Jane Jacobs

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pages: 415 words: 119,277

Naked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places by Sharon Zukin

1960s counterculture, big-box store, blue-collar work, corporate social responsibility, crack epidemic, creative destruction, David Brooks, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, Haight Ashbury, Jane Jacobs, late capitalism, mass immigration, new economy, New Urbanism, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, rent control, Richard Florida, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thorstein Veblen, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional

Eliminating plans for the tall towers and sprawling campuses of public housing projects minimized their potential as both physical and symbolic barriers to upscaling, while reducing the potential power of the poor—in terms of numbers—to oppose gentrification. A third change concerned gentrifiers such as Jane Jacobs herself. While they increased in numbers, they developed into an influential political force and, less expected but even more important, into an image-maker for the city. Neighborhoods like the West Village, Brooklyn Heights, and Park Slope created a model of aesthetically interesting, inner-city living that by the 1980s would attract and retain a post-postwar middle class of professionals, artists, and intellectuals—a “creative class” before the name was invented. These significant changes nonetheless left a gap between celebrating the authenticity of historic houses and acknowledging the authenticity of the lower-class families who lived in them.14 Jane Jacobs seemed to bridge this gap by praising both the city’s social diversity and its physical fabric.

The cultural synthesis of the early twenty-first century offers boutique gourmet cheese stores side by side with mom-and-pop bodegas, farmers’ markets and community gardens across the street from branches of Whole Foods, Latino food vendors and IKEA in the same neighborhood. If postwar mayors thought their cities could have it all, so too does the urban middle class. And in a curious way, this is where Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses find common ground: the journalist who saw the city through middle-class eyes and the autocrat who tried to rebuild the city for middle-class tastes and incomes. Their opposing views converge in the desire to have both the high-rise and the interesting neighborhood, both origins and new beginnings; both Moses’s desire to build a corporate city and Jacobs’s desire to preserve the urban village. The conflict between the combined legacies of Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses brings its own contradictions. While some who yearn for the urban village work in the corporate sector—and these include most gentrifiers—others, like the hipsters, see themselves as fleeing corporate conformity.

This tension has made New York more modern, more interesting, and also more vulnerable than it seemed when Naked City was filmed. It has also convinced me that the debate is far from ended between Robert Moses, New York’s extraordinary public sector developer of parks, bridges, public housing projects, and highways from the 1930s to the 1960s, and the great urban writer and community organizer Jane Jacobs, who, with her neighbors and allies, fought Moses and won in the late 1950s. While Moses pushed to build the corporate city, Jacobs struggled to preserve the urban village. Though Jacobs and her fellow community activists were able to stop Moses’s plans to destroy significant parts of Lower Manhattan and replace them with highways and high-rise housing projects, the struggle between the corporate city and the urban village continues in our time.


Building and Dwelling: Ethics for the City by Richard Sennett

Buckminster Fuller, car-free, clean water, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, creative destruction, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, double helix, Downton Abbey, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, Frank Gehry, ghettoisation, housing crisis, illegal immigration, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Masdar, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, open borders, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Richard Florida, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, urban planning, urban renewal, Victor Gruen

Likewise, if our plans for racial integration had succeeded, people would have had to learn how to adapt the hard surfaces accommodating the school’s buses as playgrounds when the buses were absent. Jane Jacobs combined all these views. The great writer-warrior did not dispute the worth of urban design itself, but asserted that urban forms emerged slowly and incrementally, following the lessons of use and experience. Her bête noire Homo faber, Robert Moses, the New York City planner and power-broker, built in exactly the opposite way: big, fast and arbitrarily. As will emerge in these pages, I dwelt in Jane Jacob’s shadow as a young man. Gradually, I have emerged from it. In part this was because the scene of my own practical activity shifted. As a planner, I have always had a modest practice; indeed, looking back, I regret not grasping the pragmatist nettle by practising more and teaching less.

He ringingly declared the ‘absolute folly of creating a physical structure at the price of destroying the intimate social structure of a community’s life’, which was in fact just what the developers Gruen, Bacon and Lawrence were in the midst of doing, big-time.17 Mumford and Jacobs sought an alternative to official urbanism, one which incorporated a city’s lived complexities into its built form. Yet only a few years after the Harvard meeting, Mumford and Jacobs parted ways, bitterly, over how to achieve this goal. III. HOW THEN TO OPEN THE CITY? – LEWIS MUMFORD DEBATES JANE JACOBS Jane Jacobs became famous as an activist for the campaign she waged against Robert Moses, the dictatorial planner of much of twentieth-century New York who wanted to turn Fifth Avenue into a highway running through one of the city’s most loved parks, Washington Square. She persuaded the public to see this proposal as criminal, and eventually New York’s politicians relented. A great book then explained why she had been so persuasive.

Corbusier’s Charter of Athens was a boat-bred vision of the rational, functional city produced for people instead of by them. The breach which divided Chicago from Paris debouched as a conflict between New Yorkers about whether a city can be made open, by design. * * * I once remarked to Jane Jacobs, when I was first trying to work out the relation of cité and ville, that she was better on the cité than Mumford, while he was better on the ville. This was not while their quarrel simmered in New York, but later, after the Vietnam years when she and her family left for wintry Toronto. Jane Jacobs was strong spice in her placid Canadian home; she remained so even after she became physically immobile. We became friendly in the way New Yorkers are friendly, which is to say we argued whenever I visited Toronto. Perhaps our arguments cheered her up, wakening memories of the earlier, unstoppable flow of talk which attended her weekly excursions.


pages: 385 words: 118,314

Cities Are Good for You: The Genius of the Metropolis by Leo Hollis

Airbnb, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, Broken windows theory, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, cellular automata, clean water, cloud computing, complexity theory, congestion charging, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, Deng Xiaoping, digital map, East Village, Edward Glaeser, Enrique Peñalosa, Firefox, Frank Gehry, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, Gini coefficient, Google Earth, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute couture, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Masdar, mass immigration, megacity, negative equity, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, place-making, Ray Oldenburg, Richard Florida, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, spice trade, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, the High Line, The Spirit Level, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, trade route, traveling salesman, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, Y2K, Yom Kippur War

West’s results can be seen across the board: moving to a city that is twice the size will increase per capita income, it will also be a more creative and industrious place; as the pace of all socio-economic activity accelerates, this leads to higher productivity while economic and social activities diversify.12 The increased complexity that comes from the agglomeration that one finds in the city, therefore, is what makes cities special. As West said in a 2010 interview with the New York Times, he offers a scientific bedrock to Jane Jacobs’s imaginative hunch: ‘One of my favourite compliments is when people come up to me and say, “You have done what Jane Jacobs would have done, if only she could do mathematics” … What the data clearly shows, and what she was clever enough to anticipate, is that when people come together, they become much more productive.’13 While Jacobs focused her attention on her own front stoop and observed life on her local street, West’s superlinear power law shows how this complexity is applicable wherever people gather.

It seemed, for a brief moment, as if he had the answer to the long-standing question: how to build a happy city. Jane Jacobs, despite her chunky bohemian jewellery and broad smile, was nobody’s fool. Born in 1916 in Scranton, Pennsylvania, she arrived in New York during the Depression and found clerical work while at night she honed her journalistic skills. Her work was picked up by Vogue and the Sunday Herald Tribune, where she gained a reputation for writing about the life of the city. She also signed up to study at Columbia University extension school, where she took a variety of courses, yet left before gaining a degree. During the war she worked at the Office of War Information, and it was during this time that she met her husband Robert H. Jacobs. In 1947 they moved into a flat above a convenience store at 555 Hudson Street, a run-down neighbourhood in Greenwich Village. Jane Jacobs triumphant Jacobs was a pioneering homemaker, moving to a part of the city that many had left, the old nineteenth-century houses subdivided and down at heel.

It was the innovations of the city that produced a surplus to feed the citizens who did not work the soil. Urban technology transformed subsistence farming to the extent that workers could leave the fields and work in other forms of industry. ‘It was not agriculture, for all its importance, that was the salient invention, or occurrence if you will, of the Neolithic Age,’ observes the urban writer Jane Jacobs. ‘Rather it was the fact of sustained, interdependent, creative city economies that made possible many new kinds of work, agriculture among them.’1 The metropolis was also defined by its walls that acted as a fortification and a trade barrier as well as, in some cases, a measure of citizenship where belonging was bestowed on those born within. During the Italian Renaissance, the walls of the city state were elaborate and forbidding, displaying both the martial power and the commercial success of the community.


pages: 281 words: 86,657

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, mass immigration, McMansion, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, Peter Calthorpe, 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.


Saving America's Cities: Ed Logue and the Struggle to Renew Urban America in the Suburban Age by Lizabeth Cohen

activist lawyer, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, car-free, charter city, deindustrialization, desegregation, Edward Glaeser, garden city movement, ghettoisation, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, hiring and firing, housing crisis, income inequality, indoor plumbing, Jane Jacobs, land reform, megastructure, new economy, New Urbanism, Peter Eisenman, postindustrial economy, race to the bottom, rent control, Robert Gordon, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Victor Gruen, Vilfredo Pareto, walkable city, War on Poverty, white flight, white picket fence, young professional

Norton, 2007).   16. Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (New York: Vintage, 1961); for a critique along these lines at her death, see Nicolai Ouroussoff, “Outgrowing Jane Jacobs,” NYT, April 30, 2006. For other recent considerations of Jacobs, see Peter L. Laurence, Becoming Jane Jacobs (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016); and Robert Kanigel, Eyes on the Street: The Life of Jane Jacobs (New York: Knopf, 2016).   17. Martin Anderson, The Federal Bulldozer: A Critical Analysis of Urban Renewal, 1949–1962 (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1964); Reason website, http://www.reason.com, particularly Jacobs’s obituary, “Jane Jacobs, RIP,” http://reason.com/blog/2006/04/25/jane-jacobs-rip, and “Jane Jacobs at 100,” http://reason.com/blog/2016/05/04/jane-jacobs-at-100, which labels her “the great defender of urban freedom.”

He holds Jane Jacobs responsible, arguing that her critique of planners “diminished the disciplinary identity of the planning profession” and “privilege[d] the grassroots over plannerly authority and expertise.” He laments “the seeming paucity among American planners today of the speculative courage and vision that once distinguished this profession.” While Campanella shares my view of planners’ professional decline, his blaming of Jacobs suggests that he misses how planners also lost out to development administrators; Thomas J. Campanella, “Jane Jacobs and the Death and Life of American Planning,” in Reconsidering Jane Jacobs, ed. Max Page and Timothy Mennel (Chicago: Planners Press of the American Planning Association, 2011), 141–60. 112. Logue, “View from the Village,” on Jane Jacobs’s Death and Life of Great American Cities, “American Cities: Dead or Alive?

“Learning from Twin Parks,” AF 138, no. 5 (June 1973): 62–67; Freemark, “Entrepreneurial State,” 147–48; Mariana Mogilevich, “Designing the Urban: Space and Politics in Lindsay’s New York” (Ph.D. dissertation, Harvard, 2012), 169–86; NYSUDC Annual Report 1973, 35; Nicholai Ouroussoff, “By the Architects, for the People: A Trend for the 2010s,” NYT, May 3, 2010; Susanne Schindler and Juliette Spertus, “A Few Days in the Bronx: From Co-op City to Twin Parks,” Urban Omnibus, July 25, 2012, https://urbanomnibus.net/2012/07/a-few-days-in-the-bronx-from-co-op-city-to-twin-parks/; Yonah Freemark and Susanne Schindler, “Twin Parks,” in Affordable Housing in New York, 226–30. 124. Jane Jacobs, interview by James Howard Kunstler, “Godmother of the American City,” expanded from Metropolis, March 2001, in Jane Jacobs: The Last Interview and Other Conversations (Brooklyn, NY: Melville House, 2016), 81. In early 1967 on a speaking tour of Britain, Jacobs complained after spending an evening with planners, “These people are tiresome beyond belief about their new towns, etc. I wish they would just leave me alone”; quoted in Robert Kanigel, Eyes on the Street: The Life of Jane Jacobs (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2016), 260. 125. Margaret Mead, epilogue to Campbell, New Towns: Another Way to Live, 267. 126. Freemark, “Entrepreneurial State,” 306; minority figure from 1974. 127.


pages: 598 words: 140,612

Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier by Edward L. Glaeser

affirmative action, Andrei Shleifer, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, carbon footprint, Celebration, Florida, clean water, congestion charging, declining real wages, desegregation, different worldview, 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, Thales and the olive presses, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the new new thing, 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.


pages: 296 words: 76,284

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, commoditize, crack epidemic, East Village, edge city, Edward Glaeser, extreme commuting, helicopter parent, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Menlo Park, mortgage tax deduction, negative equity, New Urbanism, peak oil, Peter Calthorpe, 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, white picket fence, 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.


pages: 342 words: 86,256

Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time by Jeff Speck

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, Induced demand, intermodal, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Urbanism, peak oil, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Florida, skinny streets, smart cities, starchitect, 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, white picket fence, young professional, zero-sum game, 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.


pages: 288 words: 83,690

How to Kill a City: The Real Story of Gentrification by Peter Moskowitz

affirmative action, Airbnb, Bay Area Rapid Transit, British Empire, clean water, collective bargaining, David Brooks, deindustrialization, Detroit bankruptcy, drive until you qualify, East Village, Edward Glaeser, Golden Gate Park, housing crisis, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, Kitchen Debate, late capitalism, mortgage tax deduction, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Urbanism, private military company, profit motive, RAND corporation, rent control, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, school choice, Silicon Valley, starchitect, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, trickle-down economics, urban planning, urban renewal, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional

Back then, this wasn’t many people’s idea of a good place to live, and so my parents got it cheap: $90,000, some $170,000 under the asking price. It’s hard to not sound nostalgic when talking about growing up in the West Village. My childhood home was just a few blocks from where Jane Jacobs wrote The Death and Life of Great American Cities. And even though I was born years after that book was published, its lessons felt applicable—I could have been a character in Jacobs’s book. Jacobs wrote about how sidewalk life provides many of the things people in suburbs have to pay for—namely, safety and community—and that’s what the Village provided me. I was able to walk on my own to elementary school on Hudson Street (now christened Jane Jacobs Way by the city) when I was ten years old, because I knew people on the route. My parents never worried. If they were late to pick me up from school, I could wait with Ernie, the friendly sandwich man down the block, or at the pizza place, where they’d give me free slices.

Classification: LCC HT175 .M67 2017 (print) | LCC HT175 (ebook) | DDC 307.3/362—dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2016042410 E3-20170206-JV-PC Contents Cover Title Page Copyright Dedication Introduction PART 1: NEW ORLEANS Chapter 1: Hanging On Chapter 2: How Gentrification Works Chapter 3: Destroy to Rebuild PART 2: DETROIT Chapter 4: The New Detroit Chapter 5: The 7.2 Chapter 6: How the Slate Got Blank PART 3: SAN FRANCISCO Chapter 7: The Gentrified City Chapter 8: Growth Machine Chapter 9: The New Geography of Inequality PART 4: NEW YORK Chapter 10: An Elegy Chapter 11: New York Is Not Meant for People Chapter 12: Fight Back Conclusion: Toward an Un-Gentrified Future Acknowledgments About the Author Notes Index To Bubbe, who introduced me to New York Introduction When I returned to New York from college, I found myself belonging to two groups of people: the gentrified and the gentrifiers. I’d grown up in the West Village, just a few blocks from where journalist and activist Jane Jacobs wrote her pro-urban treatise The Death and Life of Great American Cities in 1961. Jacobs’s book was a 400-page meditation on what made the Village great—its small, varied streetscapes; its diversity of profession, class, and race; its inherent eclecticism. Jacobs argued that every other city in the United States should try to emulate its success by encouraging the creation of small shops over big ones, small streets over grand avenues, and varying sizes of apartment buildings and town houses over huge complexes.

Playwrights, artists, and midlevel professionals were moving out, replaced with bankers and businesspeople who were hostile to the old set of residents. People no longer held the front door for each other. People no longer said hi on the elevator. I no longer recognized our neighbors. I started giving stern looks to everyone I passed in my building. The sense of community that had made the West Village feel like home for me and my parents—and that had inspired Jane Jacobs over fifty years earlier—was gone. What had happened between 1961 and now? Or even between the 1980s, when my parents first moved to the neighborhood, and now? The Village Jacobs wrote about is all but gone, and a new one that looks like a funhouse version of its former self has replaced it. A lot of the people are gone too, forced out because they could no longer afford sky-high rents. An average one-bedroom in the West Village now rents for about $4,000 a month.


pages: 441 words: 96,534

Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution by Janette Sadik-Khan

autonomous vehicles, bike sharing scheme, Boris Johnson, business cycle, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, digital map, edge city, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Enrique Peñalosa, Hyperloop, Induced demand, Jane Jacobs, Loma Prieta earthquake, Lyft, New Urbanism, place-making, self-driving car, sharing economy, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, Works Progress Administration, Zipcar

The strife over Prospect Park West represented a perverse contemporary version of the historical battles between Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses. The Jacobs–Moses conflicts are part of the almost Shakespearean origins of modern New York. Moses today is remembered as a public works tyrant who answered to no authority but his own as he force engineered a car-based future onto New York. Jacobs, who gave voice to the alternative, envisioned a future built to a human scale instead of one designed to move as many cars as possible. Neither version of these caricatures captures the full extent of their impact, not just on New York but also on other cities. And as the myths about the Jacobs/Moses battles and competing visions for cities have deepened, they haven’t always taught us the right lessons about how to make our streets and cities better. A native of Scranton, Pennsylvania, Jane Jacobs moved to Depression-era New York City and emerged as an unlikely urban visionary in her adopted West Village neighborhood.

Why do some intersections have traffic signals and others signs? It was a great education and left a profound impact on how I viewed the city’s operating system of streets and bridges and their importance for people. My backyard was Washington Square Park, just a few blocks from my mom’s apartment, and our conversations often included Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses, whose names are forever entwined by the park. I didn’t grow up wanting to be a transportation commissioner. I wanted to be a lawyer and work on social justice issues—more Clarence Darrow than Jane Jacobs. I had been encouraged to go to law school by Marian Wright Edelman, the visionary leader of the Children’s Defense Fund, during my first job out of college. After finishing law school I worked at a law firm, but it didn’t take long to realize that wasn’t where my passion lay. As soon as I was financially able, I left and was naturally drawn back to the political work that I was involved in before law school.

In July 2014, seven months after I stepped down as transportation commissioner when a new mayor came into office, a work team from New York City’s Department of Transportation added a footnote to Manhattan’s urban history: working with thermoplastic paint and concrete, the crew striped and heat-stenciled a parking-protected bike path directly in front of 555 Hudson Street in Greenwich Village, the former home of Jane Jacobs. Jane’s Lane, a protected bike path in front of Jane Jacobs’s former home at 555 Hudson Street, Manhattan, arrived fifty-three years after the publication of The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Seth Solomonow The design of the bike path, now running alongside the curb, protected by the line of parked cars on the other side, wasn’t new to Manhattan’s streets. The lane connected Hudson Street with an existing bike path built six years earlier just north of Jane’s three-story, red-brick home.


pages: 464 words: 127,283

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, digital map, Donald Davies, 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, Jane Jacobs, jitney, John Snow's cholera map, Joi Ito, Khan Academy, Kibera, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, off grid, openstreetmap, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Parag Khanna, patent troll, Pearl River Delta, 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 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, undersea cable, 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?”


pages: 329 words: 88,954

Emergence by Steven Johnson

A Pattern Language, agricultural Revolution, Brewster Kahle, British Empire, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, Danny Hillis, Douglas Hofstadter, edge city, epigenetics, game design, garden city movement, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Kevin Kelly, late capitalism, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Murano, Venice glass, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, pez dispenser, phenotype, Potemkin village, price mechanism, profit motive, Ray Kurzweil, slashdot, social intelligence, Socratic dialogue, stakhanovite, Steven Pinker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, Turing machine, Turing test, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush

You can answer all of these questions without resorting to the sciences of complexity and self-organization, but those answers all share a common pattern, as clear as the whorls of a fingerprint. But to see it as a pattern you needed to encounter it in several contexts. Only when the pattern was detected did people begin to think about studying self-organizing systems on their own merits. Keller and Segel saw it in the slime mold assemblages; Jane Jacobs saw it in the formation of city neighborhoods; Marvin Minsky in the distributed networks of the human brain. What features do all these systems share? In the simplest terms, they solve problems by drawing on masses of relatively stupid elements, rather than a single, intelligent “executive branch.” They are bottom-up systems, not top-down. They get their smarts from below. In a more technical language, they are complex adaptive systems that display emergent behavior.

As Steven Marcus puts it, in his history of the young Engels’s sojourn in Manchester, “The point to be taken is that this astonishing and outrageous arrangement cannot fully be understood as the result of a plot, or even a deliberate design, although those in whose interests it works also control it. It is indeed too huge and too complex a state of organized affairs ever to have been thought up in advance, to have preexisted as an idea.” Those broad, glittering avenues, in other words, suggest a Potemkin village without a Potemkin. That mix of order and anarchy is what we now call emergent behavior. Urban critics since Lewis Mumford and Jane Jacobs have known that cities have lives of their own, with neighborhoods clustering into place without any Robert Moses figure dictating the plan from above. But that understanding has entered the intellectual mainstream only in recent years—when Engels paced those Manchester streets in the 1840s, he was left groping blindly, trying to find a culprit for the city’s fiendish organization, even as he acknowledged that the city was notoriously unplanned.

In October of 1961, the New York City Planning Commission announced its findings that a large portion of the historic West Village was “characterized by blight, and suitable for clearance, replanning, reconstruction, or rehabilitation.” The Village community—a lively mix of artists, writers, Puerto Rican immigrants, and working-class Italian-Americans—responded with outrage, and at the center of the protests was an impassioned urban critic named Jane Jacobs. Jacobs had just spearheaded a successful campaign to block urban-development kingpin Robert Moses’s plan to build a superhighway through the heart of SoHo, and she was now turning her attention to the madness of the projects. (The proposed “rehabilitation” included Jacobs’s own residence on Hudson Street.) In her valiant and ultimately triumphant bid to block the razing of the West Village, Jacobs argued that the way to improve city streets and restore the dynamic civility of urban life was not to bulldoze the problem zones, but rather to look at city streets that did work and learn from them.


pages: 142 words: 18,753

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, Norman Mailer, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Bork, 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.”


pages: 325 words: 73,035

Who's Your City?: How the Creative Economy Is Making Where to Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life by Richard Florida

active measures, assortative mating, barriers to entry, big-box store, blue-collar work, borderless world, BRICs, business climate, Celebration, Florida, correlation coefficient, creative destruction, dark matter, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, demographic transition, edge city, Edward Glaeser, epigenetics, extreme commuting, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, happiness index / gross national happiness, high net worth, income inequality, industrial cluster, invention of the telegraph, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, megacity, new economy, New Urbanism, Peter Calthorpe, place-making, post-work, Richard Florida, risk tolerance, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, superstar cities, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, urban planning, World Values Survey, young professional

., 1817). 4 Joseph Schumpeter, Theory of Economic Development, Harvard University Press, 1934 (1st ed., 1911); Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy, Harper, 1975 (1st ed., 1942). Thomas McCraw has written an illuminating biography of Schumpeter, Prophet of Innovation: Joseph Schumpeter and Creative Destruction, Belknap, 2007. 5 Bill Steigerwald, “City Views: Urban Studies Legend Jane Jacobs on Gentrification, the New Urbanism, and Her Legacy,” Reason, June 2001. 6 See the discussion of Jacobs’s ideas in David Ellerman, “Jane Jacobs on Development,” Oxford Development Studies, December 4, 2004, pp. 507-521. 7 Geoffrey West et al., “Growth, Innovation, Scaling, and the Pace of Life in Cities,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, April 24, 2007, pp. 7301-7306. 8 Robert Axtell and Richard Florida, “Emergent Cities: Micro-foundations of Zipf’s Law,” March 2006.

The Only Economic Unit That Matters We usually think about economic growth and development in terms of nation-states. The classical economists Adam Smith and David Ricardo both argued that nation-states are the geographic engines behind economic growth. As Ricardo famously theorized, discretely defined countries have incentive to specialize in different kinds of industries, which would allow them to gain and maintain “comparative advantage” over others.1 The first person to see this was the great urbanist Jane Jacobs, who is best known for her scathing critique of urban planning, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, and two other very important books, The Economy of Cities and Cities and the Wealth of Nations.2 In The Economy of Cities (1969) Jacobs refutes the long-standing theory that cities emerged only after agriculture had become sufficiently productive to create a surplus beyond what was needed to survive.

Jane Said The study of economic growth is an arcane field that until recently has paid little attention to the importance of location. In 1776 Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations, which argued that specialization, efficiency, and division of labor are the cornerstones of modern economic growth.2 Later, David Ricardo’s theory of comparative advantage argued that not just firms but countries gain advantage by specializing in certain kinds of economic activity.3 The far-seeing urbanist Jane Jacobs agrees that specialization has its uses, but she focuses on an even more fundamental source of economic growth—what she terms expansion. Like the great economist Joseph Schumpeter, she emphasizes the critical importance of innovation and entrepreneurship. In her eyes, the prospect of new types of work and new ways of doing things drives large-scale economic expansion. But where most economists locate momentum in great companies, entrepreneurs, and nation-states, Jacobs presciently identifies great cities as the prime motor force.


pages: 211 words: 55,075

Soft City: Building Density for Everyday Life by David Sim

A Pattern Language, active transport: walking or cycling, autonomous vehicles, car-free, carbon footprint, Jane Jacobs, megastructure, New Urbanism, place-making, smart cities, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, transit-oriented development, urban planning, urban renewal, walkable city

However, a counter cities-for-people movement had been gradually developing for quite a number of years in reaction to the technocratic modernist movement. In the area of writings and research, the work of Jane Jacobs in New York, and her famous 1961 book The Death and Life of Great American Cities, stands out. Jane Jacobs raised the flag and excellently described many of the problems of Modernist city planning. She started to formulate new directions: look out of your windows; look at the people; look at life before you plan and design. In the years and decades following her call to arms, a number of researchers developed and deepened the work concerning how the built form influences quality of life. The New York School, with William H. Whyte, and later with the Project for Public Spaces, continues the work and inspiration from Jane Jacobs. In California, the Berkeley School, with Christopher Alexander, Donald Appleyard, Clare Cooper Marcus, Allan Jacobs, and Peter Bosselmann, contributed much valuable research and insights on people-oriented architecture and city planning over several decades.

Some may allow change of use—for example, from dwelling to workspace or the other way round. Some buildings may be run for the highest possible profit, and others for no profit at all. What is important is that there are not only different kinds of buildings, but that they accommodate different uses and different types of people in close proximity. Mixing old and new buildings can contribute to the socio-economic diversity described by Jane Jacobs.7 The diversity of use and users can contribute to a sense of community and make the neighborhood safer. A mixture of dwellings, workplaces, businesses, and services will ensure that there are people on a block at all hours. Different kinds of residents and users are at home and awake at different times of the day, which is particularly important for crime prevention. Another benefit of this pattern is that it accommodates small buildings.

Accessing “Your” Outside For every building, there is something that I call “your” outside—the piece of ground right outside your window: your bit of the sidewalk or grass, the place right outside your building. Your outside has the potential to become your piece of the community to engage in and maintain. If something happens here, you can do something about it—an accident, a crying child, anti-social behavior. Jane Jacobs wrote vividly about the street scenes she saw from her row-house window, and the vital role a street-watcher can have, such as making the street safer (“eyes on the street”).12 And while windows are eyes on the street, I would add that doors mean “arms and legs on the street.” Windows are, of course, a vital component and frequently cited for crime prevention. However, doors onto the street send a stronger signal of security, warning would-be perpetrators and assuring potential victims, not only that you will be seen, but that you can be reached as well.


pages: 501 words: 145,943

If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities by Benjamin R. Barber

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, Berlin Wall, bike sharing scheme, borderless world, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, clean water, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, desegregation, Detroit bankruptcy, digital Maoism, disintermediation, edge city, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, Etonian, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global pandemic, global village, Hernando de Soto, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, London Interbank Offered Rate, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, megacity, microcredit, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, obamacare, Occupy movement, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peace of Westphalia, Pearl River Delta, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RFID, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart meter, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tobin tax, Tony Hsieh, trade route, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, unpaid internship, urban sprawl, War on Poverty, zero-sum game

The metaphysics are mostly gone today, but current admirers of the city share the Enlightenment preoccupation with mobility, creativity, and innovation; they agree that inequality is amenable to mitigation and that cities can self-improve even where nations cannot and do not. In her Cities and the Wealth of Nations, Jane Jacobs observed that just because they are salient political and military entities, nations are not necessarily “the basic, salient entities of economic life.”9 It is rather the city and its capacity for innovation that grow urban economies. “Cities do not depend on the entire nation state for their growth” although “neither do they exist on their own here—they depend on surrounding regions.”10 No one since Jane Jacobs has made the argument for creative invention as an engine of urban growth and reform as compellingly (and controversially) as Richard Florida, with his focus on the captivating notion of the creative class.

In a chapter titled “The High-Modernist City,” he accuses Le Corbusier of bombastically seeking “total city planning” through “a lyrical marriage between Cartesian pure forms and the implacable requirements of the machine,” p. 107. But Scott misses entirely Le Corbusier’s parallel decentrist inclinations that aspire to purchase open green space in the city with high-rise towers. 10. Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, p. 65. 11. Jane Jacobs is anxious to distinguish the city (or “great city”) from entities that, while like it, are distinctly not it! “Towns, suburbs and even little cities,” she writes, “are totally different organisms from great cities . . . to try to understand town in terms of big cities will only compound confusion.” The Death and Life of Great Cities, p. 22. 12. Richard Florida, The Rise of the Creative Class, New York: Basic Books, 2004. 13.

Much of what I do here is merely to hold up a megaphone before them so that their measured and persistent voices on behalf of the redemptive potential of the urban can be widely heard. Tom Bender, Manuel Castells, Eric Corijn, Mike Davis, Richard Florida, Edward Glaeser, David Harvey, Peter Marcuse, Saskia Sassen, Richard Sennett, and Ronald van Kempen—and before them Lewis Mumford, Max Weber, Jane Jacobs, and the many others who are cited below—have built a scholarly edifice I feel lucky to have been able to inhabit and explore. My task has been to apply the results of their work to the challenge of establishing a form of constructive interdependence—global democratic governance—in which cities are prime actors. Like all authors and scholars, I have benefited enormously from myriad others in conceiving and executing this project.


pages: 313 words: 92,907

Green Metropolis: Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less Are Thekeys to Sustainability by David Owen

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, off grid, 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, zero-sum game

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.


pages: 349 words: 95,972

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, assortative mating, 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, industrial cluster, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, Marc Andreessen, 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, William Langewiesche

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.


pages: 321 words: 85,267

Suburban Nation by Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Jeff Speck

A Pattern Language, American ideology, 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, Peter Calthorpe, 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.


pages: 578 words: 168,350

Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies by Geoffrey West

Alfred Russel Wallace, Anton Chekhov, Benoit Mandelbrot, Black Swan, British Empire, butterfly effect, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, clean water, complexity theory, computer age, conceptual framework, continuous integration, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, dark matter, Deng Xiaoping, double helix, Edward Glaeser, endogenous growth, Ernest Rutherford, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Frank Gehry, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, Guggenheim Bilbao, housing crisis, Index librorum prohibitorum, invention of agriculture, invention of the telephone, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, laissez-faire capitalism, life extension, Mahatma Gandhi, mandelbrot fractal, Marchetti’s constant, Masdar, megacity, Murano, Venice glass, Murray Gell-Mann, New Urbanism, Peter Thiel, profit motive, publish or perish, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Florida, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, too big to fail, transaction costs, urban planning, urban renewal, Vernor Vinge, Vilfredo Pareto, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, wikimedia commons, working poor

The movement advocated a return to diverse, mixed-use neighborhoods architecturally as well as socially and commercially, with an emphasis on community structure through designs that enhanced pedestrian use and public transportation. Much of the thinking was inspired by the critical writings of the great urbanists Lewis Mumford and Jane Jacobs, who had reminded us that cities are people and not just infrastructure in the service of the automobile and corporate concrete-and-steel high-rises. Jane Jacobs gained her fame and notoriety during the 1950s and ’60s battling plans to run a four-lane limited-access highway through Greenwich Village in New York City, where she then lived. This was the height of the period of “urban renewal” and “slum clearance” in which massive, unattractive high-rise public housing projects were erected along with major four-lane highways running through downtown city areas with little regard for the urban fabric or the human scale.

In the United States it is a testament to the rallying call of Jane Jacobs that the massive highways built fifty years ago that ran through the downtown areas of major cities such as Boston, Seattle, and San Francisco have now been torn down. It is not so easy, however, to resurrect old neighborhoods and community structures that had evolved over many decades, but cities are very resilient and adaptive and will no doubt evolve something new and unexpected. As a footnote to this piece of urban history, it is ironic that NYU’s long-term strategic plans include a proposal to redevelop the Washington Square Village complex by demolishing those very same high-rise apartment buildings and restore the area to its original structure—plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. In an interview4 in 2001 Jane Jacobs was asked: What do you think you’ll be remembered for most?

From the many new vistas that opened up before me, there are three that are of relevance to this narrative. First, and the most obvious, is that working in an innovative research environment that allows and even encourages freedom of thought and movement beats laboring in the confines of a brewery mindlessly feeding a machine with beer bottles. The second was that Jane Jacobs, who I suspect had never actually been to a garden city despite her damning comments about them, was right. It was many years before I came to know who Jane Jacobs was, but I quickly came to see that, compared with living in a somewhat run-down Victorian row house in lower-middle-class northeast London, Stevenage was like living in a fancy country resort. And that was its problem. Just as Jacobs sarcastically remarked a few years later: it was a “really very nice town if you were docile and had no plans of your own and did not mind spending your life with others with no plans of their own.”


pages: 265 words: 74,941

The Great Reset: How the Post-Crash Economy Will Change the Way We Live and Work by Richard Florida

banking crisis, big-box store, blue-collar work, business cycle, car-free, carbon footprint, collapse of Lehman Brothers, congestion charging, creative destruction, deskilling, edge city, Edward Glaeser, falling living standards, financial innovation, Ford paid five dollars a day, high net worth, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, invention of the telephone, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, McMansion, Menlo Park, Nate Silver, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, pattern recognition, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, reserve currency, Richard Florida, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social intelligence, sovereign wealth fund, starchitect, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, total factor productivity, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, white flight, young professional, Zipcar

By this measure, New York is more of a mecca for fashion designers, musicians, film directors, artists, and, yes, psychiatrists than it is for financial professionals. New York’s continued success—its uncanny knack for renewing itself again and again—is based on the diversity of its industries and its ability to attract the best and brightest across a wide range of fields. Writing in the 1960s and 1970s, the great urbanist Jane Jacobs was among the first to identify cities’ diverse economic and social structures as the true engines of growth.12 More than two hundred years ago, the great moral philosopher and economist Adam Smith showed how the organization of tasks and the fine-grained division of labor in his now-famous pin factory powered economic efficiency and so undergirded a healthy capitalist economy. But Jacobs added depth and dimension to that picture, arguing that cities play a critical role in organizing the division of innovative labor: the jostling of many different professions and different types of people, all in a dense environment, is essential to the creation of things that are truly new.

But Japan admits fewer immigrants than any other member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a group of thirty market-oriented democracies. Non-Japanese-looking people are so uncommon as to seem out of place when seen on the street or in the subway. Just 1 percent of Japan’s entire workforce is made up of foreign workers (and that includes illegal as well as legal workers), the lowest rate of any of the advanced OECD countries.11 As Jane Jacobs wrote in The Economy of Cities, “[t]he diversity, of whatever kind, that is generated by cities rests on the fact that in cities so many people are so close together, and among them contain so many different tastes, skills, needs, supplies, and bees in their bonnets.” It is difficult to envision such a cacophony of voices and needs among the office towers and shopping districts of Tokyo and Singapore—at least Tokyo and Singapore as we know them now.

He talked about how efforts to support local entrepreneurship, build and nurture local clusters, develop arts and cultural industries, support local festivals and tourism, attract and retain people—efforts that he and his peers would have sneered at a decade or two ago—have become the core stuff of economic development. When taken together, seemingly smaller initiatives and efforts can and do add up in ways that confer real benefits to communities. These are the kinds of initiatives that Jane Jacobs and others have advocated as plain old good urbanism. And as chapter 21 will show, one of the most effective things the federal government can do to help revitalize older Rust Belt cities and regions is to invest in a high-speed rail network that would better connect them to one another and to other, more thriving economic hubs, shrinking the distance between them and building economic size and scale required to compete more effectively.


pages: 356 words: 91,157

The New Urban Crisis: How Our Cities Are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Class?and What We Can Do About It by Richard Florida

affirmative action, Airbnb, basic income, Bernie Sanders, blue-collar work, business climate, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, Columbine, congestion charging, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, East Village, edge city, Edward Glaeser, failed state, Ferguson, Missouri, Gini coefficient, Google bus, high net worth, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, jitney, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land value tax, low skilled workers, Lyft, megacity, Menlo Park, mortgage tax deduction, Nate Silver, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, occupational segregation, Paul Graham, plutocrats, Plutocrats, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, Richard Florida, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, superstar cities, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, young professional

Richard Florida, “Is Life Better in America’s Red States?,” New York Times, January 3, 2015, www.nytimes.com/2015/01/04/opinion/sunday/is-life-better-in-americas-red-states.html. 8. Tyler Cowen, “Market Urbanism and Tax Incidence,” Marginal Revolution, April 19, 2016, http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2016/04/market-urbanism-and-tax-incidence.html. 9. As quoted in Stephen Wickens, “Jane Jacobs: Honoured in the Breach,” Globe and Mail, May 6, 2011, www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/jane-jacobs-honoured-in-the-breach/article597904. 10. Henry George, Progress and Poverty (New York: Robert Schalkenbach Foundation, 1997 [1879]). For more on George, see Edward T. O’Donnell, Henry George and the Crisis of Inequality (New York: Columbia University Press, 2015); “Why Henry George Had a Point,” The Economist, April 1, 2015, www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2015/04/land-value-tax. 11.

Urbanism for All Acknowledgments About the Author More Advance Praise for The New Urban Crisis Appendix Notes Index For Mila Any city, however small, is in fact divided into two, one the city of the poor, the other of the rich. —PLATO, THE REPUBLIC Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody. —JANE JACOBS, THE DEATH AND LIFE OF GREAT AMERICAN CITIES PREFACE I was born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1957, back when it was a thriving city, bustling with iconic department stores, morning and evening newspapers, libraries and museums, a busy downtown, and a large middle class. My parents both came of age in the city’s Italian district, and they still lived there when I was born, in an apartment near the city’s verdant Branch Brook Park.

Paul Krugman won his Nobel Prize in part for his insights into the ways that clusters of firms shape our economic geography and power economic growth. Big, populous cities develop thriving industry clusters, such as finance in New York and London, motion pictures in LA, fashion in Milan and Paris, and technology in San Jose. But second, and perhaps even more importantly, skilled and ambitious people cluster in cities. Jane Jacobs originally showed how the clustering of diverse groups of people and skills power urban economies. The Nobel Prize–winning economist Robert Lucas formalized her insights about talent clustering into a theory of economic growth based on what he called human capital externalities. Superstar cities push together talented people from all corners of the world across lines of ethnicity, race, national origin, and sexual orientation.


pages: 565 words: 122,605

The Human City: Urbanism for the Rest of Us by Joel Kotkin

autonomous vehicles, blue-collar work, British Empire, carbon footprint, Celebration, Florida, citizen journalism, colonial rule, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Downton Abbey, edge city, Edward Glaeser, financial independence, Frank Gehry, Gini coefficient, Google bus, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, labor-force participation, land reform, life extension, market bubble, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, new economy, New Urbanism, Own Your Own Home, peak oil, pensions crisis, Peter Calthorpe, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, Richard Florida, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Seaside, Florida, self-driving car, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, starchitect, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the built environment, trade route, transit-oriented development, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Victor Gruen, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, young professional

As Gregg Easterbrook, contributing editor of the Atlantic and the Washington Monthly, asks, “Sprawl is caused by affluence and population growth, and which of these, exactly, do we propose to inhibit?”3 Many voices influenced this book. These include the writings of Fernand Braudel, Lewis Mumford, Frank Lloyd Wright, Peter Hall, H. G. Wells, Herbert Gans, and, although I differed from her on many ideas, Jane Jacobs. These figures from the past informed my reporting on the present; their focus on how people actually live, and what they desire, gave me necessary inspiration. No field of study—technical or in the humanities—thrives when only one side or perspective is allowed free reign and granted a dispensation from criticism. The question of the future of cities is too important to be hemmed in by dogma and should, instead, invite vigorous debate and discussion.

In some parts of the world, notably western Europe, eastern Asia, and even parts of North America, low birth rates are threatening the fiscal health of governments, the future of the workforce, and the consumer base.58 In many cases, as is already evident in Europe, the choice is increasingly to either accept large numbers of immigrants or face gradual demographic decline. Here, the question of what families need and prefer should be central. In her heyday in the 1960s, Jane Jacobs asserted that “suburbs must be a difficult place to raise children.”59 Jacobs’s ideal city, dense but human-scaled, indeed was once a congenial place for families. But a quick look at demographic changes in places like Greenwich Village shows how far we have traveled from Jacobs’s ideal city. The area today—which my own grandmother knew as a child—now largely consists of students, wealthy people, and pensioners.

So rather than just focusing on grand narratives about how to transform the metropolis and its denizens, we need to pay more attention to what people actually do, what they prefer, and those things to which they can reasonably aspire. The history of successful cities reveals that, although their functions change, cities have to achieve two things: a better way of life for their residents and a degree of transcendence critical to their identities. In addressing the wider issues faced by urban residents, we need to also draw on older urban traditions that have emerged over the last three millennia. Jane Jacobs’s idealistic notions of cities, however outdated, contain meaningful insights—about the importance of diverse, child-friendly, dense city neighborhoods, for example.4 By exploring the deeper veins of urbanity—spiritual, political, economic—we can begin to hone our efforts to improve and develop our cities so that they are more pleasant, and particularly more accommodating, for people as they go through the various stages of life.


pages: 207 words: 86,639

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 raider, 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 exclusion, financial innovation, full employment, garden city movement, happiness index / gross national happiness, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, land reform, light touch regulation, loss aversion, mega-rich, 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, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, 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?


pages: 293 words: 97,431

You Are Here: Why We Can Find Our Way to the Moon, but Get Lost in the Mall by Colin Ellard

A Pattern Language, call centre, car-free, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Frank Gehry, global village, Google Earth, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, job satisfaction, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, New Urbanism, peak oil, polynesian navigation, Ralph Waldo Emerson, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, traveling salesman, urban planning, urban sprawl

In the 1920s, when his ideas were incubating, the automobile was at the very beginning of its ascendancy, and in it Le Corbusier saw the solution to one of the key problems in urban development—the movement of people. In order for a large city to have a high level of dynamic integration, for all of its citizenry to have access to as many of the city’s offerings as possible, there must be a way for large numbers of people to get from place to place in a hurry. The problem was, as urban visionary Jane Jacobs first pointed out, that to use the automobile to effect such movement, Le Corbusier’s numbers simply didn’t add up.3 His vast green pastures lying beneath skyscrapers would need to have been endless gray plains of parking lots. Le Corbusier proposed in all seriousness to the administrative officials in Paris that they raze large neighborhoods of Paris to erect his sky-kissing vision of the future.

What makes all the difference in a city, compared to the smaller spaces of buildings that we considered in the last chapter, is that the people whose behavior is being influenced by the shape of the city are mostly strangers to one another. It is one thing to understand how the design of a dwelling can support hierarchies or gender relationships among kin, but another thing entirely to see how city design influences interactions among thousands or even millions of people who may cross paths every day or only once in a lifetime. Nobody understood the importance of this difference better than Jane Jacobs, the urban visionary, activist, and writer who spent much of her life fighting modernist forces poised to reshape New York City and used her later years to exert similar powerful influences on Toronto, her adopted home. In her trailblazing book The Death and Life of Great American Cities—still current more than forty years after its initial publication—Jacobs offers a scathing indictment of the influence of modernist principles on urban design, but the more enduring contribution of this book is the collection of worldly wise prescriptions for designing livable, safe, and vibrant neighborhoods.

New York City contained a number of pedestrian plazas. Some of them were built at great expense, yet were always empty. Others were always teeming with business. Why? Whyte’s group tackled the question with characteristic straightforwardness. They mounted high cameras to record movements of people, and they waded into the crowds to ask questions. Why had people come? Where had they come from? Why had they chosen this particular place? Like Jane Jacobs, his finest and most successful student, Whyte learned that life attracts life. In spite of what many builders had believed, people do not look for out-of-the-way, secluded spots in cities. More than anything else, we are fascinated by each other. We want to be as close to the fray as possible. Plazas that are close to major navigational routes are much more likely to be used than those that aren’t.


pages: 428 words: 134,832

Straphanger by Taras Grescoe

active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airport security, Albert Einstein, big-box store, bike sharing scheme, Boris Johnson, British Empire, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, City Beautiful movement, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, David Brooks, deindustrialization, East Village, edge city, Enrique Peñalosa, extreme commuting, financial deregulation, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, indoor plumbing, intermodal, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, jitney, Joan Didion, Kickstarter, Kitchen Debate, laissez-faire capitalism, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, mortgage tax deduction, Network effects, New Urbanism, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, peak oil, pension reform, Peter Calthorpe, Ponzi scheme, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, Skype, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, transit-oriented development, union organizing, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, working poor, young professional, Zipcar

When he tried to have part of Greenwich Village declared a blighted slum, protests by residents reinforced his new image as a destroyer of communities. “There is nobody against this,” he was heard to splutter when his plan to ram a four-lane roadway through Washington Square Park was foiled. “Nobody, nobody, nobody but a bunch of, a bunch of mothers.” One of those mothers, of course, was the great urban theorist Jane Jacobs. From her home on Hudson Street, the author and activist orchestrated theatrical opposition to Moses’s projects, burning cars in effigy in Washington Square, and tossing the stenographer’s paper around the stage of a public hearing to protest the building of the Lower Manhattan Expressway. In The Death and Life of Great American Cities, she pinpointed the appeal of such neighborhoods as Boston’s North End and her own Greenwich Village, arguing that it was the disorderly vestiges of nineteenth-century street life—shops and residences cheek by jowl, with the bartender sweeping his sidewalk keeping an eye on the neighbors’ kids playing hopscotch—that made them safe and viable urban spaces.

Even when violent crime peaked in 1981, there were only 17 murders in the subway, versus 1,832 on the streets; more people died that year from vehicular homicides—being run over by cars—than underground. The subway has changed, but so has New York. The new Greenwich Villages are a train ride from Manhattan, in Astoria, Corona, Boerum Hill, Sunset Park, Carroll Gardens, and Ridgewood, walkable old neighborhoods, now being colonized by families, that Jane Jacobs would have appreciated. Tens of thousands of condos built at the height of the real estate boom are being turned into affordable rental housing. These days, New York resembles nothing so much as New York of the late ‘40s, when municipal population and vitality were at their peak. With a twist: 40 percent of the population is now foreign-born, and the pace of immigration is eclipsing the Ellis Island days.

Calvin Trillin, who has been living in the West Village since 1961, could probably be numbered among the first wave of urban pioneers—or gentrifiers, depending on how you look at things. The longtime New Yorker writer’s Federal-style townhouse, on a dog-legged street west of Seventh Avenue, was built in the 1830s. Trillin used to rent; now he owns. (I didn’t dare ask how much his place was worth, but a couple of blocks away, Jane Jacobs’s modest Hudson Street home, declared “blight” by Moses and company fifty years ago, recently sold for $3 million.) Pulling down a folding staircase from the ceiling, Trillin invited me to climb to his roof, where we sat beneath a sycamore tree. You might assume the author of Tepper Isn’t Going Out, a novel about a New Yorker who becomes a kind of grumpy guru of Gotham for camping out in his Chevrolet, would be a die-hard driver.


pages: 250 words: 88,762

The Logic of Life: The Rational Economics of an Irrational World by Tim Harford

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business cycle, 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, zero-sum game

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.


pages: 281 words: 83,505

Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life by Eric Klinenberg

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, assortative mating, basic income, big-box store, Broken windows theory, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, East Village, Filter Bubble, ghettoisation, helicopter parent, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, John Snow's cholera map, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, Menlo Park, New Urbanism, Peter Thiel, Ray Oldenburg, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, smart grid, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, the High Line, universal basic income, urban planning, young professional

Commercial establishments can also be important parts of the social infrastructure, particularly when they operate as what the sociologist Ray Oldenburg called “third spaces,” places (like cafés, diners, barbershops, and bookstores) where people are welcome to congregate and linger regardless of what they’ve purchased. Entrepreneurs typically start these kinds of businesses because they want to generate income. But in the process, as close observers of the city such as Jane Jacobs and the Yale ethnographer Elijah Anderson have discovered, they help produce the material foundations for social life. What doesn’t qualify as social infrastructure? Transit networks determine where we live, work, and play, and how long it takes to move between places. But whether they’re social infrastructure depends on how they’re organized, since a system designed for private vehicles will likely keep people separate as they travel (and consume enormous amounts of energy), whereas public systems that use buses and trains can enhance civic life.

The garden and walking path that Rotterdam developed on an abandoned elevated train track has environmental as well as social benefits. The designer, Doepel Strijkers, engineered a system that uses industrial waste to heat buildings along rails, dramatically reducing their carbon emissions and making the air that pedestrians breathe a little cleaner. Across the planet, projects like these evince the value of social infrastructure, and the rising demand for it as well. Not long ago, Jane Jacobs and other prominent advocates for improving urban life argued that entrepreneurs, not governments, should build the spaces that support our social interactions. But places like the High Line have not emerged from the free market. They required thoughtful design, careful planning, and, crucially, enlightened leadership from the public sector. Often they advanced through partnerships, with nonprofit organizations and civic coalitions supporting initiatives that cities and states couldn’t undertake on their own.

The well-kept apartments and semiprivate landings offered Newman one clue; but what he observed in the housing project adjacent to Pruitt-Igoe taught him even more. “Across the street from Pruitt-Igoe was an older, smaller, row-house complex, Carr Square Village, occupied by an identical population,” he writes. “It had remained fully occupied and trouble-free throughout the construction, occupancy, and decline of Pruitt-Igoe.” People made good use of their semiprivate gardens and public areas, which meant that there were plenty of what Jane Jacobs, whose ideas greatly influenced Newman, called informal surveillance through “eyes on street.” Families felt safe and relatively comfortable, and with good reason: the crime level was three times lower than it was in Pruitt-Igoe. Newman was fascinated. “With social variables constant in the two developments,” he explains, the underlying reasons “that enabled one to survive while the other was destroyed” had to involve “physical differences,” not the characteristics of the residents.


words: 49,604

The Weightless World: Strategies for Managing the Digital Economy by Diane Coyle

"Robert Solow", barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, business cycle, clean water, computer age, Corn Laws, creative destruction, cross-subsidies, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, Diane Coyle, Edward Glaeser, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, financial deregulation, full employment, George Santayana, global village, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, invention of the sewing machine, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, lump of labour, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, McJob, microcredit, moral panic, 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.


pages: 393 words: 91,257

The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class by Joel Kotkin

Admiral Zheng, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Sanders, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, creative destruction, deindustrialization, demographic transition, don't be evil, Donald Trump, edge city, Elon Musk, European colonialism, financial independence, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Google bus, guest worker program, Hans Rosling, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, land reform, liberal capitalism, life extension, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, megacity, Nate Silver, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, Parag Khanna, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, post-work, postindustrial economy, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Richard Florida, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Sam Altman, Satyajit Das, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superstar cities, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, Wolfgang Streeck, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y Combinator

For example, the Atlantic found less tolerance for differing opinions in the Boston area, and other places with a high proportion of university graduates, than in less-educated regions.42 An Age of “Mass Amnesia” Universities can get away with obscurantism and enforced ideological conformism because of their enormous power over labor markets. They are no longer primarily about learning, as Jane Jacobs noted, but about providing the credential needed for a high-paying job.43 One recent study of American college students found that more than one-third “did not demonstrate any significant improvement in learning” in four years of college.44 Employers report that recent graduates are short on critical thinking skills.45 Equally worrying is that students in the West are not acquiring familiarity with their own cultural heritage.

If too many lack any hope of improving their condition, we could face dangerous upheaval in the near future. PART VI The New Geography of Feudalism A metropolitan economy, if it is working well, is constantly transforming many poor people into middle-class people, many illiterates into skilled (or even educated) people, many greenhorns into competent citizens…. Cities don’t lure the middle class. They create it. —Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities CHAPTER 16 The New Gated City Few sights are more thrillingly suggestive of artful modernity than the Chicago skyline. The city center along Lake Michigan is one of the most vibrant business districts in the nation, boasting numerous corporate headquarters and drawing affluent, highly skilled people from across America’s vast Midwest.1 In 2017, Chicago ranked second only to the tech hub Seattle among major American cities for the number of active construction cranes.2 Yet just a short drive away from the cranes and gleaming towers is a landscape of utter devastation.

In many cities, a push for “densification” often replaces affordable older apartments and single-family houses with expensive apartment complexes geared toward affluent singles and childless couples. Los Angeles, for example, once had an abundance of middle-class housing, but some parts of the city, such as around Central Los Angeles, have seen a major drop in homeownership rates. Middle-class and working-class families—many of them minorities—have been displaced by hipsters and often pushed to the far periphery.41 Jane Jacobs spoke passionately about the solidity and “staying power” of New York’s neighborhoods.42 But the middle-class families that provide the social ballast for such neighborhoods are disappearing in places like Manhattan, West Los Angeles, San Francisco, Central London, and Paris. This is not simply a result of market forces, but of planning by urban political and economic leaders. Seeking to lure elite businesses, the global rich, and the highly educated, they often adopt policies that push the poor and middle classes outside the city.43 A former longtime Chicago resident and urban analyst, Aaron Renn, notes that the city has been losing much of its black population, as well as middle-class and low-income residents more broadly, and seeing a “collapse” of immigration from Mexico.


The Metropolitan Revolution: How Cities and Metros Are Fixing Our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy by Bruce Katz, Jennifer Bradley

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, British Empire, business climate, carbon footprint, clean water, cleantech, collapse of Lehman Brothers, deindustrialization, demographic transition, desegregation, double entry bookkeeping, edge city, Edward Glaeser, global supply chain, immigration reform, income inequality, industrial cluster, intermodal, Jane Jacobs, jitney, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, lone genius, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, Masdar, megacity, Menlo Park, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, place-making, postindustrial economy, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Richard Florida, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Spirit Level, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, trade route, transit-oriented development, urban planning, white flight

The Future of the Metropolitan Revolution: Ushering In the Metro Age 6 7 8 9 The Rise of Innovation Districts 113 Toward a Global Network of Trading Cities 144 Metros as the New Sovereign 171 A Revolution Realized 192 Notes 209 Selected Bibliography 245 Index 251 v 00-2151-2 fm.indd 5 5/21/13 10:10 AM To the memory of my father, Alan Katz To Leon and Matthew Wieseltier 00-2151-2 fm.indd 6 5/21/13 10:10 AM F O RE W O RD H ow does one measure a city? By the buildings that fill its skyline? By the efficiency of its rapid transit? Or, perhaps, by what Jane Jacobs called the “sidewalk ballet” of a busy street? Certainly these are the memorable hallmarks of any modern city or metropolitan area. But a city’s true measure goes beyond human-made structures and lies deeper than daily routine. Rather, cities and metro areas are defined by the quality of the ideas they generate, the innovations they spur, and the opportunities they create for people living within and outside the city limits.

But what makes a place prosper is what it offers to people who don’t live there. 02-2151-2 ch2.indd 33 5/20/13 6:48 PM 34 NYC: INNOVATION AND THE NEXT ECONOMY The cycle of trade and innovation must be relentless for a place to flourish. Detroiters like to point out that their city was the Silicon Valley of the early twentieth century; but at some point Detroit stopped making cutting-edge cars. Now the region is scrambling to deploy its deep reservoir of skilled people, resurrect its distant history of entrepreneurship, and revivify innovation. As Jane Jacobs puts it, “Innovating economies expand and develop. Economies that do not add new kinds of goods and services, but continue only to repeat old work, do not expand much nor do they, by definition, develop.”51 More specifically, if a metropolitan area starts to lose its export orientation and forgets about the need to make things or provide services that are competitive on a national or international scale, eventually even its local market will become stuck.52 The Applied Sciences campuses are, in essence, a major push for New York to create more things to sell to the rest of the country and the rest of the world.

We don’t share a past, we share a future.”69 05-2151-2 ch5.indd 109 5/20/13 6:52 PM 05-2151-2 ch5.indd 110 5/20/13 6:52 PM II THE FUTURE OF THE PA R T METROPOLITAN REVOLUTION Ushering in the Metro Age 06-2151-2 ch6.indd 111 5/20/13 6:53 PM 06-2151-2 ch6.indd 112 5/20/13 6:53 PM 6 TH E RI S E O F IN N O V AT I O N D I ST RI C T S People gathered in concentrations of city size and density can be considered a positive good . . . because they are the source of immense vitality, and because they do represent, in small geographic compass, a great and exuberant richness of differences and possibilities, many of these differences unique and unpredictable and all the more valuable because they are. —JANE JACOBS, The Death and Life of Great American Cities The American metropolitan revolution, although nascent and evolving, is already inventing new models of economic development (as seen in the Applied Sciences initiative), new approaches to social integration (Neighborhood Centers), and new levels of collaboration (as in Northeast Ohio and Denver). Earlier chapters focused on the revolution as is: how city and metropolitan networks are stepping up in the absence of federal leadership to grapple with the big challenges before the country.


pages: 327 words: 88,121

The Vanishing Neighbor: The Transformation of American Community by Marc J. Dunkelman

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, assortative mating, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, Broken windows theory, business cycle, call centre, clean water, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, David Brooks, delayed gratification, different worldview, double helix, Downton Abbey, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Santayana, 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, McMansion, Nate Silver, obamacare, Occupy movement, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, Richard Florida, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, social intelligence, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban decay, urban planning, Walter Mischel, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

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.


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Nomad Citizenship: Free-Market Communism and the Slow-Motion General Strike by Eugene W. Holland

business cycle, capital controls, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, 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.


pages: 165 words: 50,798

Intertwingled: Information Changes Everything by Peter Morville

A Pattern Language, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, augmented reality, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, business process, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, disruptive innovation, index card, information retrieval, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Lean Startup, Lyft, minimum viable product, Mother of all demos, Nelson Mandela, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, RFID, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Schrödinger's Cat, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, source of truth, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, uber lyft, urban planning, urban sprawl, Vannevar Bush, zero-sum game

There are myriad ways to visualize systems and their possibilities. Donella may overstate her case, for even when words come one at a time, the narrative that emerges is often nonlinear. Good stories tend to wander. They draw upon our memories, associations, and emotions to create rich, sensory experience. Often, words are the best way to paint a picture. In The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jane Jacobs does this brilliantly. In a text with no image, she helps us see the city as a system. Her words bring sidewalks, parks, and neighborhoods to life. Jane shows us why traditional maps aren’t good for urban planning. By focusing on roads and buildings, maps reveal the skeleton but miss the point. A city’s structure is evident in its mixture of uses, the life and activity it nurtures, and the conditions that generate diversity.

When the murk between the lights becomes deep and undefinable and shapeless, the only way to give it form or structure is to kindle new fires in the murk or sufficiently enlarge the nearest existing fires.xii We’ve all felt the warmth and vitality of populous city streets, and we’ve also felt fear in the cold, dark, lost areas. Jane’s words help us see why this picture, rather than a classic map, is the right frame for city planning. It’s an unconventional text that explains why slums stay slums and traffic gets worse. So it’s no surprise that Jane Jacobs was a systems thinker. To see complex systems of functional order as order, and not as chaos, takes understanding. The leaves dropping from the trees in autumn, the interior of an airplane engine, the entrails of a dissected rabbit, the city desk of a newspaper, all appear to be chaos if they are seen without comprehension. Once they are understood as systems of order, they actually look different.xiii Her 1961 book was an attack on conventional city planning and a perfect illustration of systems thinking.

iv Architectures by Jorge Arango (2011). v Understanding Context by Andrew Hinton (2014). vi Make Things Be Good by Dan Klyn (2013). vii Systemantics by John Gall (1975), p.14. viii Systems Thinking for Curious Managers by Russell Ackoff (2010), p.6. ix Thinking in Systems by Donella Meadows (2008), p.14. x Meadows (2008), p.157. xi Meadows (2008), p.5. xii The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs (1961), p.376. xiii Jacobs (1961), p.376. xiv The Agile Manifesto, http://agilemanifesto.org. xv The Machine That Changed the World by James Womack (1990), p.56. xvi The Lean Startup by Eric Ries (2011). xvii Meadows (2008), p.170. xviii Should Isle Royale Wolves Be Reintroduced by John Vucetich (2012), p.130. xix The Perfect Mile by Neal Bascomb (2005). xx Philosophy of the Buddha by Christopher W.


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Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution by David Harvey

Bretton Woods, business cycle, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, creative destruction, David Graeber, deindustrialization, financial innovation, Guggenheim Bilbao, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, late capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market fundamentalism, means of production, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, Ponzi scheme, precariat, profit maximization, race to the bottom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, special economic zone, the built environment, the High Line, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, urban planning, We are the 99%, William Langewiesche, Works Progress Administration

B ut it did so at the cost of hollowing out the central cities and le aving them bereft o f a sustainable economic b asis, thus producing the so-called "urban crisis" of the 1 960s, defined by revolts of impacted minorities (chiefly 10 REBEL CITIES African-American) in the inner cities, who were denied access to the new prosperity. Not only were the central cities in revolt. Trad itionalists increasingly rallied around Jane Jacobs and sought to counter the brutal modernism of Moses's large-scale projects with a different kind of urban aesthetic that focused on local neighborhood development, and on the historical preservation, and ultimately gentrification, of older areas. But by then the suburbs had been built, and the radical transformation in lifestyle that this betokened had all manner of so cial consequences, leading fem i­ nists, for example, to proclaim the suburb and its lifestyle as the locus of all their primary discontents.

. •·• Actually it took more than a hundred years to complete the bourgeois conquest of central Paris, with the consequen ces that we have seen in recent years of uprisings and mayhem in those isolated suburbs within which the marginalized immigrants and the unemployed workers and youth are increasingly trapped. Th e sad point here, of course, is that the processes Engels described recur again and again in capitalist urban h istory. Robert Moses "took a meat axe to the Bronx" ( in his infamous words), and long and loud were the lamentations of neighborhood groups and movements, which eventually coalesced around t he rheto­ ric of Jane Jacobs, at the unim aginable destruction not only of valued urban fabric but also of whole communities of residents and their long­ established networks of social integration. 15 But in the New York and Parisian case, once the brutal power of state expropriations had been successfully resisted and contained by the agitations of '68, a far more insidious and cancerous pro cess of transformation occurred through fiscal disciplining of democratic urban governments, land markets, prop­ erty speculation, and the sorting of land to those uses that generated the h ighest possible financial rate of return under the land's "highest and best use."

In New York C ity, for example, we have a billionaire mayor, M ichael Bloomberg, who is reshaping the c ity along lines favorable to the developers, to Wall Street and transn ational capital­ ist class elements, while continuing to sell the city as an optimal lo cation for high-value businesses and a fantastic destination for tourists, thus turning M anhattan in effect into one vast gated community for the rich. (His developmental slogan, iron ically, h as been "B u ilding L ike Moses with Jane Jacobs in M ind:'2 1} In Seattle a billionaire like Paul A llen c alls the shots, and in Mex ico City the wealth iest man in the world, Carlos Slim, has the downtown streets re-cobbled to suit the tourist gaze. And it is not only affluent individuals who exercise d irect power. In the town o f New H aven, strapped for any resources for urban reinvestment of its own, it is Yale University, one of the wealthiest universities in the world, that is redesigning much of the urban fabric to suit its needs.


The death and life of great American cities by Jane Jacobs

Golden Gate Park, indoor plumbing, Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, Victor Gruen

The DEATH and LIFE of GREAT AMERICAN CITIES Jane Jacobs Jane Jacobs was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and now lives in Toronto. In addition to The Death and Life of Great American Cities, she is the author of Cities and the Wealth of Nations, The Question of Separatism, The Economy of Cities, and, most recently, Systems of Survival. ALSO BY Jane Jacobs Systems of Survival: A Dialogue on the Moral Foundation of Commerce and Politics Cities and the Wealth of Nations: Principles of Economic Life The Question of Separatism: Quebec and the Struggle over Sovereignty The Economy of Cities VINTAGE BOOKS EDITION, DECEMBER 1992 Copyright © 1961 by Jane Jacobs Copyright renewed 1989 by Jane Jacobs All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions Published in the United States by Vintage Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, and simultaneously in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto Originally published in hardcover by Random House, Inc., New York, in 1961 Acknowledgment is made to the following publications for permission to reprint portions of this book which first appeared in their pages: Architectural Forum, the Columbia University Forum, Harper’s Magazine, The Reporter.

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 Contents Cover About the Author Also by Jane Jacobs Title Page Copyright Dedication Acknowledgment Illustrations Epigraph 1 Introduction Part One THE PECULIAR NATURE OF CITIES 2 The uses of sidewalks: safety 3 The uses of sidewalks: contact 4 The uses of sidewalks: assimilating children 5 The uses of neighborhood parks 6 The uses of city neighborhoods Part Two THE CONDITIONS FOR CITY DIVERSITY 7 The generators of diversity 8 The need for primary mixed uses 9 The need for small blocks 10 The need for aged buildings 11 The need for concentration 12 Some myths about diversity Part Three FORCES OF DECLINE AND REGENERATION 13 The self-destruction of diversity 14 The curse of border vacuums 15 Unslumming and slumming 16 Gradual money and cataclysmic money Part Four DIFFERENT TACTICS 17 Subsidizing dwellings 18 Erosion of cities or attrition of automobiles 19 Visual order: its limitations and possibilities 20 Salvaging projects 21 Governing and planning districts 22 The kind of problem a city is Illustrations The scenes that illustrate this book are all about us.

., New York, and simultaneously in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto Originally published in hardcover by Random House, Inc., New York, in 1961 Acknowledgment is made to the following publications for permission to reprint portions of this book which first appeared in their pages: Architectural Forum, the Columbia University Forum, Harper’s Magazine, The Reporter. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Jacobs, Jane, 1916– The death and life of great American cities / Jane Jacobs.—1st Vintage Books ed. p cm Originally published: New York: Random House, [1961] ISBN 0-679-74195-X 1 City planning—United States 2 Urban renewal—United States. 3. Urban policy—United States I. Title HT167.J33 1992 307.76′097 3—dc20 92-50082 Ebook ISBN 9780525432852 v4.1 a TO NEW YORK CITY where I came to seek my fortune and found it by finding Bob, Jimmy, Ned and Mary for whom this book is written too Acknowledgment So many scores of persons helped me with this book, wittingly and unwittingly, that I shall never fully be able to acknowledge the appreciation I owe and feel.


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City: Urbanism and Its End by Douglas W. Rae

agricultural Revolution, barriers to entry, business climate, City Beautiful movement, complexity theory, creative destruction, desegregation, edge city, ghettoisation, Gunnar Myrdal, income per capita, informal economy, information asymmetry, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, manufacturing employment, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, Peter Calthorpe, 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.


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City Squares: Eighteen Writers on the Spirit and Significance of Squares Around the World by Catie Marron

Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, deindustrialization, do-ocracy, Jane Jacobs, late capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, Occupy movement, plutocrats, Plutocrats, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, too big to fail, urban planning

Like many others, he was displaced by the quake and had to move in with his children an hour away, but he felt lonely and so was driven by his family every week into the city to meet old friends also driven there by their families—and the men would hang out in the now mostly empty public square outside the Duomo, because to them the square, even ruined, was L’Aquila, and there was nothing to replace it. “It’s the only real home we have,” Antonacci told me. Aquila, Piazza del Duomo I grew up in Greenwich Village, Jane Jacobs’s old neighborhood, where Washington Square Park was my version of Antonacci’s Duomo square, the place where I met friends, cooled off in the fountain, played catch with my dad, and people-watched. It was the heart of what was then a scruffier but more venturesome neighborhood than today’s Village. The city’s urban planning czar Robert Moses had wanted to drive a highway straight through the middle of Washington Square.

People gravitate to them in order to yak, kibitz, palaver, gossip, argue, show off, watch, eavesdrop, play, protest, hustle, con, love, fight. In the case of Italian piazze, French places, and Spanish plazas, the restaurants, cafés, and shops that line the perimeters encourage the ease of human encounters. But their openness can also give city squares a feeling of desertion. They’re places where people with time on their hands hang out—the jobless, the old, the lonely. In The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jane Jacobs quoted an Indiana woman on her town square: “Nobody there but dirty old men who spit tobacco juice and try to look up your skirt.” The square in front of the Paris city hall used to be called Place de Grève and was for centuries a place for unemployed Parisians to gather in search of work, which gave French its word for “labor strike.” What determines a square’s atmosphere and use isn’t its shape or architectural details but mainly its location and scale.

In East Berlin, Alexanderplatz—the center of Berlin night life during the Weimar years of the 1920s—had been redeveloped by the Socialist Unity Party in the 1960s in a style of Cold War kitsch: at one end, the blue glass slab of the Hotel Stadt Berlin, and the House of Teachers, with a giant mural wrapping around the third and fourth floors that depicts work and life in the German Democratic Republic, where everyone seems to be smiling; the TV Tower, with a revolving viewing platform inside a shiny metal ball perched on top of a twelve-hundred-foot concrete column; and the World Time Clock, with a rotating circular map of the world. The ruling Communists turned Alexanderplatz into a windswept pedestrian zone, as if they had been misreading their Jane Jacobs. In an essay on the square, the German writer Georg Diez describes a woman who lived near it: “The square, she says, was always empty, ‘just empty, nothing happening there, you just didn’t go over there, that’s just how it worked.’ A hole in the middle of the city.” On November 4, 1989, the hole filled up with more than half a million East Germans. After weeks of illegal peaceful protests around the country, it was the first officially sanctioned gathering that was not under the control of the regime.


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Bike Boom: The Unexpected Resurgence of Cycling by Carlton Reid

1960s counterculture, autonomous vehicles, Beeching cuts, bike sharing scheme, California gold rush, car-free, cognitive dissonance, Haight Ashbury, Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, urban planning, urban renewal, Whole Earth Catalog, Yom Kippur War

A great many people have now reached forty years of age in this country, despite all the handicaps, and they are the ones who specially enjoy bicycling, the men being somewhat elated on discovering that they can still ride no hands. Just five years later the trick-riding White got his wish, thanks to Robert Moses. Possibly New York’s master builder built for bicyclists because, as Collier’s Weekly reported in 1939, he was a “bicycle bug” himself. Moses is best known today as the planner whose plans for expressways through Manhattan were thwarted in the 1960s by urbanist Jane Jacobs. A journalist for the Architectural Forum, Jacobs rode around Greenwich Village on a bicycle, her handbag stashed in a wicker basket on the front. With her grey thatch and owlish glasses, and her undeniably brilliant writing, she is now usually portrayed as a David-vs.-Goliath heroine, with Moses as Goliath. In fact, the two only sparred in person once, and Moses appears only fleetingly in Jacobs’s great 1961 work, The Death and Life of Great American Cities.

One pupil complained: “Why can’t we have separate cycleways for bikes, and make bikes as useful and popular as cars?” Another suggested: “One of the ways to encourage cycling is to build cycleways. Cycleways are safer to ride on than streets and sidewalks. The adults have their roads to enjoy and young people have a right to have cycleways.” “TODAY EVERYONE who values cities is disturbed by automobiles,” wrote Jane Jacobs in her seminal study, The Death and the Life of Great American Cities. But she pointed out that, in the pre-automobile nineteenth century, city streets were hardly wonderful places. The problem wasn’t the automobile as such (cars didn’t deposit manure), it was that “we went awry by replacing, in effect, each horse on the crowded city streets with half a dozen or so mechanized vehicles, instead of using each mechanized vehicle to replace half a dozen horses.”

This was one of the key eco-polemics of the 1970s—it theorized that capitalism was inherently bad for the planet because, like a Ponzi scheme, it can only survive by growing, unsustainably. What was required instead, believed Schumacher, were small-scale “appropriate technologies.” The bicycle, believed the bike activists (“biketivists”), was more of an appropriate technology for city use than the smelly, dangerous, gas-guzzling, space-hungry automobile. Jane Jacobs’s The Death and Life of Great American Cities was the second non-cycling philosophical tome on the bookshelf of every card-carrying cycle activist of the 1970s, with the third being Ivan Illich’s Energy and Equity of 1974. CHICAGO-BASED Edward Aramaic explicitly linked cycling with environmentalism when he founded Bicycle Ecology and organized a “pedal-in” in October 1970. This was the era of “-in” demonstrations, which had started in the 1960s with “sit-ins” protesting against racial segregation at American colleges and universities.


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Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed by James C. Scott

agricultural Revolution, business cycle, clean water, colonial rule, commoditize, deskilling, facts on the ground, germ theory of disease, informal economy, invention of writing, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Kenneth Arrow, land reform, land tenure, Louis Pasteur, new economy, New Urbanism, Potemkin village, price mechanism, profit maximization, road to serfdom, Silicon Valley, stochastic process, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, Thorstein Veblen, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, working poor

The small-scale street trader, the hawker or the rehris (barrows) have been banned from the city center, so that even where sources of interest and activity could be included, if only to reduce the concreted barrenness and authority of the chowk, these are not utilized."75 As in Brasilia, the effort was to transcend India as it existed and to present Chandigarh's citizens-largely administrators-with an image of their own future. As in Brasilia, the upshot was another unplanned city at the periphery and the margins, one that contradicted the austere order at the center. The Case Against High-Modernist Urbanism: Jane Jacobs Jane Jacobs's book The Death and Life of Great American Cities was written in 1961 against a high tide of modernist, functional urban planning. Hers was by no means the first criticism of high-modernist urbanism, but it was, I believe, the most carefully observed and intellectually grounded critique.76 As the most comprehensive challenge to contemporary doctrines of urban planning, it sparked a debate, the reverberations of which are still being felt.

I am, however, making a case against an imperial or hegemonic planning mentality that excludes the necessary role of local knowledge and know-how. Throughout the book I make the case for the indispensable role of practical knowledge, informal processes, and improvisation in the face of unpredictability. In chapters 4 and 5, I contrast the high-modernist views and practices of city planners and revolutionaries with critical views emphasizing process, complexity, and open-endedness. Le Corbusier and Lenin are the protagonists, with Jane Jacobs and Rosa Luxemburg cast as their formidable critics. Chapters 6 and 7 contain accounts of Soviet collectivization and Tanzanian forced villagization, which illustrate how schematic, authoritarian solutions to production and social order inevitably fail when they exclude the fund of valuable knowledge embodied in local practices. (An early draft contained a case study of the Tennessee Valley Authority, the United States' highmodernist experiment and the granddaddy of all regional development projects.

Even so, Brasilia is about the closest thing we have to a high-modernist city, having been built more or less along the lines set out by Le Corbusier and c1AM. Thanks to an excellent book by James Holston, The Modernist City: An Anthropological Critique of Brasilia," it is possible to analyze both the logic of the plan for Brasilia and the extent of its realization. An appreciation of the slippage between what Brasilia meant for its originators on one hand and for its residents on the other will in turn pave the way (no pun intended) for Jane Jacob's thoroughgoing critique of modern urban planning. The idea of a new capital in the interior predates even the independence of Brazil.56 Its realization, however, was the pet project of Jus- celino Kubitschek, the populist president from 1956 to 1961, who promised Brazilians "fifty years of progress in five" and a future of selfsustaining economic growth. In 1957 Oscar Niemeyer, who had already been named the chief architect for public buildings and housing prototypes, organized a design competition that was won, on the basis of very rough sketches, by Lucio Costa.


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Ground Control: Fear and Happiness in the Twenty First Century City by Anna Minton

Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Broken windows theory, call centre, crack epidemic, credit crunch, deindustrialization, East Village, energy security, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, ghettoisation, hiring and firing, housing crisis, illegal immigration, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Kickstarter, moral panic, new economy, New Urbanism, race to the bottom, rent control, Richard Florida, Right to Buy, Silicon Valley, Steven Pinker, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Spirit Level, trickle-down economics, University of East Anglia, urban decay, urban renewal, white flight, white picket fence, World Values Survey, young professional

In Britain, in planning and urban-design circles this is the subject of raging debate, which echoes the uncertainty about whether or not gated communities are safer – American research described later in the chapter finds that they make little difference to crime and may actually increase it. At the centre of the debate about ‘defensible space’ is the question of whether ‘natural surveillance’, which deters crime, is created by the ‘eyes on the street’ of strangers, as argued by Jane Jacobs in her seminal book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, 18 or whether strangers should be seen as dangerous intruders, as Newman believes. Both sides of the argument command influential support. Research from University College London shows that ‘defensible space’ does not create safer environments, finding that residents of cul de sacs were more likely to be burgled because their isolation means they are targets.19 Now, bolstered by the growing weight of evidence, even the government has acknowledged the need for change, suggesting in its recent Manual for Streets that developers return to the type of street pattern that has characterized the city over centuries.20 But no one expects developers to listen because in the other corner is Secured by Design, the influential police-backed design initiative based on Newman’s ‘defensible space’ ideas.

Fear of crime doesn’t correlate with actual crime but research shows it does correlate with fear of strangers and fear of difference. Creating such a segregated environment is entrenching this fear of difference and fear of strangers. STRANGER DANGER OR ‘EYES ON THE STREET’? Whether strangers are dangerous or essential to healthy city life is the question which has been at the heart of debates about cities for the last fifty years. Jane Jacobs’ classic text, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, published in 1961, 23 and Richard Sennett’s The Fall of Public Man, which came out in 1977, argue that the presence of strangers in cities is the essence of civility and safety. Sennett describes the city as the place ‘where strangers are most likely to meet’ and defines ‘civility’ as ‘treating others as strangers and forging a social bond on that distance’.24 Jacobs bases her case on ‘natural surveillance’, which is built around the informal social controls of strangers.

His thesis that greater participation in civic societies strengthens societies has been criticized as representing an idyllic vision of the past, which was rather more repressive and less positive than depicted, with some organizations responsible for the suppression of civil rights, while the collapse of participation in certain organizations is seen as representing change rather than decline.87 Some types of participation have declined in the US, but others, such as attending sporting events and even volunteering, have increased.88 Sociologist Claude Fischer argues that the concept of ‘social capital’ itself is flawed, based on uncertain empirical evidence. He claims it is replacing simpler terms such as membership, family, sociability and trust, and that a discussion about growing individualism and privatism would be more useful.89 Instead, ‘social capital’ is, like the ‘Respect’ agenda, an attempt to institutionalize the cultivation of trust, which Jane Jacobs warned against. But although the concept is much criticized among the academic community, it is very popular with politicians. It offers a relatively straightforward solution to fractures in society, which is to increase civic participation. Political scientist Barbara Arneil claims that this overlooks the fact that lack of cohesion is driven not so much by a decline in civic participation as by the enormous gap in levels of trust between privileged and deprived groups, and within deprived groups, which is why fear of crime is so much higher in the poorest parts of the country, where living conditions are hardest.


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The Secret War Between Downloading and Uploading: Tales of the Computer as Culture Machine by Peter Lunenfeld

Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, anti-globalists, Apple II, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, business cycle, butterfly effect, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, 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, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-materialism, Potemkin village, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, 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).


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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, hedonic treadmill, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, income inequality, income per capita, Induced demand, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, license plate recognition, McMansion, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, science of happiness, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, starchitect, 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, zero-sum game, 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.


Times Square Red, Times Square Blue by Samuel R. Delany

Jane Jacobs, Network effects, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, urban renewal

—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.


pages: 1,136 words: 73,489

Working in Public: The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software by Nadia Eghbal

Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), bitcoin, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, commoditize, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, death of newspapers, Debian, disruptive innovation, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, Firefox, Guido van Rossum, Hacker Ethic, Induced demand, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kubernetes, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Network effects, node package manager, Norbert Wiener, pirate software, pull request, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Ruby on Rails, side project, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, two-sided market, urban planning, web application, wikimedia commons, Zimmermann PGP

The open source work I do is clearly the most impactful work I do, but no one wants to pay me to work on it. Yet I’m asked to speak about it, and the work I’m actually *paid* to do no one really wants to hear about. ”240 Even as software’s purchase value is being driven dramatically down, its social value seems to be going dramatically up. We can’t live without software anymore, but we also don’t want to pay for it. How is this the case? The author Jane Jacobs explores these conflicting views in her 1961 book The Death and Life of Great American Cities, in which she tries to explain why urban planning policy failed cities. Jacobs’s major critique of urban planning in the 1950s is that the planners treated cities—the layout of their buildings, parks, and roads—as static objects, which were only developed at the outset, rather than continuously revised according to how people used them.

* In practice, there is scarce evidence that this is the case, and quite a bit of evidence that it likely is not, because most people just use software instead of carefully inspecting the code. The benefit of “extra eyeballs” has a maximum beyond which additional reviews are not useful.215 † This is not dissimilar to shadow pricing, where, in the absence of a market price, value is calculated based on what consumers would be willing to pay to obtain a particular good. “Nobody can keep open house in a great city.” —JANE JACOBS, The Death and Life of Great American Cities261 When explaining why nobody wants to pay for software, people often cite the free-rider problem, which is the idea that if you can’t exclude others from consuming a good they’ll use it without paying. Eventually, the good becomes overused, as producers lack the resources—usually provided by consumers—to supply it. It’s easiest to see how free-rider problems apply to non-excludable, rivalrous goods, a situation better known as the tragedy of the commons.

(draft), University of Miami School of Law, April 6, 1997, http://osaka.law.miami.edu/~froomkin/articles/newecon.htm. 237 Ben Thompson, “AWS, MongoDB, and the Economic Realities of Open Source,” Stratechery, January 14, 2019, https://stratechery.com/2019/aws-mongodb-and-the-economic-realities-of-open-source/. 238 Bill Gates, “An Open Letter to Hobbyists,” February 3, 1976, via Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bill_Gates_Letter_to_Hobbyists.jpg. 239 David Friedman, Price Theory: an Intermediate Text (Cincinnati, OH: South-Western Publishing Co, 1986), 20. 240 Ben Lesh (@BenLesh), “Open Source is such a strange thing . . .,” Twitter, November 30, 2017, 1:26 p.m., https://twitter.com/BenLesh/status/936300388906446848. 241 Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (New York: Vintage Books, 1992), 433. 242 Timothy Patitsas, Nadia Eghbal, and Henry Zhu, “City as Liturgy,” Hope in Source, podcast audio, March 21, 2019, https://hopeinsource.com/city/. 243 Randall W. Eberts, “White Paper on Valuing Transportation Infrastructure,” W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, January 1, 2014, 10, https://research.upjohn.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?


pages: 237 words: 50,758

Obliquity: Why Our Goals Are Best Achieved Indirectly by John Kay

Andrew Wiles, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, bonus culture, British Empire, business process, Cass Sunstein, computer age, corporate raider, 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, lateral thinking, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Pasteur, market fundamentalism, Myron Scholes, Nash equilibrium, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, shareholder value, Simon Singh, Steve Jobs, Thales of Miletus, 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.


pages: 298 words: 81,200

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, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, digital Maoism, digital map, discovery of DNA, Dmitri Mendeleev, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, 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, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Johannes Kepler, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, Mason jar, mass immigration, 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.


pages: 386 words: 113,709

Why We Drive: Toward a Philosophy of the Open Road by Matthew B. Crawford

1960s counterculture, Airbus A320, airport security, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, Boeing 737 MAX, British Empire, Burning Man, call centre, collective bargaining, crony capitalism, deskilling, digital map, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Fellow of the Royal Society, gig economy, Google Earth, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, labour mobility, Lyft, Network effects, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Nader, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, security theater, self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, smart cities, social graph, social intelligence, Stephen Hawking, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, too big to fail, traffic fines, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban planning, Wall-E, Works Progress Administration

There is surely truth in these interpretations, but in the pages to follow I will suggest a further possibility: that these movements are partly a response, at once spirited and rational, to a creeping colonization of the space for skilled human activity. This may take the form of automated traffic enforcement, which elides the role of individual judgment (both that of a cop and that of a driver) in determining the appropriate speed, or it may take the form of elected officials holding a press conference to inform us that driving is drudgery, and we’re no good at it anyway. (Jane Jacobs referred to “Utopian minders of other people’s leisure.”) These are examples of a much larger trend. The technocrats and optimizers seek to make everything idiotproof, and pursue this by treating us like idiots. It is a presumption that tends to be self-fulfilling; we really do feel ourselves becoming dumber. Against such a backdrop, to drive is to exercise one’s skill at being free, and I suspect that is why we love to drive.

Infantilization slips in, under cover of democratic ideals. I will insist, on the contrary, that democracy remains viable only if we are willing to extend to one another a presumption of individual competence. This is what social trust is built on. Together, they are the minimal endowments for a free, responsible, fully awake people. Cars and the Common Good In her 1961 masterwork The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jane Jacobs noted that “everyone who values cities is disturbed by automobiles.” They seem to stretch and rend the fabric of social interaction, which requires a certain intimacy of scale and fluidity of movement. To make way for cars and all that comes with them, such as parking lots, gas stations, and major arteries, “city streets are broken down into loose sprawls, incoherent and vacuous for anyone afoot.”

If the “policy and design” of parks and plazas is to be modest, deliberately underdetermining of the uses that might be found for them, the designer must refrain from precisely that which is most exciting to intellectuals: a comprehensive vision. Such visions invariably clamp down on play, because play insists on making its own rules, internal to some game that is “for us,” as Huizinga taught us. Urban skaters are a play community. Jane Jacobs criticized the kind of planning that seeks to bring order “by repression of all plans but the planners.’” Speaking of the Garden City plans of Ebenezer Howard, Jacobs called these “really very nice towns if you were docile and had no plans of your own and did not mind spending your time among others with no plans of their own. As in all Utopias, the right to have plans of any significance belonged only to the planners in charge.”


pages: 83 words: 23,805

City 2.0: The Habitat of the Future and How to Get There by Ted Books

active transport: walking or cycling, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, big-box store, carbon footprint, cleantech, collaborative consumption, crowdsourcing, demand response, housing crisis, Induced demand, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, jitney, Kibera, Kickstarter, Kitchen Debate, McMansion, megacity, New Urbanism, openstreetmap, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart grid, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, Zipcar

Image: URBZ The autocatalytic city Bottom-up growth, driven by citizens, trumps central command By Benjamin de la Peña The historic diversity of the city — the source of its value and magnetism — is an unplanned creation of many hands and long historical practice. Most cities are the outcome, the vector sum, of innumerable small acts bearing no discernible overall intention. — James C. Scott, Seeing Like a State Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody. — Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities * * * We are living on an urban planet; our cities are growing at spectacular rates. This growth has created new energy and excitement (cities account for 70 percent of the global economy), and it has highlighted the dysfunctions of cities. Most of our cities, particularly the fastest-growing ones, are messy, confusing places, even for the citizens who call them home.

Bottoms up This essay, of course, is partly polemical. Our understanding of cities has been shaped by our Industrial Age expectations of institutional control. As urban centers boom around the globe, however, we are hitting the limits of the machine model of cities. Metropolises are growing too fast for our old institutional models to work. Our task, as so ably argued by author and urban activist Jane Jacobs, is not to command the city but to understand the processes that make it work. Rather than dreaming up ways to control the autocatalytic city, planners and city leaders should think instead of how to enable it. We must avoid confusing aesthetic order with actual order. We must recognize the native intelligence and resilience of autocatalytic communities and not suffocate them with our push for the logic of efficiency.


pages: 603 words: 182,781

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, Boris Johnson, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Charles Lindbergh, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, conceptual framework, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, digital map, disruptive innovation, 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, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, invention of the telephone, inventory management, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, Kangaroo Route, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, kremlinology, low cost airline, Marchetti’s constant, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, Menlo Park, microcredit, Network effects, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Calthorpe, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pink-collar, pre–internet, RFID, Richard Florida, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, 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, starchitect, 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, white picket fence, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

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.


pages: 304 words: 88,773

The Ghost Map: A Street, an Epidemic and the Hidden Power of Urban Networks. by Steven Johnson

call centre, clean water, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, Dean Kamen, digital map, double helix, edge city, germ theory of disease, global pandemic, Google Earth, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, John Snow's cholera map, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, mass immigration, 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.


pages: 484 words: 131,168

The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart by Bill Bishop, Robert G. Cushing

"Robert Solow", 1960s counterculture, affirmative action, American Legislative Exchange Council, assortative mating, big-box store, blue-collar work, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, demographic transition, desegregation, Edward Glaeser, immigration reform, income inequality, industrial cluster, Jane Jacobs, knowledge economy, longitudinal study, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, music of the spheres, New Urbanism, post-industrial society, 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.


Stacy Mitchell by Big-Box Swindle The True Cost of Mega-Retailers, the Fight for America's Independent Businesses (2006)

big-box store, business climate, business cycle, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate personhood, European colonialism, Haight Ashbury, income inequality, inventory management, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, low skilled workers, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, new economy, New Urbanism, price discrimination, race to the bottom, Ray Oldenburg, RFID, Ronald Reagan, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, union organizing, urban planning, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

Unlike larger corporations, which are focused on how to operate and compete in a global market, the fortunes of independent business owners are very much tied to the prosperity and future prospects of their communities. Local merchants derive much of their social standing from their accomplishments within the community; they win recognition and status from such things as taking the lead in addressing a local problem, organizing a fund-raiser for a local cause, or restoring a landmark downtown commercial building to its full glory.9 Local business owners often take on the role of what Jane Jacobs, author of the monumental Death and Life of Great American Cities, calls “public characters.” These are people stationed in public places who carry out a wide range of informal community tasks. Public characters talk to many people in the course of a day and, through this contact, serve to spread news and information and to strengthen the web of ties that bind communities COMMUNITY LIFE 79 together.

Not allowing a single store to become so large that it devours much of the pie helps ensure that the town or neighborhood maintains a diversity of competing businesses. The second reason is that smaller stores better fit the scale of many communities, including both small towns and big-city neighborhoods. Vibrant, walkable downtowns and neighborhoods are invariably composed of a mix of many small and midsize uses—rather than a single use that covers ten acres. As the insightful urban observer Jane Jacobs once noted, “A lively city scene is lively largely by virtue of its enormous collection of small elements.” A third reason is that, the larger the store, the greater the impacts on its surroundings. The size of the region from which a store pulls customers, and thus the amount of tra‰c it generates, for example, expands in direct proportion to its scale.38 Two planning issues closely related to scale are location and site design.

My colleagues at ILSR are a terrific bunch who do inspiring work and from whom I have learned a great deal. I am grateful to all of the people who agreed to be interviewed for this book and generously gave of their time and expertise. Chuck D’Aprix contributed valuable research to the final chapter. Like all books, this one is built on the work of many other writers, including Joanna Blythman, Barbara Ehrenreich, Liza Featherstone, Thom Hartmann, Jane Jacobs, Marjorie Kelly, David Korten, James Howard Kunstler, Greg LeRoy, David Morris, Al Norman, Ray Oldenburg, Eric Schlosser, E. F. Schumacher, and Michael Shuman. I want to thank David Korten, who first suggested I write this book. My agent, Anna Ghosh, was wonderfully enthusiastic about this project and found a great home for it in Beacon Press, which has been independently publishing books for more than 150 years.


pages: 282 words: 69,481

Road to ruin: an introduction to sprawl and how to cure it by Dom Nozzi

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, zero-sum game

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.


pages: 297 words: 69,467

Dreyer's English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style by Benjamin Dreyer

a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Albert Einstein, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, elephant in my pajamas, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Jane Jacobs, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, non-fiction novel, Norman Mailer, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Death and Life of Great American Cities

Well, I can certainly tell you how I style them: Charles Dickens’s novels Jane Jacobs’s advocacy Robert Moses’s megalomania Though you may come across much discussion elsewhere regarding the appending or not appending of post-apostrophe s’s based on pronunciation,*22 convention, or what day of the week it is, I think you’ll find that, as with the universal application of the series comma, you’ll save yourself a lot of thinking time by not thinking about these s’s and just applying them. I’d even urge you to set aside the Traditional Exceptions for Antiquity and/or Being the Son of God and go with: Socrates’s Aeschylus’s Xerxes’s Jesus’s 26. A warning: Hasty typing fingers are apt to render the likes of Jane Jacobs’s activism as Jane Jacob’s activism As typos go, that sort of thing is perilously easy to commit and to overlook.


pages: 242 words: 71,943

Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperity by Charles L. Marohn, Jr.

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, A Pattern Language, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, bank run, big-box store, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, corporate governance, Detroit bankruptcy, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, facts on the ground, Ferguson, Missouri, global reserve currency, housing crisis, index fund, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, low skilled workers, mass immigration, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, pensions crisis, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, reserve currency, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, urban renewal, walkable city, white flight, women in the workforce, yield curve, zero-sum game

The collection of buildings on either side of the fast food restaurant were built in a line. They faced a mirrored set of buildings on the opposite side of the street, also in a line. These opposite rows of buildings were spaced at ratios comfortable to human beings. They were not so close as to feel constrained, but they were not so far that they failed to create an edge. Edges are very important for humans. In our habitats, we are drawn to edges. This is a phenomenon observed by Jane Jacobs in her book The Death and Life of Great American Cities, then elaborated on by Christopher Alexander in A Pattern Language. In public spaces, Jacobs notes that people “stay to the sides,” while Alexander states that people “naturally gravitate toward the edge.” This street in Pompeii provided that opportunity. Biologists call this wall-hugging trait thigmotaxis. Think of a mouse scurrying along the edge of a wall, instinctively fearful of journeying into the center of the room.

This is an incorrect understanding of how complex, adaptive systems grow stronger. In such systems, strength and stability are always built from the fractal level. Successful blocks beget successful neighborhoods. Prosperous neighborhoods make up a prosperous city. A strong and stable state is an assembly of strong and stable cities. In Cities and the Wealth of Nations, a book I believe presents the most insightful economic analysis since Keynes, journalist and author Jane Jacobs describes how cities, not nations, are the only coherent level of economic analysis. Distinctions between city economies and the potpourris we call national economies are important not only for getting a grip on realities; they are of the essence where practical attempts to reshape economic life are concerned.8 A measurement of GDP tells us as much about American prosperity as a measurement of the average wealth of a hundred households when one of those households includes billionaire Jeff Bezos.

read-now=1&seq=19#page_scan_tab_contents. 2 Jared Diamond, The World Until Yesterday (New York: Penguin Books, 2012). 3 https://fraser.stlouisfed.org/files/docs/publications/books/posteconprob_harris_1943.pdf. 4 St. Louis Fed, https://fredblog.stlouisfed.org/2015/01/on-household-debt/. 5 St. Louis Fed, https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/PSAVERT. 6 St. Louis Fed, https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/FEDFUNDS. 7 https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2015/9/14/lafayette-pipes-and-hydrants. 8 Jane Jacobs, Cities and the Wealth of Nations: Principles of Economic Life (New York: Random House, 1985). 9 https://money.cnn.com/2005/07/12/markets/bondcenter/bond_yields/. 10 http://futures.tradingcharts.com/historical/DJ/2005/0/continuous.html. 11 https://money.cnn.com/2005/08/09/news/economy/fed_rates/index .htm?cnn=yes. 12 “The Macroeconomic and Budgetary Effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita: An Update” (Washington, DC: Congressional Budget Office, September 29, 2005). 13 Tomas Sedlacek, The Economics of Good and Evil: The Quest for Economic Meaning from Gilgamesh to Wall Street (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011). 6 Rational Responses Our cities made decades of bad investments, sacrificing their stable wealth in exchange for new growth as part of a continent-wide experiment.


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, Pareto efficiency, 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. [377] 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.


pages: 532 words: 155,470

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, Kickstarter, market fundamentalism, means of production, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, peak oil, place-making, post scarcity, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, 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.


pages: 395 words: 115,753

The Metropolitan Revolution: The Rise of Post-Urban America by Jon C. Teaford

anti-communist, big-box store, conceptual framework, desegregation, Detroit bankruptcy, East Village, edge city, estate planning, Golden Gate Park, Gunnar Myrdal, Haight Ashbury, housing crisis, illegal immigration, Jane Jacobs, Joan Didion, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Potemkin village, rent control, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Victor Gruen, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, young professional

Lack of demand for new apartments, excessive red tape, delays owing to political meddling, and the cumbersome review process mandated by federal officials all meant that an urban renewal project was a risky investment at best. One could make more money with less hassle by building shopping malls in suburbia. The most notable foe of the renewal and highway strategy of reinforcing the city center was Jane Jacobs. During the early 1960s through both word and deed, she assaulted prevailing notions about urban revitalization and presented an alternative vision. An editor of Architectural Forum, she was also a wife and mother living in the West Village area of Manhattan, and like other female foes of renewal, such as Dolores Rubillo and Florence Scala, Jacobs considered home and neighborhood rather than downtown skyscrapers and superhighways as the foundations of her city.

McDonald’s and Holiday Inns continued to proliferate along the metropolitan fringe, and corporate headquarters were joining them in suburbia. The centripetal expressways and renewal projects raised more wrath than municipal tax dollars or downtown sales figures. Despite the ambitious efforts of central-city promoters, metropolitan America was coming apart. Many Americans were finding bliss in Southdale Center; others like Jane Jacobs were discovering the good life in the West Village. But the impetus for drawing the whole together through a radical expressway and renewal strategy was waning. 4 The Debacle “Riots, skyrocketing crime, tax problems that multiply raise this question: Can the big cities of this country ever stage a comeback?” In 1967 U.S. News & World Report posed this query, and its tentative conclusion was not optimistic.

Throughout the latter half of the twentieth century, critics deplored this decentralization, identifying Levittown, shopping malls, big-box stores, and gated communities as symptoms and sources of societal decay, suburban neuroses, and environmental disaster. Yet most Americans seemed to disagree with these naysayers, investing in millions of suburban tract homes, filling outlying malls, and making Wal-Mart the world’s largest retailer. Despite all the paeans to traditional neighborhoods, urbanity, and the enriching diversity of the core, Americans left the central city so admired by Jane Jacobs and her ilk and bought into the lifestyle sold by William Levitt and Sam Walton. Many of those who remained in the central cities retrofitted the old buildings and old neighborhoods to suit their own needs. They created gay ghettos and Yuppie havens, displacing working-class taverns with restaurants and bars deemed “hip” or trendy. Thus in both the historic core and the emerging edgeless city, diverse groups mapped out sectors of the metropolitan turf and made them their own.


pages: 403 words: 87,035

The New Geography of Jobs by Enrico Moretti

assortative mating, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, business climate, call centre, cleantech, cloud computing, corporate raider, creative destruction, desegregation, Edward Glaeser, financial innovation, global village, hiring and firing, income inequality, industrial cluster, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, medical residency, Menlo Park, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, Productivity paradox, Richard Florida, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Skype, special economic zone, Startup school, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, thinkpad, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Wall-E, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

For a high school graduate, the increase is four times larger. For a high school dropout, the effect is five times larger. Thus, the lower the skill level, the larger the salary gains from other people’s education. A large number of highly educated workers in a city is also associated with more creativity and a better ability to invent new ways of working. One way to see this is to look at what Jane Jacobs called “new work,” novel occupations that did not exist before. The economist Jeffrey Lin has studied which cities are the most creative in America, in the sense that they generate the most “new work” as measured by jobs that did not exist ten years earlier. Examples of new work in 2000 include Web administrator, chat-room host, information systems security officer, IT manager, biomedical engineer, and dosimetrist (don’t ask: I have no idea what a dosimetrist does).

After 1958 the federal government began to scale back its investment, and the TVA became a largely self-sustaining entity. This approach to economic development is based on the intuitive notion that public monies can jump-start a local economy trapped in poverty. But critics on both the right and the left have lambasted such initiatives, either as big government overreach or top-down control of local communities. In an influential 1984 article in the New York Review of Books, the progressive urban thinker Jane Jacobs wrote a scathing critique of big-push policies, including the TVA, arguing that it is an unnatural way to foster local economies and concluding that “in practice, they work miserably.” How can we assess these place-based policies in a rigorous way? The real test is not whether they create jobs during the push. The fact that an inflow of money temporarily increases economic activity in an area is hardly a sign that the money was well spent.

We would be giving the innovative jobs to well-educated foreigners, leaving ourselves with the service jobs created by the multiplier effect. This is a world in which the iPhone is designed and engineered in Cupertino by Chinese or Indian PhDs and native American workers are the waiters, carpenters, and nurses who support them. What America decides about education is one of the most important strategic decisions facing the country today. The Local Global Economy As the great urban thinker Jane Jacobs recognized fifty years ago, communities, just like natural ecosystems, are not static entities but continually evolving creative commons that expand or shrink depending on the ingenuity of their residents. They are human ecosystems. Their process of continuous destruction and regeneration is ultimately what drives innovation, today as in the past. Innovation makes some activities and occupations obsolete while creating new ones.


pages: 285 words: 86,174

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, circulation of elites, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, dark matter, David Brooks, David Graeber, deindustrialization, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, fixed income, full employment, George Akerlof, Gunnar Myrdal, hiring and firing, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kenneth Arrow, Mark Zuckerberg, mass affluent, mass incarceration, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, money market fund, 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, Vilfredo Pareto, 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.


Multicultural Cities: Toronto, New York, and Los Angeles by Mohammed Abdul Qadeer

affirmative action, business cycle, call centre, David Brooks, deindustrialization, desegregation, edge city, en.wikipedia.org, Frank Gehry, game design, ghettoisation, global village, immigration reform, industrial cluster, 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.


pages: 606 words: 157,120

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, creative destruction, 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, lifelogging, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, moral panic, Narrative Science, Nelson Mandela, Nicholas Carr, packet switching, PageRank, Parag Khanna, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, 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.


City: A Guidebook for the Urban Age by P. D. Smith

active transport: walking or cycling, Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, business cycle, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, congestion charging, cosmological principle, crack epidemic, double entry bookkeeping, edge city, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, en.wikipedia.org, Enrique Peñalosa, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, garden city movement, global village, haute cuisine, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of gunpowder, Jane Jacobs, John Snow's cholera map, Kevin Kelly, Kibera, Kickstarter, Kowloon Walled City, Masdar, megacity, megastructure, multicultural london english, mutually assured destruction, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, peak oil, RFID, smart cities, starchitect, telepresence, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, Thomas Malthus, trade route, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Victor Gruen, walkable city, white flight, white picket fence, young professional

Today the impact of Le Corbusier and the Modernist movement on town planning is widely seen as little short of a disaster.53 The urban theorist and historian Richard Sennett has accused Modernists of impoverishing the art of urban design and of undermining the complex social fabric of the city. In particular, the vertical city destroyed street life, an essential urban experience for thousands of years, one created by many hands, from builders to architects: ‘The London street has “citiness”. It is incoherent. Incoherent is good.’54 For Sennett and Jane Jacobs, the Modernists’ scientific plans eliminated the sources of density, diversity and even disorder that are vital to the creation of dynamic urban communities. Instead, from Moscow to Chicago, what Sennett terms the ‘overplanning’ of post-war cities has produced a ‘dystopia’ in which high-rise housing estates have become warehouses for the poor.58 Deyan Sudjic, director of London’s Design Museum, also believes that the inhabitants of today’s cities are ‘witnesses to the many soured urban utopias’ of the Modernists.59 A city is shaped by many people, from speculators to visionaries.

Many studies have since concluded that the fall in crime was due largely to a reduction in the crack epidemic that was sweeping America. James Q. Wilson has himself admitted, ‘I still to this day do not know if improving order will or will not reduce crime.’53 The ‘zero tolerance’ approach has proved influential around the world, not least in the United Kingdom where, in order to combat the fear of crime in urban areas, British cities have pioneered a revolution in surveillance technologies. The urbanist Jane Jacobs famously advocated ‘eyes on the street’ as the best way of providing ‘natural surveillance’ and thus safe cities.54 But modern Britain prefers camera lenses to human eyes. Today, the land of George Orwell’s Big Brother has more surveillance cameras than the rest of Europe combined. Nearly all town centres in the United Kingdom have CCTV systems. There are some 500,000 security cameras in London alone.

Wilson, ‘Broken Windows: The police and neighborhood safety,’ Atlantic (March 1982) <http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1982/03/broken-windows/4465/> 53. Bernard E. Harcourt and Jens Ludwig, ‘Broken Windows: New Evidence from New York City and a Five City Social Experiment’, University of Chicago Law Review, 73 (2006), cited from Anna Minton, Ground Control: Fear and Happiness in the Twenty-First-Century City (London: Penguin, 2009), 146. 54. Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961; repr. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1994), 42–7. 55. Paul Lewis, ‘CCTV in the sky: police plan to use military-style spy drones’, Guardian (23 January 2010); cf. Sophie Body-Gendrot, ‘Confronting Fear’, in Ricky Burdett and Deyan Sudjic, eds, The Endless City (London: Phaidon, 2007), 356, and Minton (2009), 31. 56. Tim Harford, The Logic of Life (London: Abacus, 2009), 135. 57.


pages: 483 words: 134,377

The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor by William Easterly

"Robert Solow", 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, creative destruction, 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, Gunnar Myrdal, income per capita, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, 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, WikiLeaks, 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.


pages: 578 words: 141,373

Concretopia: A Journey Around the Rebuilding of Postwar Britain by John Grindrod

Berlin Wall, garden city movement, housing crisis, Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, megastructure, Neil Kinnock, New Urbanism, Right to Buy, side project, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, women in the workforce, young professional

But then among the thousands of council houses landed smaller estates of private housing: by 1978 over a fifth of all Cwmbran’s houses were privately owned. ‘They were worried then about creating a different sort of ghetto. It was a mixed social experiment. They were nervous about having lots and lots of large council estates,’ said Jim. He sat back, attempting to conjure up some kind of context for me. ‘By the end of the sixties Jane Jacobs had written her book in America’ – he was referring to the unlikely bestseller, The Death and Life of Great American Cities – ‘and there were lots of texts about “social engineering” it was called, steering people into these places. The town planning world was getting nervous about endlessly building council houses.’ ‘It’s funny, when you come from renting somewhere in London to renting somewhere here it didn’t seem like a big issue to me,’ Jo recalled with a shrug.

Indeed, by the end of the decade, Modern architecture had become a form of terror, a systematic assault on city after city, which drove many people like me into an uncritical hostility and into conservation.’2 It was fair to say that feelings on the subject were running high. Young architectural historians Dan Cruikshank and Colin Amery, in their short, sharp shock of a book, The Rape of Britain, described the redevelopment of towns such as Worcester, Bath and Hereford as ‘an officially sponsored competition to see how much of Britain’s architectural heritage could be destroyed in 30 years.’3 They were echoing a cry from across the Atlantic. Jane Jacobs’ 1961 book The Death and Life of Great American Cities had become, in its own way, as influential as Ebenezer Howard’s Garden Cities of To-morrow. In it she railed against the visions of modern life championed by Howard and Le Corbusier, and their ‘dishonest mask of pretend order, achieved by ignoring or suppressing the real order that is struggling to exist and to be served’.4 Instead she advocated a return to the bustle of traditional street life, before comprehensive development schemes and neighbourhood planning had simplified towns to death with their pedestrianised precincts and wholesale disruption of old street patterns.

Here, suddenly, was a viable new model, driven by an alliance between the preservationists and concerned local residents – whose views were now being taken more into account. ‘We have learned one lesson,’ Matthew told a conference in 1974, after being named conservation advisor to the Secretary of State for Scotland. ‘Buildings are infinitely more adaptable than we have hitherto been persuaded to believe … there are many ways of using these solid structures today, or any other day.’6 It was the message that had resonated across the Atlantic from Jane Jacobs and her book on the life of America’s old city streets. Many would call Matthew’s conversion to the conservation movement a betrayal of his earlier modernist principles. But Matthew himself would argue that his vision had never wavered; what he wanted to create and what he wanted to protect were one and the same: buildings of quality. By the mid-seventies arguments about modern planning and architecture had moved beyond the textbook or special interest groups like the Victorian Society.


Off the Books by Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh

business climate, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, labor-force participation, low-wage service sector, new economy, refrigerator car, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, urban renewal, working poor, Y2K

Even those shopkeepers who have established productive relationships with the hustling population nevertheless express frustration at having to accommodate this street presence. For these reasons, and because of the internal competition that exists over opportunities to work and make money, hustling is never secure and it takes a great deal of work for street based vendors and traders to stay in one place over time. Jane Jacobs offered the classic theory of how public order is maintained in the city with her notion of "eyes on the street," the ur-concept for modernist planning in terms of creating safe urban spaces.9 Jacobs drew on the vitality of New York City's streets—primarily the West Village neighborhood in Manhattan—to develop ideas regarding the important role that private citizens play in public space management.

So they routinely adopt alternate strategies to promote collective safety, especially in an area where residents' involvement in criminality is shaped by their own need to make ends meet by deriving illegal income. These strategies may be highly informal, such as private agreements with residents and secretive mediation routines. One of the essential components of good policing strategy, identified by Jane Jacobs, is an officer's ability to develop relationships with shopkeepers and residents. It may mean making compromises, such as retaining troublemakers as sources of information rather than removing them outright from the streets. Securing reliable informants is nothing new and has always been an ingredient in good law enforcement. One might say that police are faced with irreconcilable demands: on the one hand, their responsibilities are to prevent crime and keep public areas habitable; on the other hand, doing so may mean tolerating some degree of illegal behavior and using perpetrators effectively and secretively to respond to crime.

See Mary Patillo, Black Picket Fences: Privilege and Peril in the Black Middle Class (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999). 12. Martin Sanchez Jankowski provides a systematic analysis of how gangs develop relationships with persons and organizations in the wider community. See his Islands in the Street (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991). 13. For the classic rendition, see Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (New York: Vintage, 1961), 30. 14. Robert Sampson has developed the notion of "collective efficacy"—the "working trust and shared willingness of residents to intervene in sharing social control. The concept of collective efficacy captures the link between cohesion—especially working trust—and shared expectations for action." See Sampson, "Neighborhood and Community: Collective Efficacy and Community Safety," The New Economy 11: 106-113, quote at 108.


pages: 346 words: 89,180

Capitalism Without Capital: The Rise of the Intangible Economy by Jonathan Haskel, Stian Westlake

"Robert Solow", 23andMe, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, bank run, banking crisis, Bernie Sanders, business climate, business process, buy and hold, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cloud computing, cognitive bias, computer age, corporate governance, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, dark matter, Diane Coyle, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, endogenous growth, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial innovation, full employment, fundamental attribution error, future of work, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, income inequality, index card, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, job automation, Kenneth Arrow, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, liquidity trap, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mother of all demos, Network effects, new economy, open economy, patent troll, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, place-making, post-industrial society, Productivity paradox, quantitative hedge fund, rent-seeking, revision control, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban planning, Vanguard fund, walkable city, X Prize, zero-sum game

Glaeser’s example was the invention of the bra, which was developed not by lingerie makers but by dressmakers (Glaeser 2011; Glaeser et al. 1992). Indeed, cities that relied on single industries, like Youngstown, Ohio, which made steel, or Akron, which made tires, or most famously Detroit, the motor city, tended to do less well in the modern age than cities with a range of industries. Glaeser called these “Jacobs spillovers,” in honor of Jane Jacobs, the urbanist and defender of messy, unplanned cities. It seems that this effect is still going strong. A recent paper by Chris Forman, Avi Goldfarb, and Shane Greenstein (2016) showed not only that the San Francisco Bay Area has become an increasingly important location of invention in the last few decades, but also that it has become a source of inventions in many diverse areas, not just software and semiconductors.

Now, let’s consider the kinds of people who might benefit from an economy in which intangibles are more abundant and important. We know that in an intangible economy, the ability to appropriate spillovers and make the most of synergies is prized. Research by psychologists suggests that people who are more open to experience are better at this. Perhaps this is because they are better at making the kind of connections between different ideas and people that, as Edward Glaeser and Jane Jacobs pointed out, are so important to the economic magic that goes on in cities. Perhaps creativity and innovation require openness to ideas (there is evidence that openness to experience helps in innovative and creative jobs). This suggests a new explanation for why the divide between supporters of Trump, Brexit, and similar movements and their respective nonsupporters is growing. The supporters tend to share certain underlying attitudes such as traditionalism and low openness to experience.

On the one hand, city rules should not make it hard to build new workplaces and housing. Cities should have freedom to grow to make the most of the ever-increasing synergies arising from intangibles. On the other hand, cities need to be connected and livable. Synergies are more likely to be realized if people meet each other and interact than if urban life is atomized and siloed. Getting this right involves striking a balance; it takes a combination of Jane Jacobs–style liberalism, tolerating messy and diverse areas rather than building multilane highways through them, and of some benign planning, providing enough infrastructure for people to get around and places for them to meet. The kinds of cities that attract what Richard Florida called the “creative class,” or the “innovation districts” that Bruce Katz observed emerging across the United States, involve a mixture of judicious planning and organic growth.


pages: 184 words: 53,625

Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age by Steven Johnson

Airbus A320, airport security, algorithmic trading, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Cass Sunstein, Charles Lindbergh, cognitive dissonance, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, dark matter, Dava Sobel, David Brooks, Donald Davies, future of journalism, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, Jane Jacobs, John Gruber, John Harrison: Longitude, Joi Ito, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, mega-rich, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, Occupy movement, packet switching, peer-to-peer, 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, US Airways Flight 1549, WikiLeaks, William Langewiesche, working poor, X Prize, your tax dollars at work

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.


pages: 335 words: 111,405

B Is for Bauhaus, Y Is for YouTube: Designing the Modern World From a to Z by Deyan Sudjic

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, dematerialisation, deskilling, edge city, Elon Musk, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, illegal immigration, James Dyson, Jane Jacobs, Kitchen Debate, light touch regulation, market design, megastructure, moral panic, New Urbanism, place-making, QWERTY keyboard, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the scientific method, University of East Anglia, urban renewal, urban sprawl, young professional

Talking of the chaos of Lagos, Koolhaas says: ‘What I thought would be depressing was powerful, inspiring and brutal.’ ‘Brutal’, in Koolhaas’s vocabulary, is a term of enthusiasm. Koolhaas is trying to prove that the well-intentioned architects who tried to tame the contemporary city with pedestrian precincts and conservation got it all disastrously wrong. They should have been trying to intensify the city’s intrinsic qualities, not neuter them. What is amazing is that you can draw a genealogy between Jane Jacobs and Disney. Since the Sixties, the most well-meaning brains in our profession have contributed to this final, terminal condition of shopping. The effort to preserve the street, the hostility to the car, the hostility to all those elements that were the inevitable elements of the twentieth century – all of this has somehow created the space for this preservation, and, in the name of preservation, the conversion of entire areas in the centre of the city to fundamentally anti-urban conditions.

It was the breeding ground for sickness, degradation and crime. Modernity was the means to eradicate slums and replace them with a utopian ideal of what the city ought to be. From Lord Rosebery, chair of the London County Council, to William Morris, much of the modern city was understood as a vicious monstrosity, to be treated as a diseased pathology, by surgical means. ‘Slum’ was a word that used to worry me. Jane Jacobs’s book The Life and Death of Great American Cities shocked me when I first read it as an adolescent. She painted a picture of the honest virtue of healthy urban communities, and conveyed a vivid sense of the multiple threats that faced them. The physical fabric of the city, apparently so reassuringly solid, was revealed in Jacobs’s urgent account as permanently on the edge of putrefaction. Apparently healthy urban tissue could be destroyed by even the most apparently trivial infection.

But can one be quite so certain of that essentially positivist view, faced with the realities of life on the pavement? That figure-ground comparison is a sanitized analysis that hides the stench, and the fear. There are things about the lives of the slum dwellers that can seem comforting or even heartening. Life in a Mumbai slum could be seen as being almost all right when compared with certain other possibilities. The slum is a place in which Jane Jacobs’s street, protected under the constant gaze of hundreds of eyes, is an everyday reality. This is the polar opposite of the anomie and social isolation of a suburb in Phoenix. And it is nothing like a Brazilian favela or a Johannesburg shanty in terms of the daily level of violence. In terms of its ecological footprint, it does an amazingly good job, making up for the terrible mess that most of us westerners make of limiting our negative impact on the planet.


pages: 559 words: 169,094

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, corporate raider, 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, fixed income, 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, Marc Andreessen, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Neil Kinnock, new economy, New Journalism, obamacare, Occupy movement, oil shock, paypal mafia, peak oil, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, Richard Florida, Robert Bork, 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, white picket fence, zero-sum game

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.


Order Without Design: How Markets Shape Cities by Alain Bertaud

autonomous vehicles, call centre, colonial rule, congestion charging, creative destruction, cross-subsidies, Deng Xiaoping, discounted cash flows, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, extreme commuting, garden city movement, Google Earth, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, land tenure, manufacturing employment, market design, market fragmentation, megacity, new economy, New Urbanism, openstreetmap, Pearl River Delta, price mechanism, rent control, Right to Buy, Ronald Coase, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, the built environment, trade route, transaction costs, transit-oriented development, trickle-down economics, urban planning, urban sprawl, zero-sum game

However, the impact of the Internet on disseminating knowledge might be similar to that of books: it makes knowledge available quickly and cheaply, but it doesn’t replace the serendipity of a random meeting of people with similar interests. 3. Shlomo Angel, Planet of Cities (Cambridge, MA: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 2012). 4. Jane Jacobs, The Economy of Cities (New York: Random House, 1969). I do not wish to involve myself in the debate raised by Jane Jacobs, whether cities preceded agriculture. The existence of an obsidian industry in Çatalhöyük ca. 7000 B.C. is well established by archeologists. 5. Industrial Policy Resolution of the Government of India adopted in 1956 under the provisions of the Industrial Development and Regulation Act, 1951. 6. St. Petersburg was created by Peter the Great to open a port toward Western Europe in order to gain new technology through trade and cultural contact.

Some Cities Keep Growing, While Others Don’t The rate of population growth is determined by economic opportunity, which in turn is largely determined by the comparative advantage of a city’s location and its population’s capacity for innovation. But the economic advantage provided by location is not necessarily permanent; it may increase, decrease, or even vanish with technological change. Being close to an obsidian mine might have been a decisive advantage for the early Middle Eastern cities like Çatalhöyük described by Jane Jacobs,4 but that advantage disappeared when obsidian ceased to be the preferred material for tools and weapons. The Anatolian cities, whose economies had not been able to diversify into activities other than obsidian’s craft and trade, inevitably shrank and eventually disappeared. The dominance of New York as the United States’ main eastern seaport was made possible by the comparative advantage provided by the Erie Canal.

Elevated highways, while not quite as destructive as widening existing streets, significantly decrease the value and livability of the neighborhoods they cross. In addition, getting in and out of an elevated highway requires the use of ramps, which involves the destruction of additional valuable real estate while obstructing pedestrian flows. The plan proposed by Robert Moses for the Lower Manhattan Expressway in New York was an attempt to increase street supply in a high-demand area. The popular grassroots movement, led by Jane Jacobs, against the destruction that the expressway would have caused put a stop to the project. Indeed, the negative impact of elevated highways in dense urban areas is not limited to the eventual destruction of existing side buildings; it often extends for several blocks around. Because of the negative impact and high cost of elevated highways, not only has their construction been practically halted around the world, but a reverse movement advocating the demolition of existing ones is spreading.


pages: 204 words: 67,922

Elsewhere, U.S.A: How We Got From the Company Man, Family Dinners, and the Affluent Society to the Home Office, BlackBerry Moms,and Economic Anxiety by Dalton Conley

assortative mating, call centre, clean water, commoditize, 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, Joan Didion, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, late capitalism, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, mass immigration, McMansion, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, off grid, oil shock, PageRank, Ponzi scheme, positional goods, post-industrial society, 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.


pages: 242 words: 68,019

Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order, From Atoms to Economies by Cesar Hidalgo

"Robert Solow", Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, assortative mating, business cycle, Claude Shannon: information theory, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Douglas Hofstadter, Everything should be made as simple as possible, frictionless, frictionless market, George Akerlof, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, information asymmetry, invention of the telegraph, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, New Economic Geography, Norbert Wiener, p-value, Paul Samuelson, phenotype, price mechanism, Richard Florida, Ronald Coase, Rubik’s Cube, 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.


pages: 224 words: 71,060

A Time to Build: From Family and Community to Congress and the Campus, How Recommitting to Our Institutions Can Revive the American Dream by Yuval Levin

affirmative action, Airbnb, assortative mating, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, conceptual framework, David Brooks, demand response, Donald Trump, hiring and firing, Jane Jacobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steven Pinker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method

This kind of experience is not only a way to broaden our horizons and learn about the ways and views of others, it is also an utterly essential component of what we might call socialization. Being constantly exposed to influences we did not choose is part of how we learn to live with others, to accept our differences while seeing crucial commonalities, to realize the world is not all about us, and to at least abide with patience what we would rather avoid or escape. We should not underestimate the socializing power of such unchosen experience. As the great mid-century urbanist Jane Jacobs suggested, this is a way in which the city creates the urbane denizen it requires. It is similarly the way in which our society more generally creates the kind of sophisticated liberal citizen that can be trusted with the immense degree of freedom our way of life provides us. We should therefore not underestimate the consequences of being able to cordon ourselves off into hermetically sealed bubbles filled with only the exposures and experiences we select—or those that various clever algorithms serve up for us.5 Such algorithms are a particularly important source of this loss of serendipity online.

In his (very) short story “A Radically Condensed History of Postindustrial Life,” David Foster Wallace perfectly captures this social dynamic of online life: “When they were introduced, he made a witticism, hoping to be liked. She laughed extremely hard, hoping to be liked. Then each drove home alone, staring straight ahead, with the very same twist to their faces.” David Foster Wallace, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men (New York: Little, Brown & Co., 1999), 1. 5. Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (New York: Random House, 1961). See particularly chapters 11 and 12. 6. Adam Mosseri, “Building a Better News Feed for You,” Facebook (press release), https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2016/06/building-a-better-news-feed-for-you/. 7. Stephen Marche, “The Crisis of Intimacy in the Age of Digital Connectivity,” Los Angeles Review of Books, October 15, 2018. 8.


Survival of the Friendliest: Understanding Our Origins and Rediscovering Our Common Humanity by Brian Hare, Vanessa Woods

Cass Sunstein, cognitive bias, desegregation, Donald Trump, drone strike, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, Law of Accelerating Returns, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, Milgram experiment, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, out of africa, phenotype, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, smart cities, social intelligence, Stanford marshmallow experiment, stem cell, Steven Pinker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, white flight, zero-sum game

What seems to work best are mid-rise buildings (twelve stories seems to be the upper limit), where mothers can keep an eye on children playing outside and residents can watch people passing below; mixed-income housing, where people from different professions and socioeconomic status can live side by side; sidewalks that lead to small businesses, cafés, and restaurants; people working in these businesses who know their customers; gardens and playgrounds where mothers can talk and their children can make friends.94, 95, 96 In the 1950s, the West Village, New York, was this kind of city. The urbanist Jane Jacobs described the intricate “ballet” outside her apartment every morning. “The strangers on Hudson Street, the allies whose eyes help us natives keep the peace of the street, are so many that they always seem to be different people….When you see the same stranger three or four times on Hudson Street, you begin to nod.”94 At their worst, cities prevent social contact. High-rises create neighborhoods in which you can live on the same floor with someone for years and never meet, neighborhoods with no sidewalks and only big-box chain stores and fast-food restaurants, with gates and fences that prevent you from leaving or wandering around communities, with highways that cut through communities with no crosswalks or green spaces.

Miller, “Donald Trump On a Protester: ‘I’d Like to Punch Him in the Face,’ ” Washington Post (2016). Published online February 23, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/​news/​morning-mix/​wp/​2016/​02/​23/​donald-trump-on-protester-id-like-to-punch-him-in-the-face/. 93. J. Diamond, “Trump: I Could Shoot Somebody and Not Lose Voters” CNN Politics (2016). Published online January 24, 2016, http://www.cnn.com/​2016/​01/​23/​politics/​donald-trump-shoot-somebody-support/. 94. Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (New York: Vintage, 2016). 95. Richard Florida, The New Urban Crisis: How Our Cities Are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Class, and What We Can Do About It (UK: Hachette, 2017). 96. R.T.T. Forman, “The Urban Region: Natural Systems in Our Place, Our Nourishment, Our Home Range, Our Future,” Landscape Ecology 23 (2008), 251–53. 97.


pages: 440 words: 128,813

Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago by Eric Klinenberg

carbon footprint, citizen journalism, deindustrialization, fixed income, ghettoisation, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, longitudinal study, loose coupling, mass immigration, megacity, New Urbanism, postindustrial economy, smart grid, smart meter, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, urban renewal, War on Poverty

The result, as the Mayor’s Commission on Extreme Weather Conditions states, is that “those most at risk may be least likely to want or accept help from government.”17 There is some degree of truth in both of these explanations, and I will consider them seriously in this chapter. Yet even together they fail to provide a satisfying account of the reasons that so many Chicago residents died in solitude during the heat wave and that so many others continue to live in isolation. According to urban critic Jane Jacobs, “It took a lot of effort to make people this isolated.” But the ways in which Americans have engineered such extreme forms of individuation and social segmentation remain mysterious.18 Looking more closely at the conditions that made Chicagoans vulnerable to the heat helps to make visible a series of social transformations that contribute to the emerging phenomenon of being alone in the city.

This logic is most apparent in the culture of poverty arguments about the ways in which the practices of poor people contribute to the production of their own deprivation, but it informs more liberal theories as well. Yet there is also a rich heritage of research on city neighborhoods that highlights the spatial context of social order in the city.27 Although most contemporary urban scholars argue that high population density undermines social cohesion within neighborhoods, Jane Jacobs draws a distinction between high density and overcrowding, which suffocates residents and stifles community life. According to Jacobs, density and public activity are necessary preconditions for vigorous neighborhood social networks. Residents of city neighborhoods without comfortable and secure streets and sidewalks, without places that draw people out of their homes and into the public, are more likely to suffer from literal isolation and social distance.

Lawndale residents lacked places to go in the neighborhood as well as places to work. “The stores closing down affected everything,” a long-time resident told me. “There’s not very much in the streets for people to do here anymore.” Figure 26. An open lot near the original Sears Tower in North Lawndale. Photo by Caitlin Zaloom. The collapse of North Lawndale’s commercial institutions and local economy was devastating for the public life of the area.32 As Jane Jacobs argues, a substantial quantity of stores and other public places sprinkled along the sidewalks of a district is the basic requisite for establishing public safety through informal social control. Commercial institutions draw residents and passersby out into the sidewalks and streets, inviting foot traffic and promoting social interaction among consumers, merchants, and people who simply enjoy participating in or observing public life.


pages: 361 words: 76,849

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, post-work, 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, zero-sum game

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.


pages: 418 words: 128,965

The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires by Tim Wu

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Alfred Russel Wallace, Apple II, barriers to entry, British Empire, Burning Man, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, corporate raider, creative destruction, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, informal economy, intermodal, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Menlo Park, open economy, packet switching, PageRank, profit motive, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, sexual politics, 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, zero-sum game

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.


pages: 422 words: 131,666

Life Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take It Back by Douglas Rushkoff

addicted to oil, affirmative action, Amazon Mechanical Turk, anti-globalists, banks create money, big-box store, Bretton Woods, car-free, Charles Lindbergh, 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, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, loss aversion, market bubble, market design, Marshall McLuhan, Milgram experiment, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, negative equity, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, peak oil, peer-to-peer, 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, zero-sum game

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.


pages: 58 words: 18,747

The Rent Is Too Damn High: What to Do About It, and Why It Matters More Than You Think by Matthew Yglesias

Edward Glaeser, falling living standards, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, industrial robot, Jane Jacobs, land reform, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, pets.com, rent control, rent-seeking, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, statistical model, transcontinental railway, urban sprawl, white picket fence

The difference is that rent was also going up in Australia simultaneously. Australian incomes have been rising steadily because the country does a booming business exporting raw materials to China. These rising incomes have pushed up both rents and home sale prices. It’s just like Greenwich Village in New York (where I grew up). When my dad first moved there in the 1970s, the Village was a cheap place to live. This was the classic Greenwich Village Jane Jacobs wrote about, the one where beatnik poets lived in the fifties and where Bob Dylan got his start. By the time my dad left in 2010, it was incredibly expensive—apartments in the building where I grew up sell these days for $2 million to $3 million. The huge premium that people pay nowadays to live in the Village may or may not last forever, but it’s not a bubble; the price reflects increased demand.


pages: 329 words: 85,471

The Locavore's Dilemma by Pierre Desrochers, Hiroko Shimizu

air freight, back-to-the-land, British Empire, Columbian Exchange, Community Supported Agriculture, creative destruction, edge city, Edward Glaeser, food miles, Food sovereignty, global supply chain, intermodal, invention of agriculture, inventory management, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, 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.


pages: 362 words: 83,464

The New Class Conflict by Joel Kotkin

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bob Noyce, California gold rush, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Graeber, deindustrialization, don't be evil, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, energy security, falling living standards, future of work, Gini coefficient, Google bus, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, labor-force participation, low-wage service sector, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass affluent, McJob, McMansion, medical bankruptcy, Nate Silver, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Buchheit, payday loans, Peter Calthorpe, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, rent-seeking, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Richard Florida, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional

They included, Lind suggests, the children of the affluent, who “could afford to live and play” in what he calls “the expensive bohemias in New York, San Francisco, and other big cities.”73 As early as 1921, Lewis Mumford described the emerging “dissolute landscape” as “a no-man’s land which was neither town nor country.” Decades later urban author Robert Caro described the new rows of small houses at the edge of New York as “blossoming hideously,” as families fled venerable, but dirty and crowded, parts of Brooklyn and Manhattan for more spacious tree-lined streets further east, west, south, and north.74 These early critics saw suburbs as often largely homogenous and spiritually stultifying. Jane Jacobs, who famously detested suburban Los Angeles, also considered the bedroom communities of Queens and Staten Island “the Great Blight of Dullness.”75 The 1960s social critic William Whyte denounced suburbia as hopelessly conformist and stultifying. Like many of today’s density advocates, he predicted in Fortune that people would tire of such dull places and move back toward the city core.76 Of course, there were always those who did indeed return to the urban center, but most, as the Census trends show, did not.

Lind, Land of Promise, p. 342; Howard Ahmanson, “The Old Regionalism vs. the New Cosmopolitan Hyper-Localism,” American Conservative, October 7, 2013. 74. Robert Caro, The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York (New York: Vintage, 1975), pp. 143–44; Becky Nicolaides, “How Hell Moved From the Cities to the Suburbs,” in Kevin M. Kruse and Thomas J. Sugure, The New Suburban History (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 2006), p. 87. 75. Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (New York: Random House, 1961), p. 357. 76. Nicolaides, “How Hell Moved From the Cities to the Suburbs,” pp. 91–97. 77. William Vogt, Road to Survival (New York: William Sloane, 1948), p. 284. 78. Michael Janofsky, “Gore Offers Plan to Control Suburban Sprawl,” New York Times, January 12, 1999. 79. James Howard Kunstler, The Long Emergency: Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the 21st Century (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2005), p. 3. 80.


pages: 518 words: 147,036

The Fissured Workplace by David Weil

accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, banking crisis, barriers to entry, business cycle, business process, buy and hold, call centre, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate raider, Corrections Corporation of America, 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, information asymmetry, 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, Paul Samuelson, 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, 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.


pages: 801 words: 209,348

Americana: A 400-Year History of American Capitalism by Bhu Srinivasan

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, American ideology, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, Bob Noyce, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, business cycle, buy and hold, California gold rush, Charles Lindbergh, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate raider, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, diversification, diversified portfolio, Douglas Engelbart, financial innovation, fixed income, Ford paid five dollars a day, global supply chain, Gordon Gekko, Haight Ashbury, hypertext link, income inequality, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, Louis Pasteur, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, mortgage debt, mutually assured destruction, Norman Mailer, oil rush, peer-to-peer, pets.com, popular electronics, profit motive, race to the bottom, refrigerator car, risk/return, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strikebreaker, Ted Nelson, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the new new thing, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, Upton Sinclair, Vannevar Bush, Works Progress Administration, zero-sum game

While the population from 1960 to 1970 grew from 180 million to 203 million, an addition of 23 million people, American roads added over 27 million registered passenger vehicles during the same time, with much of the growth found in high school parking lots. Some saw this affluence as a form of hollow prosperity, a mindless and fundamental alteration of society, where people served the economic engine, moved by the momentum of commercial events, rather than the other way around. To Jane Jacobs the evidence suggested that the cultural vibrancy of the city was being lost to remote, metallic islands traveling at seventy miles per hour. At the time of her book The Death and Life of Great American Cities, reflecting the move to the suburbs, the urban core of nearly every American city had started declining. Cities in the East and Midwest had once been bustling centers of activity, but the idea of the city would come to be associated with decay.

gambled on 1,200 flat: “Nation’s Biggest Housebuilder,” Life, August 23, 1948, 74–78. “You marvel at”: Levitt, “Let’s Build Up.” Sears and Montgomery Ward: Sears, Roebuck and Co., Sears Modern Homes Catalogue (New York: Dover, 2006). “identical piles of”: “Housing: Up from the Potato Fields.” “Pricing each home identically”: “Nation’s Biggest Housebuilder.” social and cultural critics: Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (New York: Vintage Books, 1992); Herbert J. Gans, The Levittowners: Ways of Life and Politics in a New Suburban Community (New York: Columbia University Press, 1982). “neither the urbanity”: Jackson, Crabgrass Frontier, 244. “proud country home-owners”: Levitt, “Let’s Build Up.” 700,000 immigrants arrived: Bureau of the Census, “Historical Statistics of the United States, 1789–1945,” Washington DC, 1949, series B 304–330 (Immigration—Immigrants by Country: 1820 to 1945), 32.

the new category: Herbert Brean, “Discount Houses Stir Up a $5 Billion Fuss,” Life, August 9, 1954, 53–61. four thousand stores: Ibid. The “loss-leader”: Walter Henry Nelson, The Great Discount Delusion (New York: David McKay, 1965), 17. the loss-leading practices: Ibid., 68. populations as small: Sam Walton, Sam Walton: Made in America (New York: Bantam, 1993), 59. “or socially inevitable”: Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (New York: Vintage Books, 1992), 7. producer of oil: Michael Ratner and Carol Glover, “U.S. Energy: Overview and Key Statistics,” Congressional Research Service, July 27, 2014. running trade deficits: Bureau of the Census, “Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970,” Washington DC, September 1975, series U 1–25 (Balance of International Payments: 1790 to 1970), 864.


pages: 340 words: 91,387

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, Johannes Kepler, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, megacity, microcredit, New Urbanism, Pepto Bismol, pirate software, profit motive, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Simon Kuznets, special economic zone, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, thinkpad, upwardly mobile, Vilfredo Pareto, yellow journalism

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.


pages: 369 words: 94,588

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, creative destruction, 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, Gunnar Myrdal, 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, Myron Scholes, new economy, New Urbanism, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, 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.


pages: 286 words: 95,372

The Fields Beneath: The History of One London Village by Gillian Tindall

ghettoisation, Jane Jacobs, means of production, New Urbanism, profit motive, Right to Buy, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thomas Davenport, urban sprawl

It is perhaps here, rather than in the self-conscious, ex-rural ‘villages’ of the Bucks, Herts, and Sussex commuterlands, that something resembling an old-fashioned identification with the soil of the place can most readily be found, even though that soil is represented by tarmac, asphalt and the sort of old York stone slabs which ‘no local authority could afford to buy and lay in these days’ (in the words of the urban historian H. J. Dyos). Possibly the very existence of commuterlands, spreading wider and wider, and more and more dependent on the car, devaluing the rural image by associations with the phoney, has helped to revive the idea of attachment to a physically compact urban landscape, and to the ‘urban values’ reassessed by sociologists such as Peter Willmott and Jane Jacobs. Certainly the wholesale destruction of large parts of London and many other towns since the Second World War in the name of ‘planning’ has led to a massive loss of confidence in shining visions of a Brave New Future and to a revaluing of such districts as still retain some of their traditional aspect. The loss of a sense of place that follows upon big urban redevelopment schemes is not just due to the physical disturbance and remodelling of the territory: even when the new tower blocks, motorway junction or whatever have become familiar to the eye, they still convey little idea of being here, on some ordinary but individual patch of land.

Confronted with this Plan, St Pancras Borough seems to have felt a vague unease, a conflict between the idea that anything so splendidly forward-looking must be applauded and the lurking suspicion that they did not actually want a higher authority to try to turn them into Welwyn Garden City – a project which even the most sanguine of them must have suspected was doomed to failure. The good qualities of an urban environment as a place to live, work and play are quite other than the good qualities of a garden suburb, and if you attempt to change the town habitat too drastically you risk losing its essential qualities without gaining those of another type of place. But it was not till 1962 that an American, Jane Jacobs, wrote The Death and Life of American Cities, suggesting what large numbers of humbler people like Montagu Slater and the local shop-keepers had known all along: that an environment of streets and alleys can be a friendly one, catering adequately for most of the needs of the inhabitants. The Plan contained a sop-sentence or two about ‘retaining and encouraging the life of the communities’, but there was no suggestion how, in the presence of the new bisecting road schemes, this was to be achieved.


pages: 322 words: 88,197

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, Edward Thorp, 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, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, land value tax, Landlord’s Game, lone genius, mass immigration, megacity, Minecraft, moral panic, Murano, Venice glass, music of the spheres, Necker cube, New Urbanism, Oculus Rift, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, 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, white picket fence, 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.


pages: 422 words: 89,770

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, Pearl River Delta, 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.


pages: 330 words: 91,805

Peers Inc: How People and Platforms Are Inventing the Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism by Robin Chase

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, banking crisis, barriers to entry, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business climate, call centre, car-free, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, commoditize, congestion charging, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, decarbonisation, different worldview, do-ocracy, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Ferguson, Missouri, Firefox, frictionless, Gini coefficient, hive mind, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 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, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, 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 Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Turing test, turn-by-turn navigation, Uber and Lyft, uber 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.


pages: 327 words: 103,336

Everything Is Obvious: *Once You Know the Answer by Duncan J. Watts

active measures, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Black Swan, business cycle, butterfly effect, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, coherent worldview, 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, George Santayana, happiness index / gross national happiness, high batting average, hindsight bias, illegal immigration, industrial cluster, 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, Laplace demon, 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, Pierre-Simon Laplace, planetary scale, prediction markets, pre–internet, RAND corporation, random walk, RFID, school choice, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, 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.


pages: 400 words: 94,847

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, Donald Knuth, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, 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, Johannes Kepler, Kevin Kelly, Magellanic Cloud, means of production, medical residency, Nicholas Carr, P = NP, publish or perish, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, selection bias, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Singh, Skype, slashdot, social intelligence, 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 [184], Richard Rhodes’s The Making of the Atomic Bomb [183], and Robert Colwell’s The Pentium Chronicles [45]. A little further afield, Peter Block’s book Community: The structure of belonging [18] contains many insights about the problems of building community. And, finally, Jane Jacobs’s masterpiece The Death and Life of Great American Cities [98] 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 [31] and Douglas Engelbart [63].

Seattle: Microsoft Research, 2009. http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/collaboration/fourthparadigm/. [95] Edwin Hutchins. Cognition in the Wild. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1995. [96] 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. [97] In one instant a left-lane nation swerves right. Life, September 15, 1967. [98] Jane Jacobs. The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Toronto: Random House of Canada, 1961. [99] Irving Lester Janis. Groupthink: Psychological Studies of Policy Decisions and Fiascoes. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1983. [100] Eamon Javers. The pit bull of public relations. Business Week, April 17, 2006. [101] Ayodele Samuel Jegede. What led to the Nigerian boycott of the polio vaccination campaign?


pages: 327 words: 97,720

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, longitudinal study, 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.


Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? by Bill McKibben

23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, American Legislative Exchange Council, Anne Wojcicki, artificial general intelligence, Bernie Sanders, Bill Joy: nanobots, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, Colonization of Mars, computer vision, David Attenborough, Donald Trump, double helix, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, energy transition, Flynn Effect, Google Earth, Hyperloop, impulse control, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, life extension, light touch regulation, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, megacity, Menlo Park, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, obamacare, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart meter, Snapchat, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, supervolcano, technoutopianism, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, traffic fines, Travis Kalanick, urban sprawl, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator, Y2K, yield curve

The man at the bottom who, left to himself, would starve in his hopeless ineptitude, contributes nothing to those above him but receives the bonus of all their brains.… Such is the pattern of exploitation for which you have damned the strong.”26 Also a best seller, Atlas Shrugged nonetheless seemed to be swimming against the prevailing tide. It came out in 1957: Within a few years, Rachel Carson would publish Silent Spring, to far greater acclaim, stripping some of the shine off modernity. In Rand’s Manhattan, the great urbanist Jane Jacobs was busy taking down Robert Moses, the Roark-like New York master-builder who listened to no one as he built highways where he pleased. As the writer Andrea Barnet pointed out recently, a whole cadre of remarkable women came to the fore in those years, from Carson and Jacobs to Betty Friedan and Jane Goodall, and what they shared was a reaction to the “strict hierarchies and separations” of the 1950s.

Heller, Ayn Rand and the World She Made (New York: Nan A. Talese, 2009), p. 1. 21. Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead, twenty-fifth anniversary edition (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1968), p. 7. 22. Ibid., p. 3. 23. Burns, Goddess of the Market, p. 86. 24. Ibid. 25. Rand, The Fountainhead, p. 712 (emphasis added). 26. Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged (New York: Dutton, 1957), p. 1065. 27. Andrea Barnet, Visionary Women: How Rachel Carson, Jane Jacobs, Jane Goodall, and Alice Waters Changed Our World (New York: Ecco Books, 2018), p. 441. 28. Burns, Goddess of the Market, p. 157. 29. Jonas E. Alexis, Christianity’s Dangerous Idea: How the Christian Principle and Spirit Offer the Best Explanation for Life and Why Other Alternatives Fail: Volume 1 (Bloomington, IN: Authorhouse, 2010), p. 600. CHAPTER 10 1. Maria Tadeo, “Unrepentant Tom Perkins Apologises for ‘Kristallnacht’ Remarks but Defends War on the Rich Letter,” Independent, January 28, 2014. 2.


pages: 463 words: 105,197

Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society by Eric Posner, E. Weyl

3D printing, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, anti-communist, augmented reality, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, business process, buy and hold, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, commoditize, Corn Laws, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, endowment effect, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, feminist movement, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Akerlof, global supply chain, guest worker program, hydraulic fracturing, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, index fund, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jean Tirole, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, Landlord’s Game, liberal capitalism, low skilled workers, Lyft, market bubble, market design, market friction, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, negative equity, Network effects, obamacare, offshore financial centre, open borders, Pareto efficiency, passive investing, patent troll, Paul Samuelson, performance metric, plutocrats, Plutocrats, pre–internet, random walk, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Rory Sutherland, Second Machine Age, second-price auction, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, special economic zone, spectrum auction, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, telepresence, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, Vanguard fund, women in the workforce, Zipcar

In markets, individuals can gain from exchanging with others even if they do not have close personal relationships. This gives each individual a stake in others’ prosperity and, when markets function successfully, a reason to trust others and to act in a trustworthy manner toward others.15 This spirit is most clearly on display in well-functioning urban settings, where people live among numerous strangers and near-strangers. Urbanist Jane Jacobs describes the “modicum of responsibility” city dwellers take for each other “even if they have no ties to each other.” The critical benefit of “light” trust over the deep connections of tight-knit communities displaced by markets, Jacobs emphasizes, is that it allows for greater diversity and makes “city streets equipped to handle strangers.”16 The sociological spirit of the market is that of the city.

Sandel, What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012), and Samuel Bowles, The Moral Economy: Why Good Incentives Are No Substitute for Good Citizens (Yale University Press, 2016). 14. A. O. Hirschman, Rival Interpretations of Market Society: Civilizing, Destructive, or Feeble?, 20 Journal of Economic Literature 1463 (1982). 15. Durkheim, Division of Labour in Society. 16. Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (Random House, 1961). 17. Marion Fourcade & Kieran Healy, Moral Views of Market Society, 33 Annual Review of Sociology 285 (2007), highlight that the most powerful visions of markets have been inherently moralizing and not just economic. We hope some readers will find this moral vision an important component of the project of Radical Markets. 18.


pages: 104 words: 34,784

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, Joan Didion, knowledge worker, liberation theology, 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.


pages: 437 words: 105,934

#Republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media by Cass R. Sunstein

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Bernie Sanders, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, Donald Trump, drone strike, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, friendly fire, global village, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, obamacare, prediction markets, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, stem cell, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wisdom of Crowds, WikiLeaks

The most obvious way to curtail those circumstances is censorship and authoritarianism—the boot on the face, captured by George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four: “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.” A world of limitless choices is incalculably better than that. But if people are sorting themselves into communities of like-minded types, their own freedom is at risk. They are living in a prison of their own design. DEATH AND LIFE Let me now disclose a central inspiration for this book, one that might seem far afield: The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs.8 Among many other things, Jacobs offers an elaborate tribute to the sheer diversity of cities—to public spaces in which visitors encounter a range of people and practices that they could have barely imagined, and that they could not possibly have chosen in advance. As Jacobs describes great cities, they teem and pulsate with life: It is possible to be on excellent sidewalk terms with people who are very different from oneself and even, as time passes, on familiar public terms with them.

Sunstein, Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006). 5.Shanto Iyengar, Gaurav Sood, and Yphtach Lelkes, “Affect, Not Ideology: A Social Identity Perspective on Polarization,” Public Opinion Quarterly 76, no. 3 (2012): 405, http://pcl.stanford.edu/research/2012/iyengar-poq-affect-not-ideology.pdf (accessed August 29, 2016). 6.Ibid. 7.See Shanto Iyengar and Sean J. Westwood, “Fear and Loathing across Party Lines: New Evidence on Group Polarization,” American Journal of Political Science 59, no. 3 (2015): 690. 8.Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961; repr., New York: Random House, 1993). 9.Ibid., 81, 95. 10.Putnam, Bowling Alone, 178. 11.See Robert Glenn Howard, “Sustainability and Narrative Plasticity in Online Apocalyptic Discourse after September 11, 2001,” Journal of Media and Religion 5, no. 1 (2006): 25. 12.Adam Mosseri, “Building a Better News Feed for You,” Facebook Newsroom, June 29, 2016, https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2016/06/building-a-better-news-feed-for-you/ (accessed August 29, 2016). 13.Adam D.


pages: 147 words: 39,910

The Great Mental Models: General Thinking Concepts by Shane Parrish

Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Barry Marshall: ulcers, bitcoin, Black Swan, colonial rule, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, delayed gratification, feminist movement, index fund, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, mandelbrot fractal, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Ponzi scheme, Richard Feynman, statistical model, stem cell, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the map is not the territory, the scientific method, Thomas Bayes, Torches of Freedom

« As a branch of human endeavor, cartography has a long and interesting history that well reflects the state of cultural activity, as well as the perception of the world, in different periods. … Though technical in nature, cartography, like architecture, has attributes of both a scientific and artistic pursuit, a dichotomy not satisfactorily reconciled in all presentations. » Norman J.W. Thrower11 Maps can influence territories: This problem was part of the central argument put forth by Jane Jacobs in her groundbreaking work, The Death and Life of Great American Cities. She chronicled the efforts of city planners who came up with elaborate models for the design and organization of cities without paying any attention to how cities actually work. They then tried to fit the cities into the model. She describes how cities were changed to correspond to these models, and the often negative consequences of these efforts.


pages: 366 words: 117,875

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, mass immigration, megacity, microcredit, new economy, Pearl River Delta, 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).


pages: 422 words: 113,525

Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto by Stewart Brand

agricultural Revolution, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, 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, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, Jane Jacobs, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kibera, land tenure, lateral thinking, low earth orbit, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, microbiome, New Urbanism, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, out of africa, Paul Graham, peak oil, Peter Calthorpe, 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, wealth creators, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, William Langewiesche, 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.


pages: 464 words: 116,945

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, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, drone strike, end world poverty, 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, Gunnar Myrdal, 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.


pages: 468 words: 123,823

A People's History of Poverty in America by Stephen Pimpare

"Robert Solow", 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, hedonic treadmill, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, impulse control, income inequality, index card, Jane Jacobs, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, 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.


Hollow City by Rebecca Solnit, Susan Schwartzenberg

blue-collar work, Brownian motion, dematerialisation, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, housing crisis, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Loma Prieta earthquake, low skilled workers, new economy, New Urbanism, pets.com, rent control, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, wage slave

Today, many most part for the began suggests on to condemn CITY of them still famous for, stand in areas that escaped redevelop- for a million dollars apiece: that they are sell structurally is sound half how gratuitous were its a century after official redevelopment The premises. report went the neighborhood because single-family houses had been converted into apartments, convalescent hospitals and rooming houses and because (It is "stores, industry and houses are haphazardly intermingled." just this intermingling that suburban design sought to eliminate and that Jane Jacobs's 1961 manifesto, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, celebrates as key to the vitality of urban None of life.) the reports mentions that Fillmore Street had Harlem of the West, where jazz become the clubs and a lively nightlife flourished. My octogenarian neighbor who emigrated to the Western Addition from Texas around the time of the Second World War still speaks fondly of the elegant arches of lights that used to adorn Fillmore Street, of the six movie theaters, the of the street its hotels with wonderful jazz clubs, the liveliness at all hours.


pages: 444 words: 138,781

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, fixed income, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, Gunnar Myrdal, housing crisis, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, jobless men, Kickstarter, late fees, mass incarceration, 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.


pages: 519 words: 136,708

Vertical: The City From Satellites to Bunkers by Stephen Graham

1960s counterculture, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, Buckminster Fuller, Buy land – they’re not making it any more, Chelsea Manning, Commodity Super-Cycle, creative destruction, deindustrialization, digital map, drone strike, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, energy security, Frank Gehry, ghettoisation, Google Earth, Gunnar Myrdal, high net worth, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, late capitalism, low earth orbit, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, megastructure, moral panic, 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, Right to Buy, 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, William Langewiesche

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.


pages: 225 words: 54,010

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, mass immigration, 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).


pages: 182 words: 55,234

Rendezvous With Oblivion: Reports From a Sinking Society by Thomas Frank

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, business climate, business cycle, call centre, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, deindustrialization, deskilling, Donald Trump, edge city, Frank Gehry, high net worth, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, McMansion, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, offshore financial centre, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, too big to fail, urban planning, Washington Consensus, Works Progress Administration

Before 1950, the adjective was used mainly to describe colors and sound—the latter of which, after all, is transmitted through the air as vibrations. People’s voices were often said to be vibrant. As were, say, notes played on an oboe. To apply the adjective to a “community” or a “scene,” on the other hand, was extremely unusual back then. In fact, the word “vibrant” does not seem to appear at all in Jane Jacobs’s 1961 urban classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities, even though that book is often remembered as the manifesto of vibrancy theory. How the expression made the leap from novelty to gold-plated bureaucratic buzzword is anyone’s guess. The real force behind our mania for the vibrant is the nation’s charitable foundations. For organized philanthropy, “vibrant” seems to have become the one-stop solution for all that ails the American polis.


pages: 462 words: 150,129

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley

"Robert Solow", 23andMe, agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, Corn Laws, creative destruction, 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, hedonic treadmill, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 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, Kickstarter, 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, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Vernor Vinge, Vilfredo Pareto, wage slave, working poor, working-age population, Y2K, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

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.


pages: 497 words: 150,205

European Spring: Why Our Economies and Politics Are in a Mess - and How to Put Them Right by Philippe Legrain

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, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, 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, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, debt deflation, Diane Coyle, disruptive innovation, 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, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Irish property bubble, James Dyson, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, 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, peer-to-peer rental, 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?"


pages: 590 words: 153,208

Wealth and Poverty: A New Edition for the Twenty-First Century by George Gilder

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, cleantech, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, creative destruction, 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, Gunnar Myrdal, 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, longitudinal study, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, medical malpractice, minimum wage unemployment, money market fund, 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, Paul Samuelson, 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, zero-sum game

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.


pages: 470 words: 148,730

Good Economics for Hard Times: Better Answers to Our Biggest Problems by Abhijit V. Banerjee, Esther Duflo

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, basic income, Bernie Sanders, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, charter city, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental economics, experimental subject, facts on the ground, fear of failure, financial innovation, George Akerlof, high net worth, immigration reform, income inequality, Indoor air pollution, industrial cluster, industrial robot, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, land reform, loss aversion, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, obamacare, offshore financial centre, open economy, Paul Samuelson, place-making, price stability, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, smart meter, social graph, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, The Market for Lemons, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, urban sprawl, very high income, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y2K

This was the argument made in New York City in support of the subsidies to Amazon: that as an investment they were well worth it.41 An alternative way to attract businesses to a particular location is to build infrastructure. This is what the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) did for Tennessee and its neighboring states over the period 1930–1960, using public funds to build roads, dams, hydroelectric plants, etc. The idea was that infrastructure would attract firms, firms would attract other firms, and so on. Jane Jacobs, one of the most influential American urbanists of the twentieth century, was skeptical. She wrote a piece about it in 1984, called, quite simply, “Why TVA Failed.”42 But it did not fail. Enrico Moretti and a colleague compared the TVA region with six other areas initially supposed to receive the same type of investment but where, for various political reasons, nothing happened. They found that between 1930 and 1960, the TVA counties generated gains both in agricultural and manufacturing employment relative to this comparison group.

(Boston: Mariner Books, 2012). 40 Michael Greenstone, Richard Hornbeck, and Enrico Moretti, “Identifying Agglomeration Spillovers: Evidence from Winners and Losers of Large Plant Openings,” Journal of Political Economy 118, no. 3 (June 2010): 536–98, https://doi.org/10.1086/653714. 41 Of course, the question being asked in New York was not about the size of the gains (everybody agreed there would be some) but why Amazon was allowed to keep so much of it for themselves. After all, Alexandria offered much less, and Boston nothing at all (but then Boston did not win). 42 Jane Jacobs, “Why TVA Failed,” New York Review of Books, May 10, 1984. 43 43.Patrick Kline and Enrico Moretti, “Local Economic Development, Agglomeration Economies, and the Big Push: 100 Years of Evidence from the Tennessee Valley Authority,” Quarterly Journal of Economics 129, no. 1 (2014): 275–331, https://doi.org/10.1093/qje/qjt034. 44 Ten percent growth over the past decade will raise growth over the next decade by 20 percent of 10 percent, which is 2 percent.


pages: 209 words: 63,649

The Purpose Economy: How Your Desire for Impact, Personal Growth and Community Is Changing the World by Aaron Hurst

Airbnb, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, big-box store, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, commoditize, 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, longitudinal study, means of production, Mitch Kapor, new economy, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, QR code, Ray Oldenburg, remote working, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, 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

carbon footprint, delayed gratification, double entry bookkeeping, epigenetics, financial independence, illegal immigration, Jane Jacobs, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, Nelson Mandela, plutocrats, Plutocrats, trickle-down economics, wage slave

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.


pages: 222 words: 50,318

The Option of Urbanism: Investing in a New American Dream by Christopher B. Leinberger

addicted to oil, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, asset allocation, big-box store, centre right, commoditize, credit crunch, David Brooks, desegregation, Donald Trump, drive until you qualify, edge city, full employment, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 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.


The Techno-Human Condition by Braden R. Allenby, Daniel R. Sarewitz

airport security, augmented reality, carbon footprint, clean water, cognitive dissonance, coherent worldview, conceptual framework, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, decarbonisation, different worldview, facts on the ground, friendly fire, industrial cluster, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 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, source of truth, 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."?


pages: 207 words: 64,598

To Show and to Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction by Phillip Lopate

Charles Lindbergh, Columbine, desegregation, fear of failure, index card, Jane Jacobs, Joan Didion, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Nelson Mandela, Norman Mailer, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, urban planning, white flight

Luria: The Mind of a Mnemonist, The Man with a Shattered World Richard Selzer: Mortal Lessons: Notes on the Art of Surgery Gretel Ehrlich: The Solace of Open Spaces John McPhee: Coming into the Country Peter Matthiessen: The Snow Leopard Wendell Berry: The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture Edward Hoagland: Hoagland on Nature Barry Lopez: Arctic Dreams Michael Pollan: Second Nature, The Botany of Desire Psychology Sigmund Freud: The Wolf Man, Dora, Civilization and Its Discontents D. W. Winnicott: Winnicott on the Child, Playing and Reality Karen Horney: Feminine Psychology Leslie H. Farber: The Ways of the Will Adam Phillips: On Kissing, Tickling, and Being Bored Jules Henry: Pathways to Madness Architecture and Landscape Lewis Mumford: Sidewalk Critic, The Lewis Mumford Reader Ada Louise Huxtable: On Architecture Jane Jacobs: The Death and Life of Great American Cities J. B. Jackson: Landscape in Sight William H. Whyte: The Essential William H. Whyte Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour: Learning from Las Vegas Dance Edwin Denby: Dancers, Buildings and People in the Streets Arlene Croce: Croce on Dance, The Fred and Ginger Book Elizabeth Kendall: Where She Danced Art Denis Diderot: Diderot on Art John Ruskin: The Stones of Venice Harold Rosenberg: Discovering the Present Clement Greenberg: Collected Essays and Criticism Meyer Schapiro: Impressionism, Modern Art Robert Smithson: The Collected Writings John Berger: Ways of Seeing, Selected Essays Robert Hughes: Nothing If Not Critical Sports Red Smith: The Red Smith Reader, To Absent Friends A.


pages: 262 words: 66,800

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, continuation of politics by other means, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, demographic transition, desegregation, Donald Trump, Flynn Effect, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, Gunnar Myrdal, 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, Nelson Mandela, open economy, place-making, Rosa Parks, sexual politics, special economic zone, Steven Pinker, telerobotics, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transatlantic slave trade, very high income, working poor, Xiaogang Anhui farmers, zero-sum game

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.


pages: 202 words: 8,448

Blueprint for Revolution: How to Use Rice Pudding, Lego Men, and Other Nonviolent Techniques to Galvanize Communities, Overthrow Dictators, or Simply Change the World by Srdja Popovic, Matthew Miller

Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, British Empire, corporate governance, desegregation, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Jane Jacobs, Kibera, Kickstarter, Mahatma Gandhi, McMansion, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, Nelson Mandela, 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.


pages: 265 words: 69,310

What's Yours Is Mine: Against the Sharing Economy by Tom Slee

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, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, 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, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, 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.


pages: 219 words: 67,173

Grand Central: How a Train Station Transformed America by Sam Roberts

accounting loophole / creative accounting, City Beautiful movement, clean water, collective bargaining, Donald Trump, Jane Jacobs, Joan Didion, Marshall McLuhan, New Urbanism, the High Line, transcontinental railway, transit-oriented development, urban planning, urban renewal, Y2K

Saboteurs: The Nazi Raid on America. New York: Vintage Books, 2005. Dolkart, Andrew, and Matthew A. Postal. Guide to New York City Landmarks. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2009. Fitch, James M., and Diana S. Waite. Grand Central Terminal. New York State Parks and Recreation, Division of Historic Preservation, 1974. Gratz, Roberta Brandes. The Battle for Gotham: New York in the Shadow of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs. New York: Nation Books, 2010. Grogan, Louis V. The Coming of the New York and Harlem Railroad. Pawling, NY: Louis V. Grogan, 1989. Grow, Lawrence. Waiting for the 5:05: Terminal, Station and Depot in America. New York: Main Street/Universe Books, 1977. Hanley, Sally. A. Philip Randolph: Labor Leader. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1989. Harlow, Alvin. The Road of the Century: The Story of the New York Central.


pages: 212 words: 69,846

The Nation City: Why Mayors Are Now Running the World by Rahm Emanuel

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, blockchain, carbon footprint, clean water, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Enrique Peñalosa, Filter Bubble, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, Lyft, megacity, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, payday loans, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, transcontinental railway, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, urban planning, War on Poverty, white flight, working poor

This significant depopulation made the situation in cities even worse, leading to falling tax revenues—there were fewer people to tax, and those who had stayed behind were, generally speaking, poorer than those who had left. Infrastructure and mass transit systems and other critical city services (like public education and policing) were some of the casualties. Our major cities had lower life expectancy rates than the country as a whole. It didn’t help that city planners from decades earlier had been misguided in some of their approaches. Jane Jacobs, in her 1961 book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, wrote about one of the biggest problems cities faced: Most urban planning had been focused on business districts and not on building and strengthening the neighborhoods and communities that form the glue that holds cities together. It also didn’t help that some of the mayors of that period were not up to the task. New York City mayor John Lindsay, who served from 1966 to 1973, never could rein in the city’s costs.


pages: 651 words: 180,162

Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Air France Flight 447, Andrei Shleifer, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, business cycle, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, commoditize, creative destruction, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, discrete time, double entry bookkeeping, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, financial independence, Flash crash, Gary Taubes, George Santayana, Gini coefficient, Henri Poincaré, high net worth, hygiene hypothesis, 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, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, Lao Tzu, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, Marc Andreessen, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, money market fund, moral hazard, mouse model, Myron Scholes, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, 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, selection bias, Silicon Valley, six sigma, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, stochastic volatility, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Great Moderation, the new new thing, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transaction costs, urban planning, Vilfredo Pareto, 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.


pages: 322 words: 77,341

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, Blythe Masters, 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, hedonic treadmill, hindsight bias, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, intangible asset, interest rate swap, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Meriwether, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Martin Wolf, money market fund, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, negative equity, new economy, Nick Leeson, Norman Mailer, Northern Rock, Own Your Own Home, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, reserve currency, Right to Buy, 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.


pages: 279 words: 76,796

The Unbanking of America: How the New Middle Class Survives by Lisa Servon

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, basic income, Build a better mousetrap, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, employer provided health coverage, financial exclusion, financial independence, financial innovation, gender pay gap, George Akerlof, gig economy, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, late fees, Lyft, M-Pesa, medical bankruptcy, microcredit, Occupy movement, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, precariat, Ralph Nader, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, too big to fail, transaction costs, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, We are the 99%, white flight, working poor, Zipcar

From here she takes phone calls and pivots to microwave a waffle for Pablo or get a drink for a visitor. Today she gets a call from a tanda member telling her when he’ll be by to drop off his payment. Someone else calls to ask Blanca about the location of another meeting she’ll attend later. Esme, Blanca’s comadre, works at a local bodega/bakery often scented with the sugar and vanilla of freshly baked pan dulce. Esme has what the urban-studies author Jane Jacobs calls “eyes on the street”—she knows everyone and sees everything. Esme is young, energetic, and sharp. She passed up invitations to join other tandas because she didn’t know the people running them well enough to trust them with her money. She emphasizes how important it is to know the person who runs the tanda very well before you join. Worldwide, many people commonly use tandas like the ones Blanca operates to save and borrow, yet these associations are virtually invisible to policymakers and to those of us who manage our money in other ways.


pages: 243 words: 76,686

How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell

Airbnb, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Burning Man, collective bargaining, Donald Trump, Filter Bubble, full employment, gig economy, Google Earth, Internet Archive, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Kickstarter, late capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, means of production, Minecraft, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Port of Oakland, Results Only Work Environment, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, source of truth, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, technoutopianism, union organizing, white flight, Works Progress Administration

Thanos Zartaloudis (Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2016), 319. 20. Cooke, 319. 21. Melville, 23. 22. Margaret Y. Henry, “Cicero’s Treatment of the Free Will Problem,” Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association 58 (1927), 34. 23. Ibid. 24. Navia, 63. 25. Carol Becker, “Stilling the World,” in Out of Now: the Lifeworks of Tehching Hsieh, ed. Adrian Heathfield (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2015), 367. 26. Mary Jane Jacobs and Jacquelyn Bass, Tehching Hsieh: An Interview, streaming video, 2012: https://www.kanopy.com/wayf/video/tehching-hsieh-interview 27. Becker, 367. 28. Henry David Thoreau, Walden, Volume 1 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1897), 143. 29. Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience (London: The Simple Life Press, 1903), 19. 30. Ibid., 33. 31. Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience, 12. 32.


pages: 246 words: 76,561

Radical Cities: Across Latin America in Search of a New Architecture by Justin McGuirk

A Pattern Language, agricultural Revolution, dark matter, Donald Trump, Enrique Peñalosa, extreme commuting, facts on the ground, Guggenheim Bilbao, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income per capita, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, lateral thinking, mass immigration, microcredit, Milgram experiment, neoliberal agenda, New Urbanism, place-making, Silicon Valley, starchitect, technoutopianism, unorthodox policies, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus

Pursuing the neoliberal policies advocated by the International Monetary Fund, many governments left the problem of housing to the free market. It was the same mistake that Margaret Thatcher made in Britain, only incalculably more serious, because the housing deficit in Latin American cities was measured not in thousands but millions. The laissez-faire approach to cities gained traction in the 1960s. Turner’s position can be seen in the context of Jane Jacobs defending the boisterous streets of Greenwich Village, members of Team 10 studying Dogon villages in Mali, and the Situationists lampooning Le Corbusier and his tower-block ‘morgues’. This attitude was exemplified by the 1964 exhibition ‘Architecture Without Architects’, curated by Bernard Rudofsky at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Celebrating the timeless beauty of vernacular buildings, it offered proof if proof were needed that we had been getting along perfectly well without architects for thousands of years.


pages: 237 words: 74,109

Uncanny Valley: A Memoir by Anna Wiener

autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, basic income, blockchain, Burning Man, call centre, charter city, cloud computing, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Extropian, future of work, Golden Gate Park, housing crisis, Jane Jacobs, job automation, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, means of production, medical residency, new economy, New Urbanism, passive income, pull request, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, special economic zone, technoutopianism, telepresence, telepresence robot, union organizing, universal basic income, unpaid internship, urban planning, urban renewal, women in the workforce, Y2K, young professional

If you could get the right price for your home, would you sell? The brochures collected on top of the mailboxes like a come- on and a taunt—reminders of our luck, and our impermanence. * * * There was a lot of discussion that year, particularly among the entrepreneurial class, about city-building. Everyone was reading The Power Broker—or, at least, reading summaries. Everyone was reading Season of the Witch. Armchair urbanists blogged about Jane Jacobs and discovered Haussmann, Le Corbusier. They fantasized about charter cities. They were beginning to notice something interesting—a potential opportunity, perhaps—taking place outside the windows of their ride-shares. They were beginning to catch on to the value of civic life. At a party, I met a man who leaned in and told me, with warm breath, that he was trying to get involved with an exciting new urbanism project.


pages: 273 words: 76,786

Explore Everything by Bradley Garrett

airport security, Burning Man, call centre, creative destruction, deindustrialization, double helix, dumpster diving, failed state, Google Earth, Hacker Ethic, Jane Jacobs, Julian Assange, late capitalism, megacity, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, place-making, shareholder value, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, urban planning, white flight, WikiLeaks

., ‘Graffiti Raids across London as Police Sanitise City Ready for Olympics’, atthelondonvandal.com/2012/07/graffiti-raids-across-london-as-police-sanitise-city-ready-for-olympics. 15 Rik Scarce, ‘A Law to Protect Scholars’, at skidmore.edu/newsitems/features/chronicle081205.htm (12 August 2005). 16 David Pescovitz, ‘Beating the Bounds Railwalk Project Shut Down’, at boingboing.net/2008/03/10/beating-the-bounds-r.html (10 March 2008). 17 ‘ASA Code of Ethics’, at asanet.org/images/asa/docs/pdf/EthicsCode.pdf; Jaschik, ‘Protecting His Sources’, Inside Higher Ed., 4 December 2009. 18 ‘(U//FOUO) National Counterterrorism Center: Urban Exploration Offers Insight into Critical Infrastructure Vulnerabilities’, at publicintelligence.net/nctc-urban-exploration (19 November 2012). 19 Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (New York: Random House, 1961). 20 Lisette Josephides, ‘Representing the Anthropologist’s Predicament’, in Allison James, Jenny Hockey and Andrew Dawson, eds, AfterWriting Culture: Epistemology and Praxis in Contemporary Anthropology (London: Routledge, 1997), p. 32, cited in Sarah Pink, Doing Visual Ethnography: Images, Media and Representation in Research (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2001), p. 4. 21 Pinder, ‘Urban Interventions’, p 734.


pages: 693 words: 204,042

New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson

availability heuristic, back-to-the-land, Black-Scholes formula, Burning Man, central bank independence, creative destruction, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, decarbonisation, East Village, full employment, happiness index / gross national happiness, hive mind, income inequality, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, liquidity trap, Mason jar, mass immigration, megastructure, microbiome, music of the spheres, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, precariat, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, the built environment, too big to fail

I could perhaps identify buildings that were more likely to collapse than the models had them collapsing on average, and figure out ways to upgrade them, putting off their collapse long enough that they could serve as refugee dwellings or maker spaces. Housing of any kind was scarce, because too many people kept coming to New York and trying to live here, out of some kind of addiction, some compulsion to live like water rats when they could have done better elsewhere. Same as it ever was! Which meant there was need for some kind of Jane Jacobs–like housing reform. This was more than I could handle, but some improvements in the intertidal, that I could try. The intertidal was my specialty, so that was where I could start. Try to figure something out. So I abandoned my screens one morning and went down to my sweet skimmer and hummed out of the building onto Twenty-third, and headed west to the Hudson. Time to go out and put my eyeball to reality.

Franklin Garr came breezing in, saw them and came over and leaned down to give Charlotte a hug and a kiss on the head. “Congratulations, dear. I know it’s just what you always wanted.” “Fuck you.” He laughed. He was flushed and seemed a little giddy, maybe from talking to his friend from the Flatiron. “Just let me know if there’s anything I can do for you. Finance minister without portfolio, right?” “You’re already doing that,” she objected. “Redevelopment czar. Robert Moses meets Jane Jacobs.” “You’re already doing that too.” “Okay, so maybe you don’t need me.” “No, I need you.” “But not for anything more than what I’m already doing.” She looked up at him, and Vlade saw a new look on her face, an idea she liked. “Well, I wonder,” she said. “Could you give me a ride in your stupid little speedboat down to like Philly, or Baltimore? Would that work? Because I need to get down there fast as I can, and the train tracks in Jersey are still fucked up.”


pages: 398 words: 86,023

The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World's Greatest Encyclopedia by Andrew Lih

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, Kickstarter, Marshall McLuhan, Mitch Kapor, 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.


pages: 313 words: 84,312

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, disruptive innovation, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, 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, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lateral thinking, lone genius, M-Pesa, Mark Shuttleworth, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microcredit, Mitch Kapor, new economy, Nicholas Carr, online collectivism, planetary scale, post scarcity, Richard Stallman, Shoshana Zuboff, 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.


pages: 262 words: 83,548

The End of Growth by Jeff Rubin

Ayatollah Khomeini, Bakken shale, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business cycle, 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, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, 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, zero-sum game

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.


pages: 304 words: 85,291

Cities: The First 6,000 Years by Monica L. Smith

clean water, diversified portfolio, failed state, financial innovation, hiring and firing, invention of writing, Jane Jacobs, New Urbanism, payday loans, place-making, Ponzi scheme, South China Sea, telemarketer, the built environment, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade route, urban planning, urban renewal, wikimedia commons

., “Uruk Colonies and Anatolian Communities: An Interim Report on the 1992–93 Excavations at Hacinebi, Turkey,” American Journal of Archaeology 100, no. 2 (1996): 205–60. flowering of the earliest urbanism: Melinda A. Zeder, “Provisioning Early Cities in Mesopotamia: The Role of Pastoralism in the Development of Specialized Urban Economies,” in The Social Construction of Ancient Cities, ed. Monica L. Smith (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2003), 156–83. Many years ago, the urban theorist Jane Jacobs proposed that cities provided the main impetus for domestication in the first place, a “cities-first” perspective that has occasionally been revived, most recently by Peter J. Taylor in Extraordinary Cities: Millennia of Moral Syndromes, World-Systems, and City/State Relations (Cheltenham, U.K.: Edward Elgar, 2013). It should be emphasized, however, that archaeological evidence in both the New World and the Old World clearly supports the fact that people domesticated plants and animals thousands of years before the emergence of the first cities.


pages: 275 words: 84,980

Before Babylon, Beyond Bitcoin: From Money That We Understand to Money That Understands Us (Perspectives) by David Birch

agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, bank run, banks create money, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Burning Man, business cycle, capital controls, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, clockwork universe, creative destruction, credit crunch, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, dematerialisation, Diane Coyle, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, double entry bookkeeping, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial exclusion, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, index card, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Irish bank strikes, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, large denomination, M-Pesa, market clearing, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, new economy, Northern Rock, Pingit, prediction markets, price stability, QR code, quantitative easing, railway mania, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Real Time Gross Settlement, reserve currency, Satoshi Nakamoto, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, social graph, special drawing rights, technoutopianism, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, wage slave, Washington Consensus, wikimedia commons

What this means is that the future sense of identity will be city-centric, with people seeing themselves as Londoners or New Yorkers rather than Brits or Yanks. Cities will undoubtedly form defence alliances and trade pacts and so forth with each other but I wonder if they will give up any real sovereignty? It’s an interesting and enjoyable area of speculation. This appeals to my long-held appreciation of Jane Jacobs’s work on the city as the basic economic unit (Jacobs 1985). In discussing that ‘Many Hands’ scenario, Ringland makes a passing but powerful observation on this future, saying that individuals will protect their ‘personal identity, credit ratings and parking spaces’ at all costs, and that since monetary arrangements (nation-state fiat currencies) will have collapsed, the commercial paper of global corporations will be used as international currency.


pages: 283 words: 85,824

The People's Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age by Astra Taylor

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, American Legislative Exchange Council, 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, creative destruction, 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, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Metcalfe’s law, Naomi Klein, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, oil rush, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-work, 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.”


pages: 304