on the World Wide Web, a friend of mine—another Park Slope writer—made an open appeal for my family to stay in Brooklyn. He saw “the Slope” as a mixed-use neighborhood now reaching the “peak of livability” that the legendary urban anthropologist Jane Jacobs idealized. He explained how all great neighborhoods go through the same basic process: Some artists move into the only area they can afford—a poor area with nothing to speak of. Eventually, there are enough of them to open a gallery. People start coming to the gallery in the evenings, creating demand for a coffeehouse nearby, and so on. Slowly but surely, an artsy store or two and a clique of hipsters “pioneer” the neighborhood until there’s significant sidewalk activity late into the night, making it safer for successive waves of incoming businesses and residents.
Over the stores, three hundred twenty apartments with forty unique floor plans house people committed to making Birkdale their way of life. One of them even posts glowing daily observations to his Coffee at Birkdale blog about the community, its members, and their cars. Of course, he’s also a local real-estate agent. Birkdale was meant to serve as an antidote to the dislocation of the regular suburbs, and an application of a theory known as New Urbanism to the real world. The approach was first pioneered by the urbanist Jane Jacobs, a vocal critic of the land-use policies of the 1950s. Jacobs believed that the common practice of separating residences from businesses dislocated people from the real, vibrant spaces of more naturally developed towns and destroyed any opportunity for community. She often held up Manhattan’s Greenwich Village as an example of a thriving urban community. Its confusing streets exemplified the delightfully messy mixed use she so admired.
They are worse because they exist solely to promote behavior that improves the profits of the corporations manufacturing them. But GNP for the rebuilt areas does go up, and—under the logic of corporatism—we have no choice but to record it as another success story. Finally, as with Birkdale Village, corporations abuse the logic of New Urbanism to develop mall towns from the bottom up. These are not genuinely diverse communities in the spirit of Jane Jacobs’s West Village, but selling machines as fastidiously constructed to induce spending as the most manipulative shopping mall. Just because they don’t have roofs doesn’t mean these faux villages are any less self-contained than the Southdale Center. Residents exist in a perpetual Gruen Transfer, consuming as a mode of existence, and utterly incapable of distinguishing between the stores in which they live and the real world they left behind.
Vertical: The City From Satellites to Bunkers by Stephen Graham
1960s counterculture, Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, Chelsea Manning, Commodity Super-Cycle, deindustrialization, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, energy security, Frank Gehry, ghettoisation, Google Earth, high net worth, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, Indoor air pollution, Jane Jacobs, late capitalism, means of production, megacity, megastructure, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-industrial society, Project Plowshare, rent control, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Skype, South China Sea, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, trickle-down economics, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, WikiLeaks
Many lamented that the obsession with the modernist aesthetics of the new towers had not been matched by detailed sociological thinking about how they would benefit the lives of those who inhabited them. In the fierce debates about the design and management of vertical mass housing that developed in France, the UK, the US and elsewhere from the late 1960s, vertical mass housing began to be read off as an (often racialised) proxy for pathologically rooted ‘urban problems’: crime, poverty, gang violence, ghettoisation and drug misuse. Jane Jacobs, the most influential critic of all, complained of the ‘great blight of dullness’ in the cheap and poorly designed US public housing projects.18 Dutch planner John Habraken, meanwhile, criticised modernist planners and architects for being ‘bewitch[ed] by partially understood technical possibilities’ which resulted in a soul-destroying ‘“automatism” and uniformity in housing design.’19 Certainly, the forcible and arrogant rehousing and removal of populations into warrens of cell-like apartments within badly sited, poorly designed and under-landscaped housing towers was often socially disastrous.
In a study of condo developments in Toronto, architecture researcher Michael Panacci found that the top of the building podiums, replete with lighted lagoons and luxury bars, often tends to be more active than the real street below, which is often now fringed by the highly securitised buildings and their car-garage entrances.48 The result is often a simulated urbanity – but one that is elitist, controlled, sterile and removed from the wider public city. ‘As these jointly owned spaces increase in complexity and use, they begin to form a new interior urban realm’,49 Panacci continues. ‘If Jane Jacobs’ view of urbanity centred on the street and neighbourhood block in the 60’s, it is becoming abundantly clear that to the current generation, urbanity must now surely include the condo corridor, elevator, its amenity spaces and the lobby.’50 Panacci’s research also shows that neighbourly interaction between the residents of new condo towers is often minimal. Such mixing is now made especially difficult by the design of exit-only stairwells and securitised elevators that allow residents access only to their ‘home’ floors.
See Jamie Peck, ‘Economic Rationality Meets Celebrity Urbanology: Exploring Edward Glaeser’s City’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 2016 (forthcoming). 6Paul Goldberger, ‘Too Rich, Too Thin, Too Tall, Vanity Fair, May 2014. 7As well as blocking out light, new towers often create wind systems at ground level that can be uncomfortable and even dangerous to those on the street. 8Lloyd Alter, ‘It’s Time to Dump the Tired Argument That Density and Height Are Green and Sustainable’, Treehugger, 3 January 2014, available at treehugger.com. 9Ibid. 10Samuel Zipp ‘The Roots and Routes of Urban Renewal’, Journal of Urban History 39:3, May 2013, p. 372. 11Walter Gropius, The New Architecture and the Bauhaus, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1965, p. 146. 12Paul Christoph Haacke, ‘The Vertical Turn: Topographies of Metropolitan Modernism’, PhD thesis, University of California, Berkeley, 2011, available at escholarship.org/uc/item/1857736f. 13Fosco Lucarelli and Mariabruna Fabrizi, ‘The Trellick Tower: The Fall and Rise of a Modern Monument’, San Rocco Magazine 5, Fall 2012. 14Sigfried Giedeon, Building in France, Building in Iron, Building in Ferroconcrete, Santa Monica, CA: Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities, 1995 . 15Le Corbusier, The City of Tomorrow and Its Planning, New York: Dover, 1987 , p. 280. 16This term comes from the US Citizens Housing Council, 1940. Cited in Zipp, ‘Roots and Routes’, p. 274. 17Cited in Zipp, ‘Roots and Routes’, p. 376. 18Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, New York: Random House, 1961, p. 46. 19Cited in Jacobs, Cairns and Strebel, ‘A Tall Storey’, p. 614. 20The poem, by Ken Rogers, comes from his tribute to people who were rehoused and often moved as part of the slum clearances in Liverpool in the 1960s. See Ken Rogers, Lost Tribe: The People’s Memories: 2. Liverpool: Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales, 2012, p. 7. 21Oscar Newman, Defensible Space, New York: Macmillan, 1972; Alice Coleman, Utopia on Trial: Vision and Reality in Planned Housing, London: Shipman, 1985. 22Douglas Gorney, ‘City Limits: A Conversation with Edward Glaeser’, Atlantic, 8 February 2011. 23Dukmasova, ‘Tricknology’, p. 25. 24Ibid., pp. 25, 26. 25Charles Jencks, The Paradigm in Architecture, cited in Charles Jencks and Karl Kropf, Theories and Manifestoes of Contemporary Architecture, New York: Academy Press, 1997, p. 9. 26Garrett Dash-Nelson, ‘Pruitt-Igoe: Facts and Memories of an American Ruin’, unpublished paper, 2009, p. 4, available at http://people.matinic.us/. 27Ibid., p. 1. 28Ibid., p. 2. 29The planned media spectacle of the demolitions followed a long series of previous destructions that were merely reported by the usual TV and news outlets; 25 per cent of Glasgow’s high-rise blocks were demolished between 2005 and 2015. 30Severin Carrell, ‘Glasgow 2014: Red Road Flats to Be Blown Up During Opening Ceremony’, Guardian, 3 April 2014. 31Tracey McVeigh, ‘Backlash at Plans to Demolish Red Road Flats Live on Television’, Observer, 6 April 2014. 32Ibid. 33Williams Goldhagen, ‘On Architecture: Living High’, New Republic, 7 June 2012. 34David Madden, ‘Five Myths about Public Housing’, Washington Post, 11 September 2015. 35Owen Hatherley, Militant Modernism, London: John Hunt Publishing, 2009, p. 13 (emphasis in original). 36Jane M.
The Fissured Workplace by David Weil
accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, banking crisis, barriers to entry, business process, call centre, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, employer provided health coverage, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global value chain, hiring and firing, income inequality, intermodal, inventory management, Jane Jacobs, Kenneth Rogoff, law of one price, loss aversion, low skilled workers, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, occupational segregation, performance metric, pre–internet, price discrimination, principal–agent problem, Rana Plaza, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, ultimatum game, union organizing, women in the workforce, Y2K, yield management
“Broken windows,” as the notion became popularly known, demanded that policing should deal with reducing disorderly behavior and small crimes that created fear among the public, because fear of crime in turn leads citizens to withdraw from their critical role as the true guardians of civic peace. By using community policing and focused efforts to “fix broken windows” through the reduction of panhandling, graffiti, low-level crimes, and other activities that citizens take as signs of imminent danger, people would reassert themselves in the daily life of their neighborhood and retake their role as the glue that Jane Jacobs called the “small change” of urban life. In short, reducing the major crimes that dominate newspaper headlines requires controlling the disorderly street-level activities that spawn them. The broken windows analogy is a useful one for the U.S. workplace. In some workplaces—particularly those employing large numbers of low-wage workers—day-to-day experience is replete with violations of basic labor standards.
To the extent that other companies continue to skirt national laws and undercut the standards of more responsible suppliers, the efforts of better players will be undermined and monitoring efforts will have limited and unsustainable impacts. However, if international monitoring systems, in conjunction with national labor inspectorates, change the way lead companies review, source, and relate to suppliers, they are more likely to change the behavior of the larger sector of suppliers in those countries and their resulting compliance with workplace standards and laws.44 Safe Streets, Fair Workplaces In 1961 Jane Jacobs described what defined “public peace” in a city: The first thing to understand is that the public peace—the sidewalk and street peace—of cities is not kept primarily by the police, necessary as police are. It is kept primarily by an intricate, almost unconscious, network of voluntary controls and standards among the people themselves, and enforced by people themselves. In some city areas—older public housing projects and streets with very high population turnover are often conspicuous examples—the keeping of public sidewalk law and order is left almost entirely to the police and special guards.
Declining enforcement, erosion of unionization, a growing skepticism toward government, and a shift (legal and cultural) to more individually focused views of the workplace in many sectors have undermined the ability to attain public objectives in setting conditions in the U.S. workplace. The troubling working conditions and sometimes egregious behavior of employers found in low-wage settings echoes Jane Jacobs’s accounts of deterioration of civil society in neighborhoods and streets in Chicago. A tipping point arguably exists in many sectors affected by fissuring where the day-to-day experience of working people represents Jacobs’s urban jungle, where even the most fundamental rules of workplace fairness (for example, being paid for work completed; being allowed breaks; receiving benefits promised at the outset) have broken down.
The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America by George Packer
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bank run, big-box store, citizen journalism, cleantech, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, deindustrialization, diversified portfolio, East Village, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, family office, financial independence, financial innovation, Flash crash, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, new economy, New Journalism, obamacare, Occupy movement, oil shock, peak oil, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, smart grid, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, too big to fail, union organizing, urban planning, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, white flight
When he was covering city hall at The Palm Beach Post, he’d gotten deeply interested in urban planning—for a while he even thought about switching careers, until he realized that city planners had even less clout than reporters. But his bookshelves filled up with titles like A Field Guide to Sprawl, The History of the Lawn, Suburban Nation, and the pair that were his bibles: The Power Broker and The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Van Sickler became a Jane Jacobs disciple. She gave a vocabulary to the desire he had felt growing up in Cleveland Heights with no one around on those excruciating summer afternoons: short blocks, pedestrian permeability, mixed uses, safety in eyes on the street, density. Life was richest and most creative where people of different backgrounds could meet face-to-face and exchange ideas. And that happened in cities—cities of a particular kind.
Signs advertising accident attorneys, fast cash for houses, and get-rich-quick schemes were everywhere, and auto insurance was higher in Florida than elsewhere—insurers called it “a fraudulent state.” Florida drew the transient and rootless on the eternal promise of a second chance, with more than its share of scammers and con men. So who was to say the guy living next door wasn’t one of them? A subdivision like Carriage Pointe was Jane Jacobs’s vision of hell. In 2006, Van Sickler wrote a story about the people buying houses around Tampa. A lot of them lived in other places, and when he tracked them down by phone, he would ask, “Are you living in the home? Oh, is it a vacation home? Why would you be vacationing in Ruskin—it’s not a vacation destination.” It turned out that at least half the sales were going to investors—a huge number.
People would get off the train and walk, and walking (without fear of traffic death) would change the urban landscape, away from the shopping plaza, the parking lot, the gas station, and the roadside sign to townhouses, cafés, bookstores, the kind of places that encouraged pedestrians to linger, and their presence would spur other businesses to cluster, and before long there would be density—Jane Jacobs’s heaven. Strangers would meet in nontraumatic accidental encounters and exchange ideas. Tampa would become the magnet for educated young people, tech start-ups, and corporate headquarters that its counterparts with commuter rail had already become, putting the economy on a sounder foundation than real estate had. The center of gravity would move back to the city, away from Country Walk and Carriage Pointe, which would fade into irrelevance.
Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science by Michael Nielsen
Albert Einstein, augmented reality, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, Cass Sunstein, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, conceptual framework, dark matter, discovery of DNA, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, Firefox, Freestyle chess, Galaxy Zoo, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Kevin Kelly, Magellanic Cloud, means of production, medical residency, Nicholas Carr, publish or perish, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Singh, Skype, slashdot, social web, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, University of East Anglia, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge
Of course, a considerable fraction of our written culture deals, directly or indirectly, with the challenges of group problem solving. Among the more formative accounts for me were Ben Rich’s Skunk Works , Richard Rhodes’s The Making of the Atomic Bomb , and Robert Colwell’s The Pentium Chronicles . A little further afield, Peter Block’s book Community: The structure of belonging  contains many insights about the problems of building community. And, finally, Jane Jacobs’s masterpiece The Death and Life of Great American Cities  is a superb account of how very large groups tackle a core human problem: how to make a place to live. Networked science, in general: The potential of computers and the network to change the way science is done has been discussed by many people, and over a long period of time. Such discussion can be found in many of the works describd above, in particular the work of Vannevar Bush  and Douglas Engelbart .
Seattle: Microsoft Research, 2009. http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/collaboration/fourthparadigm/.  Edwin Hutchins. Cognition in the Wild. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1995.  National Human Genome Research Institute. Reaffirmation and extension of NHGRI rapid data release policies: Large-scale sequencing and other community resource projects, February 2003. http://www.genome.gov/10506537.  In one instant a left-lane nation swerves right. Life, September 15, 1967.  Jane Jacobs. The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Toronto: Random House of Canada, 1961.  Irving Lester Janis. Groupthink: Psychological Studies of Policy Decisions and Fiascoes. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1983.  Eamon Javers. The pit bull of public relations. Business Week, April 17, 2006.  Ayodele Samuel Jegede. What led to the Nigerian boycott of the polio vaccination campaign?
Everything Is Obvious: *Once You Know the Answer by Duncan J. Watts
affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Black Swan, butterfly effect, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, complexity theory, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, discovery of DNA, East Village, easy for humans, difficult for computers, edge city, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, framing effect, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, happiness index / gross national happiness, high batting average, hindsight bias, illegal immigration, interest rate swap, invention of the printing press, invention of the telescope, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, lake wobegon effect, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, medical malpractice, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, oil shock, packet switching, pattern recognition, performance metric, phenotype, planetary scale, prediction markets, pre–internet, RAND corporation, random walk, RFID, school choice, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supply-chain management, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, ultimatum game, urban planning, Vincenzo Peruggia: Mona Lisa, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, X Prize
Yet in spite of the trillions of dollars of aid that planners have devoted to economic development, there is shockingly little evidence that the recipients are better off for it.18 Closer to home, and over roughly the same period of time, urban planners in the United States have repeatedly set out to “solve” the problem of urban poverty and have repeatedly failed. As the journalist and urban activist Jane Jacobs put it fifty years ago, “There is a wistful myth that if only we had enough money to spend—the figure is usually put at a hundred billion dollars—we could wipe out all our slums in ten years.… But look what we have built with the first several billions: Low-income projects that have become worse centers of delinquency, vandalism and general social hopelessness than the slums they were supposed to replace.”19 It is ironic that around the same time that Jacobs reached this conclusion, work began on the Robert Taylor Homes in Chicago, the largest public housing project ever built.
People have been fascinated with what sociologists call the small-world problem for nearly a century, since the Hungarian poet Frigyes Karinthy published a short story called “Chains” in which his protagonist boasts that he can connect himself to any other person in the world, whether a Nobel Prize winner or a worker in a Ford Motor factory, through a chain of no more than five acquaintances. Four decades later, in her polemic on urban planning The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the journalist Jane Jacobs described a similar game, called messages, that she used to play with her sister when they first moved to New York: The idea was to pick two wildly dissimilar individuals—say a headhunter in the Solomon Islands and a cobbler in Rock Island, Illinois—and assume that one had to get a message to the other by word of mouth; then we would each silently figure out a plausible, or at least possible, chain of persons through whom the message could go.
Stealth of Nations by Robert Neuwirth
accounting loophole / creative accounting, big-box store, British Empire, call centre, collective bargaining, corporate governance, full employment, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, jitney, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, megacity, microcredit, New Urbanism, pirate software, profit motive, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Simon Kuznets, special economic zone, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, thinkpad, upwardly mobile
Frederick T. Stanley was a tinker, selling tools from a pack, before he earned enough to found Stanley Works. The roots of the company that makes Van Heusen shirts—one of the most enduring clothing brands in the United States (which today owns Bass, Arrow, IZOD, Calvin Klein, and Tommy Hilfiger)—lie in a single unlicensed pushcart run by a husband-and-wife team in Philadelphia. As urban visionary Jane Jacobs noted, “Many a respectable American citizen of today got his education, and many a legitimate and constructive enterprise got its initial capital,” from peddling, piracy, smuggling, and illegality. Indeed, she went on, “One could argue that if immigrants had derived no capital from these sources … the economic development of the United States would have halted.” Kids selling lemonade in front of their houses are part of System D.
Without the solidarity to create structures that can influence things beyond their immediate environment, the merchants are looking to government for salvation—and unfortunately, Meagher suggested, the government, which often operates like a corrupt entity itself, is unlikely to provide the necessary support. “The state’s not going to do this on its own. And the international lobby is pushing the opposite of what they need.” We live in an increasingly System D world. As urban visionary Jane Jacobs predicted back in 1969, the cities of the future “will not be smaller, simpler or more specialized than cities of today. Rather they will be more intricate, comprehensive, diversified and larger than today’s, and will have even more complicated jumbles of old and new things than ours do.” Without ever having seen them—and even if she had, Lagos, Ciudad del Este, and Guangzhou were comparatively tiny outposts four decades back—Jacobs described exactly how these cities and scores of others around the world would develop.
The Locavore's Dilemma by Pierre Desrochers, Hiroko Shimizu
air freight, back-to-the-land, British Empire, Columbian Exchange, Community Supported Agriculture, edge city, Edward Glaeser, food miles, Food sovereignty, global supply chain, intermodal, invention of agriculture, inventory management, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, labour mobility, land tenure, megacity, moral hazard, mortgage debt, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, planetary scale, profit motive, refrigerator car, Steven Pinker, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, Upton Sinclair, urban sprawl
According to recent UN projections, by 2025 there will be at least three urban to two rural dwellers. By 2050, approximately 70% of the world’s population will be living in cities.15 Urban agglomerations have always proved essential for agricultural advances, be it in terms of providing the best setting for technological innovations, by offering large and concentrated markets for rural goods, and in generating the capital required to invest in rural development. As the urban theorist Jane Jacobs observed in 1969, agriculture “is not even tolerably productive unless it incorporates many goods and services produced in cities or transplanted from cities. The most thoroughly rural countries exhibit the most unproductive agriculture. The most thoroughly urbanized countries, on the other hand, are precisely those that produce food most abundantly.”16 Of course, many past agricultural advances can be traced back to the work of specialists such as livestock and crop breeders, geneticists, nutritionists, chemical and mechanical engineers, veterinarians, plant pathologists, and soil scientists who were sometimes (but often not) based in more rural regions.
The Economist (November 6) http://www.economist.com/node/12552404 For a much more comprehensive historical perspective on the issue, see Paul Bairoch. 1988. Cities and Economic Development: From the Dawn of History to the Present. University of Chicago Press. A recent concise analytical discussion of the issue can be found in Mario Polèse. 2009. The Wealth and Poverty of Regions. Why City Matters. University of Chicago Press, chapter 5. 16 Jane Jacobs. 1969. The Economy of Cities. Random House, p. 7. 17 Plato. Around 360 BCE. The Republic, Book II http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/republic.3.ii.html. 18 For a popular history of these latter developments, see Susan Freidberg. 2009. Fresh. A Perishable History. Belknap Press (Harvard University Press). For a more concise discussion of these advances in the French context, see Pierre Desrochers and Hiroko Shimizu. 2010.
Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto by Stewart Brand
agricultural Revolution, back-to-the-land, biofilm, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cass Sunstein, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, conceptual framework, Danny Hillis, dark matter, decarbonisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Elon Musk, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, glass ceiling, Google Earth, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, Jane Jacobs, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kibera, land tenure, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, microbiome, New Urbanism, out of africa, Paul Graham, peak oil, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, stem cell, Stewart Brand, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Thomas Malthus, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, working-age population, Y2K
In this formulation, it is the throwing together of great wealth and great poverty in the urban stew that is part of the cure for poverty. The common theory of the origin of cities states that they resulted from the invention of agriculture: Surplus food freed people to become specialists. You can’t have full-time cobblers, blacksmiths, and bureaucrats, the theory goes, without farms to feed them. Jane Jacobs upended that supposition in The Economy of Cities (1969). “Rural economies, including agricultural work,” she wrote, “are directly built upon city economies and city work.” It was so in the beginning, she argued, and continues to this day. Most farming innovations, for example, are city-based. When Rome collapsed, European agriculture collapsed. When crop rotation was reinvented in the twelfth century, it began around European cities and took two centuries to reach remote farms.
When crop rotation was reinvented in the twelfth century, it began around European cities and took two centuries to reach remote farms. In the eighteenth century, the revolutionary use of fodder crops like alfalfa to fix nitrogen in the soil was developed first in city gardens. American agriculture soared in the 1920s when hybrid corn was invented, not on a farm but in a New Haven, Connecticut, laboratory. If agriculture didn’t create cities, what did? Jane Jacobs thought it was trade. My guess, based on the “constant battles” view of history, is defense. The first urban invention, I’ll bet, was a defendable wall, followed by rectangular buildings that allowed close packing of maximum residents within a minimum amount of wall. (Pastoral and hunter-gatherer buildings—yurts, tipis, hogans, wikiups, bomas, and the like—are round.) Just like the most ancient town dwellers of Mesopotamia, the agricultural Pueblo tribes of the American Southwest lived in dense fortresses several stories high, with no openings in the outer walls.
The Enigma of Capital: And the Crises of Capitalism by David Harvey
accounting loophole / creative accounting, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, call centre, capital controls, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, failed state, financial innovation, Frank Gehry, full employment, global reserve currency, Google Earth, Guggenheim Bilbao, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, interest rate swap, invention of the steam engine, Jane Jacobs, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, land reform, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, means of production, megacity, microcredit, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, New Urbanism, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, place-making, Ponzi scheme, precariat, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, special drawing rights, special economic zone, statistical arbitrage, structural adjustment programs, the built environment, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, women in the workforce
The suburban solution to the Great Depression produced the so-called ‘urban crisis’ of the 1960s, defined by revolts of impacted minorities (chiefly African-American) in the inner cities who had been denied access both to the suburbs and to the new prosperity. But all was not well in the suburbs either. The new lifestyle had all manner of social and political consequences. The individualism, the defence of property values, the bland if not soulless qualities of everyday life, became topics of critique. Traditionalists increasingly rallied around the urbanist Jane Jacobs, who had very distinctive ideas as to what constituted a more fulfilling form of everyday life in the city. They sought to counter sprawling suburbanisation and the brutal modernism of Moses’ large-scale projects with a different kind of urban aesthetic that focused on local neighbourhood development, historical preservation and, ultimately, reclamation and gentrification of older areas. Feminists proclaimed the suburb and its lifestyle as the locus of all their primary discontents.
The same economic necessity that produced them in the first place, produces them in the next place. The processes Engels described recur again and again in capitalist urban history. Robert Moses ‘took a meat axe to the Bronx’ (in his own infamous words) and long and loud were the lamentations of neighbourhood groups and movements, which eventually coalesced around the rhetoric of the inveterate urban reformer Jane Jacobs, at the unimaginable destruction of valued urban fabric but also at the loss of whole communities of residents and their long-established networks of social integration. Once the brutal power of state expropriations and older neighbourhood destruction for purposes of highway construction and urban renewal had been successfully resisted and contained by the political and street agitations of ’68 (with Paris once more an epicentre but with violent confrontations everywhere from Chicago to Mexico City and Bangkok), a far more insidious and cancerous process of transformation began through fiscal disciplining of democratic urban governments, the freeing up of land markets from controls, property speculation and the sorting of land to those uses that generated the highest possible financial rate of return.
Death of the Liberal Class by Chris Hedges
1960s counterculture, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, call centre, clean water, collective bargaining, Columbine, corporate governance, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, hive mind, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Lao Tzu, post scarcity, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, strikebreaker, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tobin tax, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, working poor, Works Progress Administration
Lawrence Lipton, who wrote a book on the Beats called The Holy Barbarians, argued that the Beats “expropriated” from the upper classes their arts, sins, and “privilege of defying convention.” The Beats, like the Bohemians who populated Greenwich Village after World War I, also flaunted a self-indulgent hedonism that mirrored the ethic of the consumer culture. Lipton called this “the democratization of amorality.” The Beats in the 1950s aided the dissipation of the intellectual class by abandoning urban centers, where a previous generation of public intellectuals, such as Jane Jacobs or Dwight Macdonald, lived and worked. They romanticized the automobile and movement. Russell Jacoby points out in The Last Intellectuals that the Beats had a peculiarly American “devotion to the automobile, the road, and travel, which kept them and then a small army of imitators crisscrossing the continent,” as well as a populist “love of the American people.”37 The Beats not only bolstered the ethic of consumption and leisure as opposed to work, but also they “anticipated the deurbanization of America, the abandonment of the cities for smaller centers, suburbs, campus towns, and outlying areas.”38 The new ethic of the liberal class, Cowley wrote, was one that embraced “the idea of salvation by the child,” which proposed a new educational system “by which children are encouraged to develop their own personalities, to blossom freely like flowers, then the world will be saved by this new, free generation.”
Hillis Miller, then of Yale; Gregory Ulmer of the University of Florida; and Marxist cultural historian Frederic Jameson, typified the trend. They wrap ideas in a language so obscure, so abstract, so preoccupied with arcane theory that the uninitiated cannot understand what they write. They make no attempt to reach a wider audience or enrich public life. Compared to the last generation of genuine, independent public intellectuals—Jane Jacobs, Paul and Percival Goodman, William H. Whyte, Lewis Mumford, C. Wright Mills, and Dwight Macdonald—they have produced nothing of substance or worth. Their work has no vision, other than perhaps calling for more diverse voices in the academy. It is technical, convoluted, self-referential, and filled with so much academic jargon that it is unreadable. This is a sample of what poststructuralists, in this case Jameson, believe passes for lucid thought: In periodizing a phenomenon of this kind, we have to complicate the model with all kinds of supplementary epicycles.
Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson
Ada Lovelace, Alfred Russel Wallace, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Book of Ingenious Devices, Buckminster Fuller, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, colonial exploitation, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Drosophila, Fellow of the Royal Society, game design, global village, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, HyperCard, invention of air conditioning, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, Islamic Golden Age, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Landlord's Game, lone genius, megacity, Minecraft, Murano, Venice glass, music of the spheres, Necker cube, New Urbanism, Oculus Rift, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, pattern recognition, pets.com, placebo effect, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Oldenburg, spice trade, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, talking drums, the built environment, The Great Good Place, the scientific method, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, trade route, Turing machine, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, Victor Gruen, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog, working poor, Wunderkammern
The spectacle of the mall courtyard, and its pedestrian convenience, was for Gruen a way to smuggle European metropolitan values into a barbaric American suburban wasteland. According to Gruen’s original design, as Malcolm Gladwell writes, “Southdale was not a suburban alternative to downtown Minneapolis. It was the Minneapolis downtown you would get if you started over and corrected all the mistakes that were made the first time around.” Even the ultimate defender of traditional downtown sidewalks, Jane Jacobs, was smitten by Gruen’s designs. Describing an ambitious plan for a new Fort Worth that Gruen had developed but never built, Jacobs wrote, “The service done by the Fort Worth plan is of incalculable value, [and will] set in motion new ideas about the function of the city and the way people use the city.” Yet developers never took to Gruen’s larger vision: instead of surrounding the shopping center with high-density, mixed-use development, they surrounded it with parking lots.
Disney and Gruen wanted the energy and vitality and surprise of the big city, without all of the hassle. It turns out that a little bit of hassle is the price you pay for energy and vitality. But I suspect the mall at the epicenter of Southdale and EPCOT is too distracting a scapegoat: dismissing EPCOT as a crowning moment in the history of suburbanization—the city of the future is built around a mall!—diverts the eye from the other elements of the plan that actually have value. The fact that Jane Jacobs, who had an intense antipathy to top-down planners, saw merit in the Gruen model should tell us something. It would be fitting, in a way, if some new model of urban organization emerged out of a shop-window designer’s original vision, given the roots of the industrial city in the lavish displays of the London shops. Routing services belowground; clearing out automobiles from entire downtowns; building mixed-use dense housing in suburban regions; creating distinct mass-transit options to fit the scale of the average trip—these are all provocative ideas that have been explored separately in many communities around the world.
Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection by John T. Cacioppo
Alfred Russel Wallace, biofilm, butterfly effect, Celebration, Florida, corporate governance, delayed gratification, experimental subject, impulse control, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, placebo effect, post-industrial society, Rodney Brooks, Ted Kaczynski, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, theory of mind, urban planning, urban renewal, Walter Mischel
In most industrialized nations, champions of modernism like New York’s “master builder” Robert Moses continued until very recently to bulldoze older neighborhoods to run expressways through cities, and urban planners built huge housing projects—“vertical slums”—to warehouse the poor. The apartheid government of South Africa went so far as to destroy a wide swath of Cape Town—a mixed-race area called District Six—precisely because of its rich sense of community. The harmony that had flourished among the district’s crowded mix of blacks and whites and Asian immigrants gave the lie to the ruling party’s agenda of racial separatism. In the 1960s urbanists like Jane Jacobs launched a counteroffensive. Jacobs’s book The Death and Life of Great American Cities is her paean to her own “village”—Greenwich Village in New York City. In its pages she extols the vitality of life on a smaller, more compact scale, where people live and work on the same block. She writes about the greater trust and sense of connection, as well as the enriching, serendipitous encounters that result.
They have all taken up urbanization without considering what the natural speed of it should be.” In terms of health and well-being, science tells us that there are unintended negative consequences when, as Walter Lippmann put it a century ago, “we have changed our environment more quickly than we know how to change ourselves.”13 Here in the United States, progressive architects and developers have heeded Jane Jacobs’s call to take the imperatives of social connection more seriously. They try to replicate, in new communities such as Celebration, Florida, the physical aspects of small-town life—clustered housing, sidewalks, front porches for sitting—that facilitate social connection. Other communities, such as Treetops in Easthampton, Massachusetts, try to reintegrate older and younger people in a single living arrangement.
3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business climate, call centre, car-free, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, decarbonisation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, Ferguson, Missouri, Firefox, frictionless, Gini coefficient, hive mind, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, openstreetmap, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Zipcar
This order is all composed of movement and change, and although it is life, not art, we may fancifully call it the art form of the city and liken it to the dance—not to a simple-minded precision dance with everyone kicking up at the same time, twirling in unison and bowing off en masse, but to an intricate ballet in which the individual dancers and ensembles all have distinctive parts which miraculously reinforce each other and compose an orderly whole. The ballet of the good city sidewalk never repeats itself from place to place, and in any one place it is always replete with new improvisations. —JANE JACOBS, THE DEATH AND LIFE OF GREAT AMERICAN CITIES I LOVE THIS PASSAGE by urban planner Jane Jacobs. Her description of a city street that works—a place where infrastructure encourages the intricate ballet of life to flourish—is an analogy for what is required when building a Peers Inc platform. It took months of eighteen-hour days to ready Zipcar for launch. Grabbing an emerging opportunity and growing a market share requires the right people with the right strategy at the right moment (and what’s right changes over time) because they all must come together to create a resilient and inviting infrastructure for peers.
The Trouble With Brunch: Work, Class and the Pursuit of Leisure by Shawn Micallef
big-box store, call centre, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, deindustrialization, ghettoisation, Jane Jacobs, knowledge worker, Mason jar, McMansion, new economy, post scarcity, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Thorstein Veblen, urban sprawl, World Values Survey
Writing this book was a process of discovery, and Jason McBride’s skilful shaping of an unwieldy collection of disparate ideas into a coherent narrative let me say things I’d not have been able to say on my own. Much thanks and gratitude to these last two people in particular for their patience and most gentle encouragement. About the Author Shawn Micallef (@shawnmicallef) is the author of Stroll: Psychogeographic Walking Tours of Toronto and Full Frontal T.O., a weekly columnist at the Toronto Star, and a senior editor and co-owner of the independent, Jane Jacobs Prize–winning magazine Spacing. Shawn teaches at the University of Toronto and was a 2011–2012 Canadian Journalism Fellow at University of Toronto’s Massey College. In 2002, while a resident at the Canadian Film Centre’s Media Lab, he co-founded [murmur], the location-based mobile phone documentary project that has spread to over twenty-five cities globally. Shawn was the Toronto Public Library’s Writer in Residence in fall 2013.
The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley
23andMe, agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, Corn Laws, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial innovation, Flynn Effect, food miles, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, informal economy, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, packet switching, patent troll, Pax Mongolica, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Productivity paradox, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Silicon Valley, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supervolcano, technological singularity, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Vernor Vinge, wage slave, working poor, working-age population, Y2K, Yogi Berra
This is surprising only because it is easy to think of early farmers as sedentary, self-sufficient folk. But they were exchanging harder in this region than anywhere else, and it is a reasonable guess that one of the pressures to invent agriculture was to feed and profit from wealthy traders – to generate a surplus that could be exchanged for obsidian, shells or other more perishable goods. Trade came first. In the 1960s, Jane Jacobs suggested in her book The Economy of Cities that agriculture was invented to feed the first cities, rather than cities being made possible by the invention of agriculture. This goes too far, and archaeologists have discredited the idea of urban centres preceding the first farms. The largest permanent settlements of hunter-gatherers cannot be described as urban even among the fishermen of the Pacific coast of North America.
p. 127 ‘It is no accident that modern Australia, with its unpredictable years of drought followed by years of wet, still looks a bit like that volatile glacial world’. Lourandos, H. 1997. Continent of Hunter-Gatherers. Cambridge University Press. p. 127 ‘One of the intriguing things about the first farming settlements is that they also seem to be trading towns’. Sherratt, A. 2005. The origins of farming in South-West Asia. ArchAtlas, January 2008, edition 3, http://www.archatlas.org/OriginsFarming/Farming.php, accessed 30 January 2008. p. 128 ‘Jane Jacobs suggested in her book The Economy of Cities’. Jacobs, J. 1969. The Economy of Cities. Random House. p. 128 ‘In Greece, farmers arrived suddenly and dramatically around 9,000 years ago.’ Perles, C. 2001. The Early Neolithic in Greece. Cambridge University Press. p. 128 ‘so the genetic evidence suggests’. Cavalli-Sforza, L.L. and Cavalli-Sforza, E. C. 1995. The Great Human Diasporas: the History of Diversity.
Arrival City by Doug Saunders
agricultural Revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Branko Milanovic, call centre, credit crunch, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, guest worker program, Hernando de Soto, Honoré de Balzac, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Kibera, land reform, land tenure, low skilled workers, megacity, microcredit, new economy, pensions crisis, place-making, price mechanism, rent control, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, white flight, working poor, working-age population
In a new-migrant community, a given patch of land might need to be a residence, a shop, a small factory, a gathering-place, a place of worship, or any combination of these from time to time, and it needs to change and evolve. Most Western urbanites nowadays understand that downtown-core neighborhoods need to be spontaneous, organic, and flexible. Unfortunately, the neighborhoods where newcomers arrive are rarely allowed the same creativity, and their planners remain devoted to rigidly separated uses of property and land. We have learned what is wrong with this zoning approach from hard experience. The urbanist Jane Jacobs, who spent the 1950s studying and admiring the works of these big-project planners, was sent in 1958 to report on a huge slum-redevelopment high-rise project in Philadelphia, built using rigid zoning, low housing density, and broad public squares. “The drawings looked wonderful with all these little people in them,” she told me years later. “And I went down to see it. It was just like the picture—except all those little people weren’t in it.
., The Position of the Turkish and Moroccan Second Generation in Amsterdam and Rotterdam (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2008), 63–85, 166. 4 Doug Saunders, “Citizen Jane,” The Globe and Mail, Oct. 11, 1997. 5 William H. Whyte, City: Rediscovering the Center (New York: Doubleday, 1989); Oscar Newman, Defensible Space: Crime Prevention through Urban Design (New York: MacMillan, 1972). 6 Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (New York: Random House, 1961), 221. 7 Alice Coleman, Utopia on Trial: Vision and Reality in Planned Housing (London: Longwood, 1985). 8 Narayan, Pritchett and Kapoor, Moving Out of Poverty, 223–72. 9 Recent exposés of the failure of aid include Dambisa Moyo, Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is Another Way for Africa (London: Allen Lane, 2009); William Easterly, The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).
Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism by David Harvey
accounting loophole / creative accounting, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business climate, California gold rush, call centre, central bank independence, clean water, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, colonial rule, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, falling living standards, fiat currency, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Food sovereignty, Frank Gehry, future of work, global reserve currency, Guggenheim Bilbao, income inequality, informal economy, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, microcredit, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, peak oil, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, short selling, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, wages for housework, Wall-E, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population
A problem arises and is identified, a solution is demanded and the solution invariably combines earlier solutions to other problems in a new configuration. The new configuration often has spillover effects elsewhere because it creates what Arthur calls ‘opportunity niches’ – arenas where an innovation from one place might be meaningfully applied in another.1 Spontaneous development of innovation centres (some regions, cities and towns have a remarkable record for innovation) occurs because, as was long ago noted by commentators such as Jane Jacobs, the fortuitous co-presence of different skills and knowledges of the sort that Arthur regards as necessary for innovation to occur is more likely to be found in a seemingly chaotic economy characterised by innumerable small businesses and divisions of labour.2 Such environments have historically been far more likely to spawn new technological mixes than a single-dimensional company town. More recently, however, the deliberate organisation of the research universities, institutes, think tanks and military R&D units in a given area has become a basic business model through which the capitalist state and capitalist corporations pursue innovation for competitive advantage.
The parallel passage in Volume 1 is to be found on p. 799 of the Penguin edition. Part Two: The Moving Contradictions 1. W. Brian Arthur, The Nature of Technology: What It Is and How It Evolves, New York, Free Press, 2009, p. 202. Contradiction 8: Technology, Work and Human Disposability 1. W. Brian Arthur, The Nature of Technology: What It Is and How It Evolves, New York, Free Press, 2009, pp. 22 et seq. 2. Jane Jacobs, The Economy of Cities, New York, Vintage, 1969. 3. Arthur, The Nature of Technology, p. 211. 4. Alfred NorthWhitehead, Process and Reality, New York, Free Press, 1969, p. 33. 5. Arthur, The Nature of Technology, p. 213; Karl Marx, Grundrisse, Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1973. 6. Arthur, The Nature of Technology, p 191. 7. Joseph Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, London, Routledge, 1942, pp. 82–3. 8.
3D printing, Airbnb, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business process, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, cleantech, collaborative consumption, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, debt deflation, Diane Coyle, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, eurozone crisis, fear of failure, financial deregulation, first-past-the-post, forward guidance, full employment, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, hiring and firing, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, Hyperloop, immigration reform, income inequality, interest rate derivative, Irish property bubble, James Dyson, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, liquidity trap, margin call, Martin Wolf, mittelstand, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, price stability, private sector deleveraging, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, Richard Florida, rising living standards, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, savings glut, school vouchers, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, working-age population, Zipcar
Remarkably, around 15 per cent of technical change in Europe can be attributed directly to competition from Chinese imports. Firms have responded to the threat of Chinese imports by increasing their productivity through adopting better information technology, higher spending on R&D and increased patenting.597 So opening up the economy and boosting competition more generally are vital for innovation and growth in Europe. Wherever the demand for innovation comes from, it tends to be supplied in cities. Jane Jacobs, a great American urbanist, pointed this out in the 1960s.598 More recent research by Ed Glaeser of Harvard University documents this. In his masterful Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier and Happier, he explains how most innovation takes place in diverse, densely populated cities, where people are forever interacting with each other and experiencing new things.599 “We are a social species and we learn by being around clever people,” he observes.600 “Cities have long sped this flow of ideas.
title=File:Gross_domestic_expenditure_on_R%26D,_2000-2010_%28%25_share_of_GDP%29.jpg 595 http://www.oecd.org/site/innovationstrategy/45183382.pdf 596 http://www.oecd.org/site/innovationstrategy/45184357.pdf 597 Nick Bloom, Mirko Draca and John Van Reenen, “Trade Induced Technical Change: The Impact of Chinese Imports on Innovation and Productivity”, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 1000, 2011 http://www.voxeu.org/article/who-s-afraid-big-bad-dragon-how-chinese-trade-boosts-european-innovation 598 Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Random House: 1961 599 Edward Glaeser, Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier and Happier, Macmillan: 2011 600 http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d6074404-48f5-11e0-af8c-00144feab49a.html 601 http://www.economist.com/news/business/21581695-city-leaders-are-increasingly-adopting-business-methods-and-promoting-business-mayors-and-mammon 602 Alfred Marshall, Principles of Economics, 1890 603 Pierre Azoulay, Joshua Graff Zivin and Bhaven Sampat, "The diffusion of scientific knowledge across time and space: Evidence from professional transitions for the superstars of medicine", NBER Working Paper #16683, January 2011 604 Benjamin Jones, "The burden of knowledge and the ‘death of the renaissance man’: Is innovation getting harder?"
Wealth and Poverty: A New Edition for the Twenty-First Century by George Gilder
affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, capital controls, cleantech, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, equal pay for equal work, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Gilder, Home mortgage interest deduction, Howard Zinn, income inequality, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job-hopping, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, medical malpractice, minimum wage unemployment, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, non-fiction novel, North Sea oil, paradox of thrift, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, price stability, Ralph Nader, rent control, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, skunkworks, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, volatility arbitrage, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, yield curve
Throughout history, from Venice to Hong Kong, the fastest growing countries have been the lands best endowed not with things but with free minds and private rights to property. Two of the most thriving of the world’s economies lost nearly all their material capital during World War II and surged back by emancipating entrepreneurs. The materialist vision, by contrast, leads merely to newer versions of the fate of Midas. PART THREE THE ECONOMY OF FAITH CHAPTER NINETEEN THE KINETIC ECONOMY IN EVERY ECONOMY, AS Jane Jacobs has said, there is one crucial and definitive conflict.1 This is not the split between capitalists and workers, technocrats and humanists, government and business, liberals and conservatives, or rich and poor. All these divisions are partial and distorted reflections of the deeper conflict: the struggle between past and future, between the existing configuration of industries and the industries that will someday replace them.
., Inflation and National Survival, Proceedings of the Academy of Political Science, vol. 33, no. 3 (New York: the Academy of Political Science, 1979), pp. 149–154. 7 Hendrik Houthakker, “The Inverse Relation between Company Growth and Price Movements,” Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, no. 1 (Washington, DC: the Brookings Institution, 1979). 8 Abridged from Thomas Macaulay, The History of England, chapter 19, as quoted in Challenge 21, no. 4 (September–October 1978), pp. 3–6. 9 W. Arthur Lewis, The Theory of Economic Growth (London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1955), p. 405. Chapter Nineteen 1 Jane Jacobs, The Economy of Cities (New York: Random House, 1969). Toward the end of this fascinating work, Jacobs writes: “The primary economic conflict, I think, is between people whose interests are with already well-established economic activities, and those whose interests are with the emergence of new economic activities” (p. 249). 2 Quoted in Arnold Heertje, Economics and Technical Change (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1977), p. 75. 3 Joseph Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy (New York: Harper & Row, 1962). 4 William Tucker, “Of Mites and Men,” Harper’s, vol. 257, no. 1539 (August 1978) pp. 43–58. 5 Martin J.
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
affirmative action, Cass Sunstein, crack epidemic, Credit Default Swap, deindustrialization, desegregation, dumpster diving, ending welfare as we know it, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, housing crisis, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, late fees, New Urbanism, payday loans, price discrimination, profit motive, rent control, statistical model, superstar cities, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, thinkpad, upwardly mobile, working poor, young professional
Now I just…stand around.” When winter set in, weeks would pass without Doreen so much as stepping outside. “The public peace—the sidewalk and street peace—of cities is not kept primarily by the police, necessary as police are. It is kept primarily by an intricate, almost unconscious, network of voluntary controls and standards among the people themselves, and enforced by the people themselves.” So wrote Jane Jacobs in The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Jacobs believed that a prerequisite for this type of healthy and engaged community was the presence of people who simply were present, who looked after the neighborhood. She has been proved right: disadvantaged neighborhoods with higher levels of “collective efficacy”—the stuff of loosely linked neighbors who trust one another and share expectations about how to make their community better—have lower crime rates.3 A single eviction could destabilize multiple city blocks, not only the block from which a family was evicted but also the block to which it begrudgingly relocated.
In other words, unforced movers whose previous move was involuntary were far more likely to cite housing or neighborhood problems as the reason for moving than were unforced movers whose previous move was also unforced. Not only do poor renters disproportionately experience involuntary displacement, but involuntary displacement itself brings about subsequent residential mobility. See Desmond et al., “Forced Relocation and Residential Instability Among Urban Renters.” 3. Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (New York: Random House, 1961), 31–32; Robert Sampson, Great American City: Chicago and the Enduring Neighborhood Effect (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012), especially 127, 146–47, 151, 177, 231–32. For an ethnographic take on the uses of public space, see Mitchell Duneier, Sidewalk (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1999). 4. Jacobs, Death and Life of Great American Cities, 271, emphasis mine. 5.
A People's History of Poverty in America by Stephen Pimpare
affirmative action, British Empire, car-free, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, dumpster diving, East Village, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Gilder, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, impulse control, income inequality, index card, Jane Jacobs, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, payday loans, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, union organizing, urban renewal, War on Poverty, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration
Mothers on welfare often shoulder the burden for working mothers who simply cannot be around enough to exercise vigilance. They provide an adult presence in the parks and on the sidewalks where it is most needed. Without these stay-at-home moms in the neighborhood, many a working-poor parent would have no choice but to force the kids to stay at home all day.18 This is the point that urbanist Jane Jacobs has made about the importance of a watchful eyes and mutual policing for a healthy, safe neighborhood. 19 And there’s this interesting observation by one journalist writing about recipients in Washington, D.C.:Although neither mother not daughter talked about it directly, there was another difference between wages and a welfare check. Michelle spent her wages, and Mrs. Manley didn’t feel she could lay down the law and claim a share of them.
Plotnick, and Mark Evan Edwards, “Determinants of Initial Entry onto Welfare by Young Women,” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 19, no. 4 (2000): 527–46. 16 Steven VanderStaay, Street Lives: An Oral History of Homeless Americans (Philadelphia: New Society Publishers, 1992), 170. 17 Joe Soss, Unwanted Claims: The Politics of Participation in the U.S. Welfare System (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2002), 45. 18 Katherine S. Newman, No Shame in My Game: The Working Poor in the Inner City (New York: Vintage, 1999), 219. 19 Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (New York: Vintage, 1961). 20 Nicholas Lemann, “Bad Choices: A Welfare Soap Opera,” Washington Post, October 5–8, 1980 (four-part series). 21 Note also Mexican American field laborer Grace Palacio Arceneaux, interviewed in 1977, about growing up in California and the stinginess of relief: “Man, they never gave us anything, but they watched us like a hawk.
A Short History of Progress by Ronald Wright
Albert Einstein, Atahualpa, Bretton Woods, British Empire, clean water, Columbian Exchange, cuban missile crisis, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Haber-Bosch Process, Hernando de Soto, invention of agriculture, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, nuclear winter, out of africa, Parkinson's law, Ronald Reagan, Thomas Malthus, urban sprawl
Scholars were sceptical of this until recently, but new work by Gary Urton suggests that the system was a “three-dimensional binary code” with at least 1,536 “information units,” or signs — more than Sumerian cuneiform. See Science, June 13, 2003. 42. For example, French Meroving skeletons from the early Middle Ages show chronic starvation, partly because metal was reserved for weapons, leaving peasants who no longer knew how to make stone tools scratching the ground with wooden hoes and ploughs. Georges Duby and Robert Mandrou quoted in Jane Jacobs, The Economy of Cities (New York: Random House, 1969), pp. 14–15. 43. Çatal Hüyük, which is near a volcano, seems to have traded in obsidian. 44. Gordon Childe, What Happened in History (Harmondsworth, UK: Pelican, 1964), p. 74. 45. “Living room” for the German Volk. 46. The decline of the Devil since the Enlightenment is illustrated by an anecdote from the life of the great French geologist and naturalist Georges Cuvier (1769–1832).
3D printing, Airbnb, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, big-box store, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, Elon Musk, Firefox, glass ceiling, greed is good, housing crisis, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, jimmy wales, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, means of production, new economy, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, Ray Oldenburg, remote working, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, underbanked, women in the workforce, young professional, Zipcar
Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, Steve Ells, Ray Oldenburg, Vivek Kundra, Tony Hsieh, Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk, John Tolva, Rob Spiro and Alon Salant, Yancey Strickler, Charles Adler, Perry Chen, Meg Garlinghouse, Mitchell Baker, Dr. Tom X. Lee, Elon Musk, Peter Koechley & Eli Pariser, David Payne and Michael Tavani, Michael Bloomberg, Rachel Kleinfeld, John Mackey, Michael Pollan, Brad Neuberg, Chris Anderson, David Edinger, Scotty Martin, Dr. Regina Benjamin, Frank Perez, Al Gore, Zack Exley and Judith Freeman, Ben Goldhirsh, Adam Grant, David Javerbaum, Dr. Jon Kingsdale, Jane Jacobs, Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, Jorge Montalvo, Judge Jonathan Lippman, Justin Hall, Molla S. Donaldson, Karl D. Yordy, Kathleen N. Lohr, and Neal A. Vanselow, Peter Block INTRODUCTION I am 39 years old. As an American male, my life expectancy is 76. I’m already in the second half of my life, though I’m often still referred to as a “young leader.” It’s remarkable how much the world can change in 39 years.
Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth by Margaret Atwood
A good reputation was very important in such places, and nobody wanted to be known as a person who did not repay, or they might not get a cup of flour or an egg the next time they needed one. So you’d ultimately be repaid somehow for a forgiven debt, even if it wasn’t with money. During the Great Depression, for instance, few in rural Nova Scotia had cash to spare, but my grandfather — the local doctor — got paid anyway, in chickens and wood. They certainly did get sick of chicken, said my mother, but at least they were never cold. IN HER 1994 BOOK, Systems of Survival, Jane Jacobs proposes the theory that there are only two ways in which human beings acquire objects: taking and trading. Everything we do in the way of accumulation falls under one of these two heads, says Jacobs, and we should never confuse the two. We should be especially careful to prevent experts in one area from being put in charge of the other. For instance, police officers — who belong to the guardianship of the “taking” end and have the weaponry we allow to such guardians — should not also be the merchants, or bribery and protection rackets and other forms of corruption will be the result.
The Option of Urbanism: Investing in a New American Dream by Christopher B. Leinberger
American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, asset allocation, big-box store, centre right, credit crunch, David Brooks, desegregation, Donald Trump, drive until you qualify, edge city, full employment, Jane Jacobs, knowledge economy, McMansion, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, New Urbanism, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, postindustrial economy, RAND corporation, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, reserve currency, Richard Florida, Seaside, Florida, the built environment, transit-oriented development, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight
Walkable urbanism as exhibited in Midtown Manhattan is at one extreme, and 1955 downtown Hill Valley is at the other extreme. The range in each place depends on the local market and political conditions. D E F I N I N G WA L K A B L E U R B A N I S M | 1 1 7 Of course, high-density development with a particular FAR is not the only thing that has to be in place to make a walkable urban place work, as the late Jane Jacobs taught us all in her critically important Life and Death of Great American Cities. Having a rich mix of different uses—retail, educational, civic, hotel, office, and housing—is essential as well, as the term “urbanism” implies. The streets and sidewalks must also be safe and convenient and allow easy connections among these many uses. Running a major impediment, such as a freeway or large one-way streets, through the middle of great mixed density development will act as a barrier that no amount of density and varied uses can overcome.
I.O.U.: Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay by John Lanchester
asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black-Scholes formula, Celtic Tiger, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversified portfolio, double entry bookkeeping, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, George Akerlof, greed is good, hindsight bias, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, interest rate swap, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, laissez-faire capitalism, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Martin Wolf, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, mutually assured destruction, new economy, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, Own Your Own Home, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, reserve currency, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, The Great Moderation, the payments system, too big to fail, tulip mania, value at risk
But it’s also that so many of the areas afflicted by modern poverty, and so many of the properties caught up in it, seen from another perspective, could be so pleasant to live in. There is a style of low-built row houses which feature in American cities, and which look from one point of view like ideal urban low-cost housing, built to a human scale and simply begging to be part of an idealized, mixed, diverse, complicated, modern way of living—it’s as if the ideas of Jane Jacobs about the ideal patterns of neighborhood use and city life had been built into these streets from their inception. And it’s that which makes them look so terrible when they go wrong. Because the houses are built to a pattern, small differences in upkeep, in the attention which all homes need, are magnified. Big differences are glaring. A house with a front porch that is falling down or that has boarded-up windows has the effect of dragging down the homes around it—and this isn’t a matter just of aesthetics but of a now-proven pattern in sociology and urban development.
2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, active transport: walking or cycling, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, big-box store, car-free, hydraulic fracturing, if you build it, they will come, Jane Jacobs, job automation, Loma Prieta earthquake, medical residency, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, ride hailing / ride sharing, science of happiness, the built environment, urban renewal, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional
Though there had been no car traffic to erode this pavement, weather, neglect, and time had taken their toll over 25 years. That did not stop the owners from blaming the skateboarders for the artwork’s demise. “It is questionable how much of the destruction wrought by automobiles on cities is really a response to transportation and traffic needs, and how much of it is owing to sheer disrespect for other city needs, uses, and functions.”—Jane Jacobs21 Much is made of America’s romance with the automobile. Cultural explanations tend to prevail: The car is a sign of social status, an autonomous space in which an individual can be free and move freely through the world. There’s something to it—cars are all tied up with our ideas of coming of age, adulthood, and success. Culture is such a strong force that our ideas and feelings about how we get around often trump practical or financial considerations.
Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, British Empire, corporate governance, desegregation, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Jane Jacobs, Kibera, Mahatma Gandhi, McMansion, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, Occupy movement, Rosa Parks, urban planning, urban sprawl
And who was Lech Walesa? Just an electrician at the Gdansk shipyards, a hobbit if there ever was one. I told the Egyptians about Harvey Milk, the slain gay rights leader. He became the rst openly gay person to be elected to public o ce in California, and he was just a humble shopkeeper from San Francisco before he decided that attitudes about homosexuality needed to change. Harvey was another hobbit. When Jane Jacobs decided to stare down Robert Moses—the most powerful man in New York City, whose insane plan to plow a superhighway through the historic neighborhoods of downtown Manhattan would have destroyed the city—she was derided as a shrill housewife and a crazy dame. That’s because Jacobs, who ended up revolutionizing the eld of urban planning without even having a college degree, was a hobbit too. None of these people came from the elites, and if you were casting for models to pose for bronze statues to put in city squares, you wouldn’t have selected any of them.
The Techno-Human Condition by Braden R. Allenby, Daniel R. Sarewitz
airport security, augmented reality, carbon footprint, clean water, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, Credit Default Swap, decarbonisation, facts on the ground, friendly fire, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, land tenure, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, Peter Singer: altruism, planetary scale, prediction markets, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Silicon Valley, smart grid, stem cell, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, Whole Earth Catalog
And we think this principle is often well illustrated by successful business and military institutions. They may use economic efficiency or the military equivalents to evaluate some thingsfor example, whether to put a certain machine in a factory, whether to introduce a certain product line, whether to deploy a certain weapon platform. But to understand their social and cultural environment, they use scenarios and games and "serious play"-structured and intelligent muddling. Jane Jacobs makes a similar point in regard to the complexity of cities and economic development. Jacobs cites the observation of the Japanese anthropologist Tadao Umesao that "historically the Japanese have always done better when they drifted in an empirical, practical fashion ... than when they attempted to operate by 'resolute purpose' and 'determined In Front of Our Nose 169 will,'" and she notes that Massachusetts' famous Route 128 technology corridor succeeded because of a "process of openended drift, taking up opportunities whatever they might be and whither they might lead."?
4chan, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, asset-backed security, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, blockchain, citizen journalism, collaborative consumption, congestion charging, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, David Brooks, don't be evil, gig economy, Hacker Ethic, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Khan Academy, Kibera, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, principal–agent problem, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, software is eating the world, South of Market, San Francisco, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas L Friedman, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, ultimatum game, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator, Zipcar
Even when the company pays taxes on behalf of its hosts it refuses to give to the city governments the names and addresses of those hosts, making it almost impossible for democratically elected city governments to manage the impact of tourism on some their most valuable neighborhoods. Airbnb also demands homogenization: it operates in 34,000 cities and chafes at the inconsistency of regulations; but each city is different and the inconsistency, or variety, of regulations is a feature, not a bug. The ideas of urbanist Jane Jacobs have been a prolific source of ideas about the value of commons in our daily lives, but technology organizations such as Code for America, who seek to combine Jacobs’ ideas with software and work “to change the way cities work through technology and public service” are pursuing a contradiction. They seek to force the uniqueness of individual cities into standardized frameworks in order to build software that works across many cities.
The death and life of great American cities by Jane Jacobs
City Beautiful movement, Golden Gate Park, indoor plumbing, Internet Archive, Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Victor Gruen
I am grateful also to the Rockefeller Foundation for the financial support which made my research and writing possible, to the New School for Social Research for its hospitality, and to Douglas Haskell, the Editor of Architectural Forum, for his encouragement and forbearance. Most of all I am grateful to my husband, Robert H. Jacobs, Jr.; by this time I do not know which ideas in this book are mine and which are his. JANE JACOBS 10 The need for aged buildings, 187 11 The need for concentration, 200 12 Some myths about diversity, 222 Part Hiree forces of decline and regeneration 13 The self-destruction of diversity, 241 14 The curse of border vacuums, 257 15 Unslumming and slumming, 270 16 Gradual money and cataclysmic money, 291 Part Four different tactics 17 Subsidizing dwellings, 321 18 Erosion of cities or attrition of automobiles, 338 19 Visual order: its limitations and possibilities, 372 20 Salvaging projects, 392 21 Governing and planning districts, 405 22 The kind of problem a city is, 428 Index, 449 The scenes that illustrate this book are all about us.
Warren 429(1 Wells, Orson 73 Welwyn (England) 18 Wheaton, William 3 36 White Horse (bar) 40, 52 White House Conference on Housing 310 Whitney, Henry 215 Whyte, William H., Jr. 136 Wilshire Blvd (Los Angeles) 225 World's Fair (NY) 439 Wright, Henry i9ff Vandalism, see Crime Vernon, Raymond 145, 166 Visual order 171, 173, 222ff, i^sS, 321; chap 195409 Zoning 6, 23, 84, i86, i^ 232, 235ff, 389, 390 JANE JACOBS was bom in Scranton, Pennsylvania and now lives in Toronto. From 1952 to 1962, Mrs. Jacobs was an associate editor of Architectural Forum in New York. She is married to an architect and they have two sons and a daughter. She is also the author of The Economy of Cities. VINTAGE HISTORY — AMERICAN V-j6$ Alperovitz, Gar Atomic Diplomacy V-604 Bailyn, Bernard The Origins of American Politics V-^J4 Baltzell, E.
Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Air France Flight 447, Andrei Shleifer, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, discrete time, double entry bookkeeping, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, financial independence, Flash crash, Gary Taubes, Gini coefficient, Henri Poincaré, high net worth, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, informal economy, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, Jane Jacobs, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, Lao Tzu, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, moral hazard, mouse model, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, principal–agent problem, purchasing power parity, quantitative trading / quantitative ﬁnance, Ralph Nader, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, Silicon Valley, six sigma, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, stochastic volatility, The Great Moderation, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transaction costs, urban planning, Yogi Berra, Zipf's Law
For some, these buildings cause even more than aesthetic harm—many Romanians are bitter about the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu’s destruction of traditional villages replaced by modern high-rises. Neomania and dictatorship are an explosive combination. In France, some blame the modernistic architecture of housing projects for the immigrant riots. As the journalist Christopher Caldwell wrote about the unnatural living conditions: “Le Corbusier called houses ‘machines for living.’ France’s housing projects, as we now know, became machines for alienation.” Jane Jacobs, the New York urban activist, took a heroic stance as a political-style resistant against neomania in architecture and urban planning, as the modernistic dream was carried by Robert Moses, who wanted to improve New York by razing tenements and installing large roads and highways, committing a greater crime against natural order than Haussmann, who, as we saw in Chapter 7, removed during the nineteenth century entire neighborhoods of Paris to make room for the “Grand Boulevards.”
Metrification One example of the neomania of states: the campaign for metrification, that is, the use of the metric system to replace “archaic” ones on grounds of efficiency—it “makes sense.” The logic might be impeccable (until of course one supersedes it with a better, less naive logic, an attempt I will make here). Let us look at the wedge between rationalism and empiricism in this effort. Warwick Cairns, a fellow similar to Jane Jacobs, has been fighting in courts to let market farmers in Britain keep selling bananas by the pound, and similar matters as they have resisted the use of the more “rational” kilogram. The idea of metrification was born out of the French Revolution, as part of the utopian mood, which includes changing the names of the winter months to Nivôse, Pluviôse, Ventôse, descriptive of weather, having decimal time, ten-day weeks, and similar naively rational matters.
David Brooks, desegregation, hiring and firing, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Menlo Park, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, school choice, school vouchers, The Death and Life of Great American Cities
I thank my energetic literary agent, Lynn Chu of Writers Representatives, who believed in this project from the beginning. Many thanks to Meredith Smith and Antoinette Smith of Basic Books for their careful review of the manuscript, and to Lynn Goldberg and Angela Hayes of Goldberg-McDuffie, who gave me their wholehearted support. And I am grateful to Tim Sullivan, my editor at Basic Books, who quickly understood the book and suggested the title of my dreams. We both agreed that the title is a fitting homage to Jane Jacobs, whose book The Death and Life of Great American Cities helped to create a renaissance in the nation’s cities. Since I live the life that she wrote about, in a wonderful urban neighborhood saved by historic preservation, I love the idea of associating my book with hers, most especially with the hope that American education in general and urban education in particular might also experience a renaissance.
Albert Einstein, AltaVista, barriers to entry, Benjamin Mako Hill, c2.com, Cass Sunstein, citation needed, crowdsourcing, Debian, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Hacker Ethic, HyperCard, index card, Jane Jacobs, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, jimmy wales, Marshall McLuhan, Network effects, optical character recognition, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Stallman, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wisdom of Crowds, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, wikimedia commons, Y2K
Serving as “janitors” were roughly 1,000 active administrators, tending to the duties of deleting, blocking, and protecting resources. Urban Jungle The plight of Wikipedia growing from small community to larger digital metropolis is something both Joseph Reagle in his Ph.D. work on Wikipedia and Steven Johnson in Emergence note as being similar to problems of urban planning. There is no better historical example than that explored in Jane Jacobs’s book The Death and Life of Great American Cities, her critique of the modernist planning policies of the 1950s and 1960s, an era when New York City developer Robert Moses was razing entire swaths of neighborhoods for planned housing projects and communities. Jacobs argued for preserving her small neighborhood on Hudson Street and resisting massive urban renewal, because the intimate sidewalks served an important social function.
A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asperger Syndrome, availability heuristic, Benoit Mandelbrot, biofilm, Black Swan, British Empire, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Danny Hillis, Douglas Engelbart, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, Flynn Effect, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of writing, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, out of africa, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart grid, social graph, social software, social web, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telepresence, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, trade route, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize
We Have Become Hunter-Gatherers of Images and Information Lee Smolin Physicist, Perimeter Institute; author, The Trouble with Physics The Internet hasn’t, so far, changed how we think. But it has radically altered the contexts in which we think and work. The Internet offers a vast realm for distraction, but then so does reading and television. The Internet is an improvement on television in the same way that Jane Jacobs’s bustling neighborhood sidewalk is an improvement on the dullness of suburbia. The Internet requires an active engagement, and as a result it is full of surprises. You don’t watch the Internet; you search and link. What is important for thought about the Internet is not the content, it is the new activity of being a searcher, with the world’s store of knowledge and images at your fingertips.
Adapt: Why Success Always Starts With Failure by Tim Harford
Andrew Wiles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, car-free, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, charter city, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dava Sobel, Deep Water Horizon, Deng Xiaoping, double entry bookkeeping, Edmond Halley, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Fermat's Last Theorem, Firefox, food miles, Gerolamo Cardano, global supply chain, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, John Harrison: Longitude, knowledge worker, loose coupling, Martin Wolf, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Netflix Prize, New Urbanism, Nick Leeson, PageRank, Piper Alpha, profit motive, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, rolodex, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, the market place, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, web application, X Prize
‘Speciation’ – the divergence of one species into two separate populations – rarely happens without some form of physical isolation, otherwise the two diverging species will interbreed at an early stage, and converge again. Innovations, too, often need a kind of isolation to realise their potential. It’s not that isolation is conducive to having ideas in the first place: gene mutations are no more likely to happen in the Galapagos than anywhere else, and as many people have observed, bright ideas emerge from the swirling mix of other ideas, not from isolated minds. Jane Jacobs, the great observer of urban life, looked for innovation in cities, not on Pacific islands. But once a new idea has appeared, it needs the breathing space to mature and develop so that it is not absorbed and crushed by the conventional wisdom. This idea of allowing several ideas to develop in parallel runs counter to our instincts: we naturally tend to ask, ‘What is the best option?’, and concentrate on that.
The End of Growth by Jeff Rubin
Ayatollah Khomeini, Bakken shale, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, decarbonisation, deglobalization, energy security, eurozone crisis, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, flex fuel, full employment, ghettoisation, global supply chain, Hans Island, happiness index / gross national happiness, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, illegal immigration, income per capita, Jane Jacobs, labour mobility, McMansion, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, new economy, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, women in the workforce, working poor, Yom Kippur War
CHAPTER 6: THE DANISH RESPONSE this page: Information about Denmark’s environmental track record, including its level of carbon dioxide emissions since 1990, comes from figures available through the State of Green, a government-backed initiative to raise international awareness of the country’s green credentials (www.stateofgreen.com). this page: The argument for the relationship between urban population density and vibrant cities is well documented. Jane Jacobs, for one, argued convincingly against urban sprawl in her seminal work The Death and Life of Great American Cities, which has influenced thoughts on urban planning since its publication in 1961. CHAPTER 7: ZERO-SUM WORLD this page: The figures for Venezuela’s oil exports to the United States come from the EIA. US oil imports from Venezuela reached a high of 1.77 million barrels a day in 1997.
We-Think: Mass Innovation, Not Mass Production by Charles Leadbeater
1960s counterculture, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, c2.com, call centre, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, complexity theory, congestion charging, death of newspapers, Debian, digital Maoism, double helix, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, frictionless, frictionless market, future of work, game design, Google Earth, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jean Tirole, jimmy wales, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lone genius, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microcredit, new economy, Nicholas Carr, online collectivism, planetary scale, post scarcity, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social web, software patent, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Whole Earth Catalog, Zipcar
Available from http://userinnovation.mit. edu/papers/6.pdf; Eric von Hippel and Georg von Krogh, ‘Open Source Software and the Private-Collective Innovation Model: Issues for Organization Science’, Organization Science 14.2 (2003), pp. 209–23; Eric von Hippel, ‘Horizontal Innovation Networks – By and For Users’, MIT Sloan School of Management Working Paper No. 4366–02, June 2002 12 Sonali Shah, ‘Open Beyond Software’, in Chris DiBona, Danese Cooper and Mark Stone (Eds), Open Sources 2.0 (O’Reilly, 2006) 13 Henry Jenkins, Convergence Culture (New York University Press, 2006) 14 Henry Jenkins, Fans, Bloggers, and Gamers (New York University Press, 2006) 15 Pekka Himanen, The Hacker Ethic and the Spirit of the Information Age (London: Secker & Warburg, 2001) 16 John Roberts, The Modern Firm (Oxford University Press, 2004) 17 Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (Vintage, 1992) 18 John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge, The Company (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2003) 19 Henry Hansmann, The Ownership of Enterprise (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Harvard, 1996) 20 James Boyle, ‘The Second Enclosure Movement and the Construction of the Public Domain’, Law and Contemporary Problems 66.1&2 (2003), pp.33–74. Available from http://www.law.duke.edu/journals/66LCPBoyle 21 Lawrence Lessig, Free Culture (New York: Penguin Press, 2004) Chapter 5 1 William C.
accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, bonus culture, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, call centre, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, conceptual framework, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, deindustrialization, demographic transition, Diane Coyle, disintermediation, Edward Glaeser, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Financial Instability Hypothesis, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, Hyman Minsky, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, low skilled workers, market bubble, market design, market fundamentalism, megacity, Network effects, new economy, night-watchman state, Northern Rock, oil shock, principal–agent problem, profit motive, purchasing power parity, railway mania, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, Steven Pinker, The Design of Experiments, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Market for Lemons, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Spirit Level, transaction costs, transfer pricing, tulip mania, ultimatum game, University of East Anglia, web application, web of trust, winner-take-all economy, World Values Survey
See also the website http://www.bettertogether.org. 8 Dasgupta (2009c) (paper prepared for presentation at the Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics, Seoul June 2009). 9 Keefer and Knack (1997). 10 For a survey of the empirical findings on social capital, see Bowles and Gintis (2002). 11 Nannicini et al. (2010). 12 Coyle (2007). 13 The original article and others are available on Intel’s website, http://www.intel.com/museum/archives/history_docs/mooreslaw.htm. 14 Nordhaus (2001). 15 David and Wright (2005). 16 Crafts (2004). 17 Coyle (1996). 18 Sheerin (2002). 19 Brynjolofsson and Saunders (2009). 20 Levy and Murnane (2005). 21 OECD and UN World Economic and Social Survey (2005). 22 I can’t possibly do it justice here but good overviews of the issues can be found in Held et al. (1999); Woods (2000); Mattl and Woods (2009); Held, Kaldor, and Quah (2010). 23http://data.worldbank.org. 24 Bobbitt (2002). 25 Hosted by Warwick University, see http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/research/warwickcommission/. 26 Although the 1997 book of the same name by Frances Cairncross did not make simplistic predictions of that kind. 27 These reasons were originally set out in a famous passage by Alfred Marshall (1890) 28 Glaeser (2008), Sassen (2002). 29 Insight into these areas can be found in Davis (2006) and Mehta (2004), in the context of very different cities. See also the classic description of city economies by Jane Jacobs (1961). 30 The term is the one used in official forms such as the census and statistics. 31 See for example Glaeser et al. (1995). 32 Page (2007). 33 Alesina and Glaeser (2006). 34 See also Dorling (2010), who argues that social inequality interacts with beliefs about the nature of society to increase divisions and reduce trust. 35 Frank (2004). 36 Haldane (2009b). 37 Seabright (2010), chap. 1, Coyle (2003). 38 Archibugi (2008), Siebert (2009).
3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, declining real wages, demographic dividend, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, follow your passion, game design, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, industrial robot, invisible hand, James Dyson, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Gruber, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, lone genius, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, new economy, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, race to the bottom, reshoring, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supply-chain management, Tesla Model S, The Chicago School, The Design of Experiments, the High Line, The Myth of the Rational Market, thinkpad, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, tulip mania, We are the 99%, Y Combinator, young professional, Zipcar
Cities are the cauldron within which most innovation and creativity take place, and the dean of Parsons, Joel Towers, has helped me understand the complexities and opportunities within the urban ecosystem. Urbanism in all its forms plays a huge role at the New School, to which Parsons belongs, and there is a deep domain knowledge about cities resident on campus. It has helped sustain the work Ben Lee and I have been doing in mapping creativity in New York with our students. Jane Jacobs would be proud of the New School’s approach to cities. I first met Keith Sawyer at a conference called Creativity, Play, and Imagination at Teachers College, Columbia University, in May 2011, but one of my students had already recommended his book, Group Genius, months before. Sawyer is one of the giants in the field of creativity, and his research underpins many of the stories we read about the subject in the popular press.
Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction by Philip Tetlock, Dan Gardner
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, availability heuristic, Black Swan, butterfly effect, cloud computing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, desegregation, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, forward guidance, Freestyle chess, fundamental attribution error, germ theory of disease, hindsight bias, index fund, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, obamacare, pattern recognition, performance metric, place-making, placebo effect, prediction markets, quantitative easing, random walk, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wisdom of Crowds, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!
When I asked Joshua Frankel what he reads for fun, the young Brooklyn filmmaker rattled off the names of highbrow authors like Thomas Pynchon, thought for a moment, and added that he’d recently read a biography of the German rocket scientist Wernher von Braun and various histories of New York, although Frankel was careful to note that the books about New York are also for his work: he is producing an opera about the legendary clash between Robert Moses, New York’s great urban planner, and the free-spirited antiplanner Jane Jacobs. Frankel is not someone to tangle with on Jeopardy! Are superforecasters better simply because they are more knowledgeable and intelligent than others? That would be flattering for them but deflating for the rest of us. Knowledge is something we can all increase, but only slowly. People who haven’t stayed mentally active have little hope of catching up to lifelong learners. Intelligence feels like an even more daunting obstacle.
Instant City: Life and Death in Karachi by Steve Inskeep
battle of ideas, British Empire, call centre, Edward Glaeser, European colonialism, illegal immigration, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Khyber Pass, Kibera, knowledge economy, Mahatma Gandhi, McMansion, megacity, new economy, New Urbanism, urban planning, urban renewal
Ayub Lays Foundation of Korangi Satellite Town,” Times of Karachi, December 6, 1958, 1, 5. 88 “rely on their wits to thrive”: Jean Gottmann, Megalopolis: The Urbanized Northeastern Seaboard of the United States (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1961), 46. 88 “migration and employment growth... thereby drawing more migrants”: Peter Morrison, “Migration from Distressed Areas: Its Meaning for Regional Policy” (New York: Ford Foundation, 1973), 17–18. 88 four million people in 1950 to 6.5 million in 1960: United Nations Population Division, World Urbanization Prospects: The 2009 Revision Population Database, http://esa.un.org/wup2009/unup/index.asp?panel=2. 88 “furnaces, sliding doors, mechanical saws”: Jane Jacobs, The Economy of Cities (New York: Random House, 1969), 152. 88 “an entirely new urban form”... “broad tree-lined boulevards”: Andrei Sorensen, The Making of Urban Japan: Cities and Planning from Edo to the Twenty-first Century (New York: Routledge, 2002), 162. 89 Constantinos Doxiadis caught the midnight flight: Doxiadis’s diary, December 15, 1958. 89 Ford had been assisting with planning and development: Doxiadis’s diary, December 15, 1958; also “Design for Pakistan: A Report on Assistance to the Pakistan Planning Commission by the Ford Foundation and Harvard University” (New York: Ford Foundation, February 1965). 89 Doxiadis snapped photos of arid land: Doxiadis’s diary, December 17, 1958. 89 The philosopher Plato spoke to him: Constantinos Doxiadis, Between Dystopia and Utopia (Hartford, CT: Trinity College Press, 1966), x–xi. 90 They worked everywhere from Baghdad to Rio de Janeiro: Doxiadis Associates archive, archive .doxiadis.org; also Between Dystopia and Utopia. 90 “helped resettle 10 million humans in 15 countries”: Time, November 4, 1966. 90 “Several aspects of the problem begin to worry me,”...
A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Brewster Kahle, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, Community Supported Agriculture, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, digital Maoism, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, future of journalism, George Gilder, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Naomi Klein, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, oil rush, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, pre–internet, profit motive, recommendation engine, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, slashdot, Slavoj Žižek, Snapchat, social graph, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, trade route, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Works Progress Administration, young professional
Are they full of privately owned shopping malls and sponsored billboards or are there truly public squares? Is privacy respected? Is civic engagement encouraged? What kinds of people live in these places and how are they invited to express themselves? (Why, for example, is the word “like” so pervasive online as opposed to “interesting,” “important,” or “outrageous”?) As the writer Charles Petersen has observed, we are still waiting for the digital equivalent of Jane Jacobs to appear. Let her come quick. In 1970 a woman named Jo Freeman published “The Tyranny of Structurelessness,” a critique of the informal nature of women’s consciousness-raising groups popular during that period.22 The article spread like wildfire and remains a classic to this day, for it articulated a problem many women had felt but could not quite put into words. Though Second Wave feminism had been inspired by the civil rights movements of the 1960s, bringing the “problem that has no name” into sharp relief, it also emerged partly in reaction to the New Left, the student movement against the Vietnam War, which united around an idealistic vision of “participatory democracy.”
Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism by George A. Akerlof, Robert J. Shiller
affirmative action, Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, collateralized debt obligation, conceptual framework, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, financial innovation, full employment, George Akerlof, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, income per capita, inflation targeting, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, market bubble, market clearing, mental accounting, Mikhail Gorbachev, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, New Urbanism, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, random walk, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, working-age population, Y2K, Yom Kippur War
Some economic fluctuations may be traced to changes over time in the prominence, and the acceptability, of outright corruption. Even more significantly, there are changes over time in the prevalence of bad faith—economic activity that, while technically legal, has sinister motives.1 The exponents of capitalism wax poetic over the goods it provides.2 It produces whatever can be turned out at a profit. Thus the urbanologist Jane Jacobs sees architectural poetry in the variety and excitement of cityscapes that are the creation of individual private entrepreneurs.3 At the time of Mikhail Gorbachev’s apertura, Gary Becker, the intellectual heir to Milton Friedman’s legacy at the University of Chicago, described the Yellow Pages to Muscovites. These volumes themselves are a result of free enterprise and an indication of the bounty of capitalism, with their alphabetical listings of its many offerings.
Anton Chekhov, Broken windows theory, Buckminster Fuller, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, fear of failure, Jane Jacobs, jitney, megastructure, New Urbanism, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price mechanism, rent control, Ronald Reagan, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal
I love crowds and noise and light and hubbub. I love overhearing conversations in the subway. I love the accidental quality of city life, the incongruous and the surreal. And to say that you love cities is to say that you love old cities, for only cities built before the advent of the automobile have the density that makes these myriad accidents and incongruities possible. (I do not love thee, Phoenix.) Jane Jacobs, that great champion of cities and dauntless foe of urban renewal, believes in density to the exclusion of almost everything, including open space and grass. And when I think of Times Square during the epoch I am most inclined to sentimentalize—the era of Damon Runyon and A. J. Liebling, the era just before and after 42nd Street—I think of an infinitely dense and busy asphalt village, or even a series of micro-villages, such as Jacobs loves, in the space of a few blocks.
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
airport security, Berlin Wall, citizen journalism, Firefox, game design, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, Internet Archive, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, mail merge, RFID, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, web of trust, zero day
The district is empty by 6PM except for drunks and druggies, because with only one kind of building there, there's no legit reason for people to hang around after the sun goes down. It's more like a mall than a neighborhood, and the only businesses there are bail-bondsmen and liquor stores, places that cater to the families of crooks on trial and the bums who make it their nighttime home. I really came to understand all of this when I read an interview with an amazing old urban planner, a woman called Jane Jacobs who was the first person to really nail why it was wrong to slice cities up with freeways, stick all the poor people in housing projects, and use zoning laws to tightly control who got to do what where. Jacobs explained that real cities are organic and they have a lot of variety -- rich and poor, white and brown, Anglo and Mex, retail and residential and even industrial. A neighborhood like that has all kinds of people passing through it at all hours of the day or night, so you get businesses that cater to every need, you get people around all the time, acting like eyes on the street.
Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition by Charles Eisenstein
Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, bank run, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Bretton Woods, capital controls, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, disintermediation, diversification, fiat currency, financial independence, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, global supply chain, happiness index / gross national happiness, hydraulic fracturing, informal economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, land tenure, Lao Tzu, liquidity trap, lump of labour, McMansion, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, Own Your Own Home, peak oil, phenotype, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Scramble for Africa, special drawing rights, spinning jenny, technoutopianism, the built environment, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail
Such a place is little more than a colony, and indeed that is what most places have become, especially in the United States, where towns have lost their local character and serve only as production and consumption centers for the global economy. For a region, city, or country to have a robust currency of its own, it must have a robust economy of its own as well. Key to building one is what economist Jane Jacobs called “import replacement”—the sourcing of components and services locally, and the development of the associated skills and infrastructure. Otherwise, a place is subject to the whims of global finance and dependent on commodity prices over which it has no control. In “developing” countries that still have strong local economic infrastructure, local currencies help to preserve that infrastructure and insulate them from global financial predation.
Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna
1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, 9 dash line, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, capital controls, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial repression, forward guidance, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Hyperloop, ice-free Arctic, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, LNG terminal, low cost carrier, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, megacity, Mercator projection, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, out of africa, Panamax, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-oil, post-Panamax, private military company, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transaction costs, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day
Hong Kong and Singapore have evolved from trade entrepôts to global cities with thriving societies and loyal residents from all over the world. What began as SEZs can become multidimensional cities with life beyond the supply chain. The Suzhou Industrial Park in China now has modern arts and cultural centers, a Liverpool University campus, and its own Singapore-style pension scheme. It has become a full-service community of belonging. Urban purists have nostalgic visions of all cities resembling Jane Jacobs’s Washington Square Park. But while there is much to be adapted from neighborhoods that promote pedestrian civic life, many cities must urgently catch up to the present (and future) before they can become reflections of the past. CHINA’S SUPERSIZE SEZS No country has as many SEZs, new cities, and megacities as China. While SEZs have powered China’s export sector and growth, many were designed as single-industry clusters that proved vulnerable to global economic fluctuations—remember Dongguan, China’s Detroit.
Trust: The Social Virtue and the Creation of Prosperity by Francis Fukuyama
barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, business climate, capital controls, collective bargaining, corporate governance, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, double entry bookkeeping, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, George Gilder, glass ceiling, global village, hiring and firing, industrial robot, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, land reform, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, mittelstand, price mechanism, profit maximization, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, transfer pricing, traveling salesman, union organizing
The Division of Labor in Society (New York: Macmillan, 1933), p. 15. 6See Fukuyama (1992), particularly chap. 21, “The Thymotic Origins of Work.” 7For a readable account of Nucor’s rise as a steel company, see Richard Preston, American Steel (New York: Avon Books, 1991). 8James S. Coleman, “Social Capital in the Creation of Human Capital,” American Journal of Sociology 94 (1988): S95-S120. See also Robert D. Putnam, “The Prosperous Community: Social Capital and Public Life,” American Prospect 13 (1993): 35-42; and Putnam, “Bowling Alone,” Journal of Democracy 6 (1995): 65-78. According to Putnam, the first use of the term social capital was by Jane Jacobs, in The Death and Life of Great American Cities (New York: Random House, 1961), p. 138. 9Gary S. Becker, Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis, 2d ed. (New York: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1975). CHAPTER 2. THE TWENTY PERCENT SOLUTION 1On this aspect of Adam Smith, see Jerry Z. Muller, Adam Smith in His Time and Ours (New York: Free Press, 1992). 2The neomercantilists share with earlier Marxist and Keynesian critics an emphasis on the importance of the state as an economic actor.
The Atlantic and Its Enemies: A History of the Cold War by Norman Stone
affirmative action, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, British Empire, central bank independence, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, European colonialism, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, illegal immigration, income per capita, interchangeable parts, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, labour mobility, land reform, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, North Sea oil, oil shock, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, price stability, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, special drawing rights, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, V2 rocket, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Yom Kippur War, éminence grise
John Kenneth Galbraith’s Affluent Society (1957) noted that private people had money and governments none the less produced squalor: New York gorged with money, yet the roads were potholed and a good part of the population lived in poor conditions. Two decades later governments had a great deal more money and were still producing squalor: what conclusion was to be drawn, that governments should have even more, or that they just could not help producing squalor? Vance Packard’s Status Seekers (1960) described the American business rat race. Jane Jacobs, looking at the wreckage caused by the San Francisco freeway system, wrote The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961) and she foresaw that housing estates for the poor would turn into sinks of hopelessness worse than the slums that they were to replace; she also foresaw that city centres would become empty, inhabited only by tramps. Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique (1963) spoke for the bored housewife.
Power at Ground Zero: Politics, Money, and the Remaking of Lower Manhattan by Lynne B. Sagalyn
affirmative action, airport security, Bonfire of the Vanities, clean water, conceptual framework, corporate governance, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, estate planning, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, high net worth, informal economy, intermodal, iterative process, Jane Jacobs, mortgage debt, New Urbanism, place-making, rent control, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, the built environment, the High Line, time value of money, too big to fail, Torches of Freedom, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, white flight, young professional
Yet by the 1960s, the spirit of change and the cost-benefit calculus that made great public works possible was gone—dissipated in a reactionary wave of criticism to the autocratic methods of New York’s greatest builder, Robert Moses. Urban renewal’s wholesale destruction of neighborhoods, the shift to a community-based approach to development and new appreciation of preservation stimulated by Jane Jacobs’s widely acclaimed Death and Life of Great American Cities, and the rise of the environmental movement profoundly changed the political calculus of thinking big. “New York seemed able to survive and even thrive without developing a new way” to build new big public works projects. On the morning of September 11, however, “the choice was taken out of the city’s hands.” The pendulum, Sanders believed, had begun to swing back to “the city’s older tradition of daring and ambitious public works.”2 Not everyone thought the legacy of difficult and contentious development projects—symbolized by the failure of Westway, the city’s attempt to rebuild the collapsed West Side Highway into a six-lane artery as part of the Interstate Highway System on 234 acres of Hudson River landfill—caused the demise of ambitions for large-scale city building.